rock guitarist playing guitar intro

These 10 best rock guitar intros of all time are instantly recognizable.

They feature a magic combination of notes that introduce some of Rock’s greatest classics. 

These riffs are performed by some of the greatest guitarists in history. Moreover, these intros are thought in music lessons all over the world, and they have stood the test of time with flying colors. 

Besides sharing these incredible intros, we’d also like you to check out Roadie Coach. This is a tool that attaches to your guitar and works with a comprehensive app. Coach allows you to record your performances, document your progress, and can give you personalized feedback on your practice sessions.

With no further ado, here are the 10 best rock guitar intros of all time.

Stairway to Heaven 

Jimi Page tapped into something seemingly otherwordly when he wrote this intro. With a beautiful fingerstyle pattern that features changing chords on a descending bass, this intro is just gorgeous.

Stairway to Heaven is among rock’s greatest anthems, and it made Led Zeppelin’s myth grow even further. Not particularly easy to play, this intro is worth the effort.  One of the best rock guitar intros ever.

(I can’t get no) Satisfaction

Keith Richards created one of the most enduring intros in rock n roll history when composed these iconic two bars of music. Released in 1965, “(I can’t get no) Satisfaction” is one of the biggest rock classics by arguably the biggest band in history: the Rolling Stones. The intro sets up a killer and memorable riff that has transcended generations and continues to be a fan favorite to this day. 

Smoke on the Water

This is arguably the greatest rock intro in history. Written by the mythical Ritchie Blackmore and released in 1973, this intro is among the most learned in guitar lessons across the world.

Smoke on the Water is the most famous Deep Purple song and its killer intro riff is composed of a straightforward series of power chords. This song first hit the airwaves half a century ago and continues to be popular among young players. 

Back in Black

This is a punchy intro by the incredible Angus Young. With a few power chords and two licks, it belongs to AC/DC’s most famous song and album, also named Back in Black. With over 50 million copies sold, this intro and song are required material for any cover rock act. 

It features a powerful distortion effect and delivers a nice balance of dirt and catchiness. 

Smells Like Teen Spirit

This is the intro that set in motion a massive change in the music industry back in 1991. With just a few palm muted bar chords by Kurt Cobain the grunge, rock revolution took place, and moved the epicenter of the music industry to Seattle for a few years. 

Smells Like Tee Spirit is the most recognizable song and riff by Nirvana, and one of the rock anthems that defined an entire generation.

Whole Lotta Love

Jimmy Page wrote this riff in the late sixties and it still resonates profoundly today. It helped make Led Zepellin, one of the greatest Rock bands ever (the greatest, according to many). Recorded in 1969, this riff and song remain one of the most learned. Even though Led Zepellin is a riff mine, “Whole Lotta Love” displays the power and finesse of one of the greatest guitar players ever: Jimmy Page. 

Sweet Child O’ Mine

This killer intro was composed by guitar hero Slash by just fooling around with his guitar while waiting for rehearsal to start. Drummer Steven Adler hear it and asked the Guns N Roses legend to keep playing, and the entire band got inspired by it. 

The intro for Sweet Child O’ Mine is an absolute classic, and still the most recognized bit of this legendary band’s popular catalog of songs. “Sweet Child O’ Mine” was released in 1987 and became Guns N’ Roses’ biggest hit and a classic rock anthem. For some, this is an unarguable choice for 10 best rock guitar intros of all time.

Purple Haze

Purple Haze features a killer intro riff that has become a guitar player’s must-know lick. Covered by plenty of guitar heroes long after it was released in 1967 by Jimi Hendrix, “Purple Haze” is a bonified classic. 

This riff is also often the gateway to developing stronger skills as a guitarist and a nice introduction to the guitar works of Hendrix. As hard as it is to pick a best rock guitar intros from Hendrix’s large catalog, Purple Haze is a good choice.

Iron Man

This definitive song by Black Sabbath features the accompanying eternal intro by the amazing Tommy Iommi. It is arguably the best-known Heavy Metal riff in history. 

The intro to this song is also the main vocal melody line, and is still quite popular today, five decades after it was released. The Iron Man intro is also very popular in guitar lessons as it is relatively easy and keeps on happening throughout the entire song. 

Enter Sandman

Kirk Hammett and James Hetfield were in full form when they came up with this. This riff is incredible yet simple. This intro took Metallica’s music into the mainstream in the early 90s and is still a fan favorite today. 

This intro is also must-learn material for many guitar players. To this day, it is one of the most recognizable bits of music in metal history. It is not easy, but with practice and some patience, it can be mastered.

These 10 best rock guitar intros of all time have transcended generations. They set a mood and have you hooked on the song from the start. Some of these intros are harder than others to play. That said they are worthy of your attention and efforts.

So take the time to check them out if you still haven’t and go beyond and find other intros that you love. Better yet, learn a few. Remember to have fun!