With its haunting lyrics and iconic guitar work, Hotel California by the Eagles remains one of the most enduring and mysterious rock songs ever. The guitar solos are among the most memorable parts of the track, which has led to decades of speculation over who exactly played them.

If you’re short on time, here’s the quick answer: According to the Eagles and the album credits, Don Felder and Joe Walsh played the twin guitar solos in Hotel California.

The Great Guitar Duel

One of the most iconic guitar solos in rock history can be found in the song “Hotel California” by the Eagles. The question that has long intrigued fans and musicians alike is: Who played that epic guitar solo?

The answer is not as straightforward as one might think, as it involves a unique guitar duel between two talented musicians.

Felder and Walsh share lead guitar duties

Don Felder and Joe Walsh, both renowned guitarists in their own right, were responsible for the electrifying guitar work in “Hotel California.” Don Felder, a member of the Eagles since 1974, had already made a name for himself as a skilled guitarist.

Joe Walsh, on the other hand, joined the band in 1975 and brought his own distinctive style to the table.

When it came time to record the guitar solos for “Hotel California,” Felder and Walsh decided to collaborate and create something truly special. They each took turns playing different sections of the solo, seamlessly blending their unique styles and techniques.

Dueling guitar solos became a signature

The decision to have dueling guitar solos in “Hotel California” was a stroke of genius. It added a dynamic and captivating element to the song, elevating it to legendary status. The interplay between Felder and Walsh’s guitars created a rich and textured sound that resonated with audiences around the world.

Since its release in 1976, “Hotel California” has become one of the Eagles’ most beloved and recognizable songs. The guitar solos have become a signature part of the song, captivating listeners with their intricate melodies and emotional depth.

Both claim credit for the solos

Despite the collaborative nature of the guitar solos in “Hotel California,” there has been some debate over who should be credited with playing the iconic solo. Don Felder has often been credited as the primary guitarist on the song, as he came up with the initial idea for the solo and played the first half of it.

However, Joe Walsh has also claimed credit for playing a significant portion of the solo, adding his own unique flair.

Ultimately, the guitar solos in “Hotel California” are a testament to the incredible talent and creativity of both Don Felder and Joe Walsh. Their collaboration and musical prowess resulted in a guitar duel that has stood the test of time and continues to captivate audiences to this day.

Setting the Record Straight

For decades, fans of the iconic rock band, The Eagles, have been debating the identity of the guitarist responsible for the unforgettable guitar solo in their hit song “Hotel California.” While rumors and speculation have run rampant, recent evidence has finally shed light on the truth behind this musical mystery.

1976 recording credits name Felder and Walsh

According to the official recording credits for “Hotel California,” both Don Felder and Joe Walsh are listed as guitarists. This has been a widely accepted fact since the song’s release in 1976. Don Felder, a longtime member of The Eagles, is often credited with playing the opening acoustic guitar arpeggios, while Joe Walsh is believed to have taken over for the iconic solo that captivates listeners.

Confirmation in band memoirs and interviews

Further confirmation of this division of guitar duties can be found in memoirs and interviews with members of The Eagles. Don Felder himself has spoken about his contribution to the song’s guitar work, while Joe Walsh has also acknowledged his role in creating the epic solo.

Their accounts align with the official recording credits and provide additional evidence of their respective contributions.

Confusion stems from mix of styles

Despite the clarity provided by the recording credits and band members’ statements, confusion regarding the guitar solo in “Hotel California” continues to persist. This can be attributed to the fact that both Felder and Walsh have distinct styles and techniques that are showcased throughout the song.

The transition between their guitar parts is seamless, leading some listeners to mistakenly believe that it was a single guitarist playing the entire solo.

It is worth noting that the blending of styles and the seamless transition between guitarists is a testament to the skill and musicality of both Don Felder and Joe Walsh. Their collaboration on “Hotel California” resulted in a masterpiece that has stood the test of time and continues to captivate audiences around the world.

For more information on The Eagles and their music, visit their official website https://www.eagles.com.

Behind the Scenes of the Recording

When it comes to the iconic guitar solo in “Hotel California,” the story behind its creation is just as legendary as the solo itself. Let’s take a peek behind the scenes and uncover the mystery of who played this epic guitar solo.

Origins of Felder’s initial guitar part

Don Felder, one of the guitarists for the Eagles, initially came up with the haunting guitar arpeggio that sets the tone for “Hotel California.” Inspired by his love for flamenco music, Felder wanted to create a unique sound that would transport listeners to a different world.

Little did he know that this simple guitar part would become the foundation for one of the greatest rock songs of all time.

According to Felder, the idea for the iconic guitar part came to him while he was playing around with a 12-string acoustic guitar in his Malibu beach house. He experimented with different chord progressions until he stumbled upon the now-famous opening sequence.

