Hotel California - Premium Membership
There is probably no other rock guitar solo that is played with such frequency, known and loved by musicians and non-musicians alike as the signature solo to 'Hotel California' by The Eagles. Voted the number one guitar solo of all-time & the number one 12 string guitar song of all-time it has surely entrenched itself in the guitar scene since it was first written almost 40 years ago in 1976/77. The song was composed in Malibu by Don Felder - lead guitarist and song writer extraordinaire for The Eagles from their beginnings until 2001.
Interesting stories surrounding the song
- The song was actually recorded on 3 separate occasions
- The original key was E minor but it was lowered to B minor to suit Henley's voice
- The studio version that we know has a total of 33 editing cuts
- Joe Walsh and Don Felder spent 3 days in the studio working on perfecting the solo
- Both Felder and Walsh wanted to improvise the solo but upon Henley's insistence they stuck to the original demo recording made my Felder in Malibu (thankfully!)
- Henley urged that the song should be released as a single
- The lyrics are based upon a trip by the band to LA and their experiences with the 'scene' in Hollywood
The song is in the key of B minor with the chorus modulating to the relative D major. Here's the progression:
Bm F# A E G D Em F#
i V II VII VI III iv V
I actually sing this song too but I've lowered the key to A minor to suit my voice.
I'll Teach You How To Play It!
I've also got two tutorials that teach you how to play this solo using an acoustic guitar. There are of course a few differences with most of them being substituting slides for bends. I've done this because it's just too difficult to bend strings on an acoustic in some instances. In my mind it gives the solo a nice flavour and it works really well with none of the original notes being lost.
Let your fingers fly!