Most famous guitar intros - Courtney Callahan Paper
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Most famous guitar intros

Most famous guitar intros

Most famous guitar intros

Some of the most famous guitar intros can stick in your head for hours. For instance, we drive in our cars to work or school daily and if we happen to hear one of these songs with a famous guitar intro, we’re bound to keep on driving. It’s what we do. We, at least, sit in the parking lot or drive-way of our house and, maybe, go that extra mile just to hear these intros (and songs). We do it because we know that the song is going to be good. It’s worth listening to because the intro gives us that right.
It’s the “hook” to the beginning of the song. Sometimes we learn how to play only that part of the song! These songs are known to give guitarists this effect, especially when we can’t play the guitar, although, we’ll learn the intros. (When it comes to those introduction guitar riffs or leads, it’s worth it.
Nevertheless, these intros are what make the song which have gone down in rock and roll history. They’re in our iPods, our ring-tones, our computer music data files and what’s more we either grew up with them, or our parents did. These are the most famous guitar intros in rock-and-roll history.

RUSH “Spirit of the Radio”


– This song came out in 1980 on the Permanent Waves album. You hear the guitarist, Alex Lifeson, play his famous intro, and you just know you’re about to rock! This guitar lick is actually an easy one to play if you know how to do hammer-ons and pull-offs. The intro is “the spirit” of the song and one of the most famous guitar intros in rock and roll history. If you can follow the major opening guitar lick throughout the introduction, you’ll quickly notice it’s repetitive. With that said, the finger on top of the fretboard quickly repeats itself with hammer-ons and pull-offs and then suddenly to an open E and then goes into the main riff.

Black Sabbath “Ironman”


– The Ironman song which was released on the Paranoid album in 1970 is a memorable song with an unforgettable intro. It was that particular intro that made the song. A “killer bend” of the low E string down about 1/4 fret on the 1st fret of the fretboard is all it took to get this sound. Actually, in the beginning, even before the chorus is sung, it begins with a slow and drawn out low sounding E and sustained. Then Ozzy sings “I AM IRON MAN” which is repeated in a low octave voice from that E note bended, twice. It’s considered epic to most Sabbath fans. It’s that low sounding main riff that comes out and then into the song. It’s considered one of the pinnacle guitar faves and one of the hallmark’s of Black Sabbath’s all time piece’s played by guitarist Tony Iommi’s groan-style introductions to Sabbaths songs.

Led Zeppelin “Stairway To Heaven”

– Naturally, the beginning of this song was taught to every classical guitar student in America. It almost felt as if it was required to learn if you were a student of classical guitar, especially the intro. The intro was in fact what most of the “wanna-be” guitarists would want to learn how to play first before any other rock song. It really didn’t matter about the rest of it, it’s that intro that grabbed our attention. It’s the most memorable part and so delicately played by Jimmy Page released in 1971.

Nirvana “Smells like Teen Spirit”


– You have to have this one on the list because nobody can’t deny this on the list of the most famous guitar intros in music. It’s what made every one want to jump up and down when they saw the video for the first time in the beginning of the nineties. Kurt Cobain playing this was so awesome and teens loved it. What were they saying anyway? Who cares? The music is what counted with this riff at the intro of this music.

Metallica “Battery”


– It’s the all-time most famous guitar intro because it starts nice and sweet and then hell breaks loose and Kirk Hammet introduces the audience with a mean old fast riff which is spell-binding. It’s an all-time favorite and lasts awhile too! All metal fans love it and they bang their head at concerts, in their cars, at work, or alone at home while listening to it! One of the most famous Metallica songs and one of the most hen Metallica plays this song, on average they will play it first at their live concerts. When they went on the “Master of Puppets” tour, it was either this one or “Master of Puppets” which is on everyone’s top metal song list, no doubt. The thing about Battery it starts so fast, you automatically want to start playing air guitar and head-bang, or go into a mosh pit. The crunching sound of this riff is the best! It’s all strumming by Hammet’s and James Hetfield’s guitar playing is the main music element that pack that punch for the entire song with Lars Ulrich at his drums double bassing away and followed by no other than Cliff Burton with his head down low, as well as his Richenbacher bass and him finger tapping at a fast rate of speed. All four together playing this thrash song which was the first song of the Master of Puppets album is one reason why it’s one of the most famous guitar intros in music, especially hard rock and metal.

Iron Maiden “Trooper”


– “You take my life and I’ll take yours too!” is the beginning of this song and metal maniacs cry it out at all the Iron Maiden concerts with such emotions. This is undeniably one of the most famous guitar intros in music. Again war and shedding blood for land and honor is what the Iron Maiden fans will get. It was on the fourth album which released in June 1983. Being the second single on this album, “Piece of Mind”, it was heard on the radio in the U.K. (at No. 12) and in the U.S. (at No. 28). It has potential to be the best of all time in guitar intros. When Maiden played it on tour, it’s this song that people wait for to hear. Then everyone goes crazy even though it’s another song about blood, war, country, and honor, it’s the intro that makes this the most famous guitar intros in music history.

Ozzy Osbourne “Crazy Train”


– Ozzy really let loose when he split from Black Sabbath. This is one of the most famous guitar intros in rock and roll and metal music because of the guitarist. When Osbourne went solo, and then meeting up with the gifted and talented axe-man Randy Rhoads, how can you not have this duo as on the list. Without Rhoads, this intro wouldn’t be in existence. The first single in the album began a riveting ride to the beginning of the song with Ozzy laughing loud and Rhoads coming in with a guitar slide and strumming the main riff in the first 15 seconds of the song. The first single in Ozzy’s first debut album, “Blizzard of Oz”, stayed in top of the charts for awhile when it was released in 1980. Rhoads, Ozzy, and Bob Daisley wrote it. Both, chords and leads have confessing lyrics. Rhoad’s finger-mixing scales and riffs also pulls this song together making it one the best in guitar intros of all time. What do you expect during the Reagonomic years? It kept Ozzy fans’ ears and eyes on his band for decades to come.

Here’s some other with famous guitar intros:

  1. Slayer “Raining Blood”
  2. Dio “Holy Diver”
  3. Metallica “Sanitarium”
  4. Anthrax “Caught in a Mosh”

Finally, when these guitarists play these most famous intros live, you know exactly what song is about to be played, even if it’s only the teaser-notes or that one G chord strummed. Again, it’s embedded in our memory-bank even when we’re not musically-inclined.
We play air-guitar as we hear these intros as if know each and every finger pick or hammer-on, but that’s publically okay since everyone seems to “want to play it.”

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