The haunting melody captured the attention of his bandmates, and they knew they had something special on their hands.

Walsh came up with complementary solo

While Felder’s guitar part laid the groundwork for “Hotel California,” it was Joe Walsh who took the solo to the next level. Walsh, known for his incredible guitar skills and unique style, was invited to join the Eagles during the recording of the album.

His addition to the band brought a fresh perspective and a new level of creativity.

During the recording sessions, Walsh was given the opportunity to create a complementary guitar solo that would enhance the overall feel of the song. Drawing from his blues and rock influences, Walsh crafted a solo that perfectly complemented the haunting atmosphere of “Hotel California.”

His guitar work added an extra layer of emotion and intensity to the already captivating track.

Parts edited together in final mix

Once both Felder and Walsh had recorded their respective guitar solos, it was up to the production team to bring everything together in the final mix. The challenge was to seamlessly blend these two distinct solos into a cohesive and memorable piece of music.

Through careful editing and arrangement, the production team successfully merged Felder’s initial guitar part with Walsh’s complementary solo. The result was a guitar solo that showcased the individual talents of both guitarists while creating a cohesive and unforgettable musical moment.

So, who played the epic guitar solo in “Hotel California”? The answer is a combination of Don Felder and Joe Walsh. Their collaboration and creative contributions transformed a simple guitar arpeggio into one of the most iconic guitar solos in rock history.

The Guitars and Gear Used

When it comes to the iconic guitar solo in “Hotel California,” the mystery lies in who actually played it. However, the guitars and gear used in the recording of this legendary track are no secret. Let’s take a closer look at the instruments and equipment that contributed to the creation of this unforgettable solo.

Felder’s Gibson and Fender guitars

Don Felder, one of the guitarists for the Eagles, played a crucial role in crafting the guitar solo in “Hotel California.” Felder used a combination of Gibson and Fender guitars to achieve his signature sound. One of his go-to guitars for this solo was a Gibson Les Paul.

Known for its warm and rich tone, the Les Paul provided the perfect foundation for Felder’s melodic lines. Additionally, Felder also utilized a Fender Stratocaster for certain sections of the solo, adding a distinctive twang and bite to the overall sound.

Walsh’s setup with Les Paul and Marshall

Joe Walsh, another talented guitarist in the Eagles, also contributed to the guitar solo in “Hotel California.” Walsh brought his unique style and tone to the mix, using a combination of a Gibson Les Paul and Marshall amplifier.

The Les Paul, known for its versatility and sustain, allowed Walsh to deliver powerful and expressive phrases. Paired with a Marshall amp, Walsh was able to achieve a rich and dynamic sound that cut through the mix and captivated listeners.

Effects and amps create signature tone

While the choice of guitars played a significant role in shaping the guitar solo, the effects and amplifiers used were equally important in achieving the signature tone of “Hotel California.” Both Felder and Walsh utilized various effects pedals to add depth and texture to their sound.

Effects such as delay, reverb, and overdrive were employed to create the haunting and atmospheric atmosphere that defines this iconic solo. Amps like the Marshall Plexi and Fender Twin Reverb were also integral in delivering the powerful and distinct guitar tones heard throughout the track.

Impact on Rock Guitar Legend

The epic guitar solo in Hotel California has had a profound impact on the world of rock guitar. Widely recognized as one of the greatest solos of all time, it has solidified its place in music history.

Ranked among the greatest solos of all time

The guitar solo in Hotel California is often ranked among the top guitar solos of all time by music critics, fans, and fellow musicians. Its intricate melodies, technical prowess, and emotional intensity have captivated listeners for decades.

It’s no wonder that aspiring guitarists often strive to learn and master this iconic solo.

Influenced generations of guitarists

The solo in Hotel California has had a significant influence on generations of guitarists. Many guitar players have cited it as a source of inspiration and have sought to incorporate its style and techniques into their own playing.

The solo’s combination of tasteful phrasing, melodic hooks, and blistering speed has set the bar high for guitarists seeking to make their mark in the rock genre.

Key part of the song’s mysterious allure

The guitar solo in Hotel California plays a crucial role in the song’s mysterious allure. Its hauntingly beautiful melody and the way it perfectly complements the lyrics contribute to the overall atmosphere of the song.

The solo’s subtle shifts in dynamics and its ability to evoke a range of emotions make it an integral part of the song’s lasting appeal.


While Hotel California is packed with nuanced guitar work, the definitive evidence indicates the blistering solos were performed by Don Felder and Joe Walsh. Their back-and-forth exchange stands as one of the most iconic in rock history. Even over 40 years later, the dueling solos continue to inspire new generations of guitarists and add to the timeless appeal of the Eagles’ masterpiece.

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