The Ultimate Top 50 Guitar Mastery Songs
In search of new guitar challenges, I pondered the question: “What would be the list of THE 50 instrumental guitar songs that, if I mastered them, would make me one the .001% best guitar players on the planet?”
The criteria I set for compiling this list were:
- Since I don’t necessarily like singing, the songs had to be instrumental guitar tracks.
- The list as a whole, needs to showcase every possible guitar technique: from slide guitar to tapping, speed picking, sweep picking, whammy bar techniques, every possible way to play harmonics, etc.
- Rock genre, no jazz, no classical.
- Some of the songs are not necessarily the “hardest guitar songs” (i.e. “A Day At The Beach”, “Sleepwalk” or “Schon Rosmarin”, etc.) but show great musicianship and balance out the list as a whole.
- The complete list, meant to be played live someday, needs to show a complete range of guitar musicianship. The goal is not to just showcase technique for technique’s sake over 50 songs of non-stop constant shredding. I wouldn’t want to go to a show myself by an instrumental guitarist if all I am going to hear is just fast playing with nonstop distortion sound.
- The list is (of course) biased. It is centered around songs and guitarists I like and admire.
- One of the criteria in compiling the list, was to opt as much as possible for including the “signature songs” of artists I wanted to be represented in this list. For example, Joe Satriani’s signature song is Satch Boogie. Steve Vai’s signature song for me has always been “The Attitude Song”, though many feel it should be “For The Love of God” (which I don’t like as much and which I think is far lesser representative of Steve’s chops and musicianship).
Here’s The List of The Ultimate Top 50 Guitar Mastery Songs
Here is, in no particular order btw, the list of songs I use as my benchmark to evaluate my guitarmanship.
I consider this the ultimate guitar mastery list.
If you can play those 50 songs as on the record, you pretty much can play anything (short of jazz and classical).
1. A Day At The Beach (Joe Satriani)
2. Midnight (Joe Satriani)
3. Satch Boogie (Joe Satriani)
4. Schon Rosmarin (Albert Lee)
5. The Final Peace (Jeff Beck)
6. Erotomania (Dream Theater)
7. Greasy Kid’s Stuff (Steve Vai)
8. The Attitude Song (Steve Vai)
9. Tumeni Notes (Steve Morse)
10. Two Rivers (Jeff Beck)
11. Where Were You (Jeff Beck)
12. Angel Footsteps (Jeff Beck)
13. Sleepwalk (Brian Setzer)
14. Life Song (One for Annie) (Robben Ford)
15. Sisters (Steve Vai)
16. Eugene’s Bag of Tricks (Steve Vai)
17. Cliffs of Dover (Eric Johnson)
18. Testify (SRV)
19. Jump Start (Greg Howe)
20. Come And Get It (Greg Howe)
21. Far Beyond The Sun (Yngwie Malmsteen)
22. Villanova Junction (Jimi Hendrix)
23. Vivaldi Tribute (Patrick Rondat)
24. Waves (Guthrie Govan)
25. Eruption (Van Halen)
26. Toccata in D Minor (Glory)
27. Ytse Jam (John Petrucci, Dream Theater)
28. Ghost of You (Andy Timmons)
29. Altitudes (Jason Becker)
30. The Black Forest (Steve Vai)
31. Caprici Di Diablo (Yngwie Malmsteen)
32. Country Colors (Steve Morse)
33. Flight of The Bumblebee (Jennifer Batten)
34. Full Throttle (Greg Howe)
35. Mal-Funk-Shen (Scott Mishoe)
36. Gray Pianos Flying (Shawn Lane)
37. Hot Rails (Richie Kotzen)
38. I Don’t Know Why (Oz Noy)
39. Jordan (Buckethead)
40. Mountain Cathedral (Jeff Watson)
41. Randy Rhoads Guitar Solo (Ozzy Tribute Album)
42. Not Again (Shawn Lane)
43. Rhode Island Shred (Guthrie Govan)
44. Runaway Train (Steve Morse)
45. Runaway Train (Michael Lee Firkins)
46. Scapegoat (Jimmy Herring)
47. Scarified (Racer X)
48. Strat O Various (Greg Howe)
49. Tilt (Richie Kotzen and Greg Howe)
50. Time Is The Enemy (Shawn Lane)
If you have your own list or if you want to share songs you feel should have been on the list, post your ideas and suggestions in the comments below. I’d love to hear them.
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