10 Greatest Guitar Solos Of The '90s

7. Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana

In the world of rock guitar, there have been too many jokes made at the expense of Kurt Cobain and his less than proficient guitar abilities. When you look at what he did on the live stage, Kurt sometimes felt like he was using his guitar more as a prop than anything else, playing different bits of noise jams in between songs and only slowing things down to play simple chords on some of the slower songs in their catalog. Kurt may have not been the greatest guitar player to ever touch the fretboard, but he accomplished something very few have mastered: serving the song.

Because going through Smells Like Teen Spirit, there's almost nothing to the lead breaks, only pausing for a little string bend every now and again and the entire verse being just two notes being played endlessly before the chorus hits. When he gets the chance to solo though, playing the melody may have been the greatest choice here, taking the lazy singing style that Kurt was always great at and channeling that kind of disaffected angst into his guitar playing.

If you listen to the actual guitar track by itself, it's practically an extension of Kurt's personality, being precise in some spots and featuring some moments where he bends the string and doesn't quite get to the note and then letting the final note feed back into the next verse, giving it a sort of ominous feel. There's not a ton going on in this song guitar wise, but what it does have is character, and that's worth more than any rapid Yngwie Malmsteen solo.

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