The Ultimate List: Guitar World Readers' Picks for the Decisive Top 10 Guitar Riffs


The article discusses the top 10 guitar riffs of all time as voted by Guitar World readers. These riffs are considered iconic and have had a significant influence on the world of music.

According to the Guitar World readers' poll, the top spot for the greatest guitar riff of all time goes to "Smoke on the Water" by Deep Purple. This timeless riff, with its simple yet powerful melody, has become a staple for aspiring guitar players.

Coming in at number two is the classic riff from Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love." This riff, played by the legendary Jimmy Page, is known for its heavy and catchy sound, making it one of the most recognizable guitar riffs in rock history.


Jimi Hendrix claims the third spot on the list with his iconic riff from "Purple Haze." Hendrix's masterful guitar skills and innovative playing techniques have made this riff an essential part of any guitar player's repertoire.

The fourth position is taken by "Sweet Child o' Mine" by Guns N' Roses. This riff, created by Slash, showcases his unique style and technical ability, solidifying its place as one of the best guitar riffs to date.

AC/DC's "Back in Black" secures the fifth spot with its hard-hitting and memorable guitar riff. The driving force behind this iconic track is Angus Young's electrifying guitar work, which continues to captivate audiences worldwide.


Black Sabbath's "Iron Man" takes the sixth place, thanks to Tony Iommi's heavy and haunting guitar riff. This classic riff has been highly influential in the development of heavy metal music.

"Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana claims number seven, with Kurt Cobain's grungy and distorted guitar riff becoming an anthem for a generation. This riff perfectly captured the energy and angst of the '90s alternative rock scene.

Van Halen's "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" lands in the eighth spot, featuring Eddie Van Halen's groundbreaking guitar work. This riff showcases Van Halen's innovative tapping technique, revolutionizing the way the guitar was played.


The iconic opening riff of AC/DC's "Highway to Hell" secures the ninth place. This riff, played with incredible precision by Angus Young, perfectly captures the rebellious spirit of rock 'n' roll.

Closing the list at number ten is "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" by Jimi Hendrix. This bluesy and soulful riff showcases Hendrix's virtuosity and creativity on the guitar, leaving a lasting impact on the music industry.

In conclusion, these top 10 guitar riffs, as voted by Guitar World readers, have become legendary and influential in the world of music. These timeless riffs continue to inspire and captivate audiences, solidifying their place in rock and roll history.