Eddie Van Halen was the guitarist behind some of the biggest riffs in rock music. Revered by his peers as much as by Van Halen’s own fans, he was a virtuoso who pioneered a number of wild new techniques. “Eddie put the smile back in rock guitar at a time when it was all getting a bit broody,” fellow guitar legend Joe Satriani said in 2015. “He also scared the hell out of a million guitarists because he was so damn good.”
To pay tribute to Van Halen’s innovation, and to celebrate the guitar gods who came before and after, we’ve ranked 15 of our favourite ever guitar riffs.