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Rock’s Top Instrumentals

Jeff Beck
(Simone Joyner/Getty Images)

Gibson Guitars has put together its list of the 10 Great Rock Guitar Instrumentals. In compiling the list they explain that “virtuosity is less a consideration than pioneering impact.” In no particular order the list consists of:

“Beck’s Bolero” — Jeff Beck > “Recorded in May of 1966, this instrumental piece had a profound impact on the development of heavy metal and prog rock… The track also inspired Duane Allman to take up slide guitar.” In addition to Beck, this song also features Jimmy Page on rhythm guitar, John Paul Jones on bass, Nicky Hopkins on piano and Keith Moon on drums.

“Black Mountain Side” — Led Zeppelin

“Jessica” — The Allman Brothers Band > “This Dickey Betts-penned classic from the Allman Brothers’ 1973 Brothers and Sisters album has been called ‘a true national heirloom’ by none other than the Wall Street Journal… A live version of ‘Jessica’ won a Grammy in 1996 for Best Rock Instrumental Performance, 23 years after its initial release.”

“Sparks” — The Who

“Rebel Rouser” — Duane Eddy

“Frankenstein” — The Edgar Winter Group > “This classic from 1973’s They Only Come Out at Night actually topped the Billboard chart, a rarity for an instrumental. Ronnie Montrose played guitar on the recorded version.”

“Walk, Don’t Run” — The Ventures

“Maggot Brain” — Funkadelic

“Mood for a Day” — Steve Howe

“Eruption” — Van Halen > “Amazingly, Eddie Van Halen feels he could have improved on the take that was used. He says, ‘There’s a mistake at the top end of it. To this day, whenever I hear it, I always think, ‘Man, I could’ve played it better.’”

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