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List: Top Ten Guitar Riffs of all time

Date: November 2009


Base: More than 5,000 MusicRadar users took part in the poll.

Notes: The link above will take you to a run-down of the top 25 riffs. Jimi's Voodoo Chile (Slight Return) came top. We also have a list from a 2004 poll by Total Guitar magazine where readers also voted for their favourite guitar riff of all time. In that poll Jimi came 9th and Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns n Roses came top.

Editor-in-chief Mike Goldsmith said: "Nearly 40 years after his untimely death, Jimi Hendrix is still the undisputed heavyweight champion of rock guitar. Of the current generation of six-string stars, only Jack White of The White Stripes and Muse frontman Matt Bellamy feature in the higher echelons of our list. No surprise given both Bellamy and White share - or have inherited - Hendrix's unique blend of experimental instincts and white-knuckle showmanship."

Rank / Riff


1. Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)

Jimi Hendrix

2. Sweet Child O' Mine

Guns N' Roses

3. Whole Lotta Love

Led Zeppelin

4. Smoke On The Water

Deep Purple

5. Layla

Derek & The Dominoes/Eric Clapton

6. Back In Black


7. Enter Sandman


8. The Beatles

Day Tripper

9. Smells Like Teen Spirit


10. (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction

The Rolling Stones

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