The Eagles’ 1976 smash hit Hotel California features one of the most iconic guitar solos in rock history. As the song fades out, an emotive, extended guitar solo takes center stage. But who played this legendary solo that has puzzled and captivated listeners for decades?

Let’s take a deep dive into unlocking the mystery behind the Hotel California outro guitar solo.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: The guitar solo at the end of Hotel California was played by Don Felder and Joe Walsh, with the two Eagles guitarists trading off licks back and forth.

Don Felder Wrote the Initial Hotel California Guitar Parts

As the composer of the music for Hotel California, Don Felder originated the initial guitar parts, including the fingerpicked intro and the dueling guitar melodies. Felder crafted the foundations of the guitar solo as well.

Don Felder’s contribution to the iconic guitar solo on Hotel California cannot be overstated. As a member of the Eagles, Felder was not only a talented guitarist but also a skilled composer. He played a crucial role in shaping the sound of the song, particularly with his innovative guitar playing.

The fingerpicked intro of Hotel California is instantly recognizable and sets the tone for the entire song. Felder’s intricate and melodic playing creates a haunting atmosphere that draws listeners in.

The intro serves as a perfect introduction to the story being told in the lyrics, capturing the essence of the hotel and its mysterious allure.

In addition to the intro, Felder also contributed to the dueling guitar melodies that define the latter part of the song. These intertwining guitar lines create a sense of tension and build up to the epic guitar solo.

Felder’s ability to seamlessly blend his playing with that of his bandmate Joe Walsh is a testament to his musical prowess.

When it comes to the guitar solo itself, Felder’s influence is undeniable. While the solo was ultimately a collaborative effort between Felder and Joe Walsh, it was Felder who laid down the initial groundwork.

His distinctive playing style and innovative use of techniques such as vibrato and bending helped shape the solo into the masterpiece that it is.

It’s important to note that while Don Felder’s contributions to Hotel California are significant, the song as a whole is a collective effort by the Eagles. Each member brought their own unique talents and ideas to the table, resulting in a truly timeless and unforgettable piece of music.

Joe Walsh Joined to Improvise the Extended Guitar Outro

The framework Don Felder created laid the groundwork for the epic guitar solo on Hotel California. However, it was Joe Walsh who joined the band and contributed his own improvised guitar licks over the outro, taking the solo to new heights.

Walsh’s unique style and musicality added a fresh and dynamic element to the song, creating a mesmerizing interplay between the two guitarists.

The Interplay Between Felder and Walsh

When Joe Walsh joined the Eagles in 1975, he brought his own distinct flavor to the band’s sound. The extended guitar outro on Hotel California became the perfect playground for Walsh’s improvisational skills.

As Felder played the main solo, Walsh seamlessly weaved in and out with his own improvised licks, creating a musical conversation that captivated listeners.

This interplay between Felder and Walsh became a defining feature of the song, showcasing their incredible chemistry and musical prowess. Their ability to complement each other’s playing and create a seamless back-and-forth guitar line added an extra layer of complexity and excitement to the already iconic track.

The Role of Producer Bill Szymczyk

Producer Bill Szymczyk played a crucial role in shaping the guitar solo on Hotel California. As the recording sessions progressed, Szymczyk saw the potential for something extraordinary and decided to splice together different takes to create the seamless back-and-forth guitar line between Felder and Walsh.

This decision turned out to be a stroke of genius, as it allowed the solo to flow effortlessly and maintain a sense of spontaneity. The seamless transitions between Felder and Walsh’s guitar parts gave the impression that they were engaged in a live jam session, adding to the overall energy and impact of the solo.

It is worth noting that the guitar solo on Hotel California has become one of the most iconic and recognizable in rock music history. Its combination of technical skill, emotion, and improvisation has cemented its place as a masterpiece that continues to captivate and inspire guitarists and music lovers alike.

To learn more about the making of Hotel California and the guitar solo, you can visit

The Two Guitarists Expertly Play Off Each Other

One of the defining features of the iconic guitar solo on Hotel California is the seamless interaction between Don Felder and Joe Walsh. These two guitar virtuosos expertly play off each other, creating a musical conversation that captivates listeners and adds depth to the solo.

Listen closely and you can hear Felder and Walsh distinctly responding to each other’s riffs in a coordinated musical conversation.

If you listen closely to the solo, you can hear Felder and Walsh engaging in a musical back-and-forth. They skillfully respond to each other’s riffs, creating a dynamic dialogue that adds a layer of complexity to the solo.

It’s almost as if they are having a conversation through their guitars, with one guitarist responding to the other’s musical phrases and ideas.

This interplay between Felder and Walsh showcases their incredible musical chemistry and ability to anticipate each other’s moves. It’s like a dance between two musicians, where they effortlessly move in sync with each other, enhancing the overall musical experience.

The two guitarists alternate playing the main melodic phrases, with complementary improvised licks in between.

Another fascinating aspect of the guitar solo on Hotel California is the way Felder and Walsh take turns playing the main melodic phrases. They seamlessly pass the musical baton to each other, creating a sense of continuity and variation throughout the solo.

While one guitarist plays the main melody, the other adds complementary improvised licks in between. This give-and-take approach adds an element of surprise and excitement to the solo, keeping the listeners engaged and enthralled.

It’s a testament to the creativity and skill of both guitarists, as they seamlessly blend their individual styles and techniques to create a cohesive and unforgettable guitar solo.

This intricate interplay between Felder and Walsh is what sets the guitar solo on Hotel California apart from others. It’s a testament to the magic that can happen when two talented musicians come together and create something truly extraordinary.

Duelling Guitars Creates a Unique Sound

One of the standout features of the epic guitar solo on Hotel California is the dynamic interplay between the two lead guitarists, Don Felder and Joe Walsh. Having dual lead guitars trading off creates a unique sound that sets this solo apart from others.

The outro solo on Hotel California is known for its soaring melodies, intricate harmonies, and blistering speed.

Having dual lead guitars trading off makes Hotel California’s outro solo sound bigger and more lively.

When two talented guitarists collaborate on a solo, the result is a sonic masterpiece. In the case of Hotel California, the use of dual lead guitars creates a sense of depth and richness that a single guitar alone couldn’t achieve.

The guitars weave in and out of each other, creating a musical conversation that captivates listeners and keeps them engaged throughout the solo. This trading off of guitar parts adds layers of complexity and adds to the overall excitement of the solo.

The interplay between Felder and Walsh gives the solo an energy that a single guitar couldn’t achieve.

The combination of Don Felder and Joe Walsh’s guitar prowess is a key factor in the success of the Hotel California solo. Both guitarists bring their own unique styles and techniques to the table, creating a fascinating blend of sounds.

Felder’s melodic approach and Walsh’s fiery playing complement each other perfectly, resulting in a solo that is both technically impressive and emotionally impactful. The energy and chemistry between the two guitarists are palpable, and it’s this interplay that gives the solo its signature sound.

For more information on the Hotel California guitar solo and its impact on rock music, you can check out the official Eagles website at

The Solo Culminates the Song Perfectly

This back-and-forth guitar jam was the perfect way to end the 6-minute rock epic.

When it comes to iconic guitar solos, few can compare to the legendary masterpiece that graces the end of “Hotel California.” This back-and-forth guitar jam between Don Felder and Joe Walsh is a true testament to the artistry and skill of these two guitar virtuosos.

The solo serves as the climactic finale to the song, leaving listeners in awe of the sheer talent and creativity displayed.

As the song builds up to this moment, the tension is palpable. The haunting lyrics and mesmerizing melody have already captivated the audience, but it is the guitar solo that takes it to another level.

The intricate interplay between Felder and Walsh creates a dynamic and electrifying experience, with each musician pushing the other to new heights.

Not only does the solo showcase technical prowess, but it also tells a story. The guitarists engage in a musical conversation, trading licks and melodies, creating a call-and-response dynamic. This musical dialogue adds a layer of complexity and depth to the solo, making it more than just a series of impressive guitar riffs.

Moreover, the solo’s placement at the end of the song is no accident. It serves as the culmination of the entire track, bringing together all the musical elements that make “Hotel California” so iconic.

The solo acts as a crescendo, building up the tension before finally releasing it in a flurry of soaring notes and fiery guitar playing.

The soaring emotive guitars bring Hotel California to an epic, memorable close befitting the song’s mystique and grandeur.

The soaring and emotive guitars in the solo of “Hotel California” are what truly make it unforgettable. The combination of Felder and Walsh’s distinct playing styles creates a sonic landscape that is both mesmerizing and powerful.

Throughout the solo, the guitars weave in and out of each other, creating a tapestry of sound that is both intricate and cohesive. The emotional depth of the guitar playing is palpable, evoking a wide range of feelings in the listener.

From moments of melancholy to bursts of pure joy, the guitars take the audience on a rollercoaster ride of emotions.

Furthermore, the solo perfectly captures the essence of the song’s mystique and grandeur. “Hotel California” is known for its enigmatic lyrics and haunting melody, and the solo mirrors these qualities.

The intricate guitar lines and soaring melodies create an otherworldly atmosphere, transporting the listener to the mysterious world that the song evokes.


So while Don Felder came up with the initial foundation, Joe Walsh added his flair leading to the seamless guitar call-and-response that made the Hotel California solo so iconic. The duelling Felder-Walsh guitars capture the imagination of listeners, closing out the song in spectacular fashion and proving two guitars are better than one.

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