Famous Guitarists on ‘Beat It

Hey, have you ever wondered who played guitar on Michael Jackson’s iconic song “Beat It”? Well, let me tell you all about the famous guitarists who left their mark on this unforgettable track.

One of the guitar legends who lent their skills to “Beat It” was none other than Eddie Van Halen. Known for his technical wizardry and innovative playing style, Van Halen’s guitar solo on the song is legendary. His incredible speed and precision captivated fans and solidified his status as one of the greatest guitarists of all time.

Another renowned guitarist who made his mark on “Beat It” was Steve Lukather, best known as a member of the band Toto. Lukather’s melodic and soulful playing perfectly complemented the song’s pop sensibility, adding a unique flavor to the track. His memorable guitar riffs and tasteful solos contributed to the overall success and timeless appeal of “Beat It.” So next time you listen to this iconic song, remember the incredible talents of these famous guitarists who helped make it a true masterpiece.


When it comes to the iconic song “Beat It,” the guitar work undoubtedly played a crucial role in shaping its timeless sound. This article delves into the talented guitarists who contributed their skills to this legendary track. From the blistering solos to the infectious riffs, these musicians left an indelible mark on the history of rock and pop music.

Overview of the Song ‘Beat It’

“Beat It” is a track from Michael Jackson’s groundbreaking album, “Thriller,” released in 1982. This fusion of rock and pop with a hint of R&B propelled the song to new heights of popularity, ultimately becoming one of the most recognized and beloved songs of all time. The guitar-centric nature of “Beat It” helped bridge the gap between different genres, captivating listeners worldwide.

Background on the Guitarists

Several remarkable guitarists enriched the sonic landscape of “Beat It.” Each artist brought their unique style and technical prowess to the song, contributing to its incredible depth and musicality. Let’s explore the impactful contributions of these iconic musicians.

Famous Guitarists on Beat It

Eddie Van Halen

Eddie Van Halen, the renowned guitar virtuoso and co-founder of the band Van Halen, showcased his unparalleled skills on “Beat It.” Born in the Netherlands and raised in California, Eddie’s early exposure to music sparked a lifelong passion. His collaboration with Michael Jackson on “Beat It” elevated the song’s energy and added an electrifying guitar solo that still inspires guitarists today. Eddie’s innovative techniques and trademark tapping revolutionized the way guitarists approached the instrument.

Steve Lukather

Steve Lukather, recognized as one of the most prolific session guitarists, proved instrumental in shaping the sound of “Beat It.” Lukather’s ability to seamlessly navigate between different musical styles made him a sought-after musician in the industry. His contributions to the song, whether through the powerful rhythm guitars or soaring melodic lines, added a layer of complexity and depth. Lukather’s dynamic playing and versatility brought a unique flavor to “Beat It.”

Famous Guitarists on Beat It

Randy Rhoads

The late Randy Rhoads, famed for his work with Ozzy Osbourne, lent his exceptional guitar skills to “Beat It.” Rhoads, known for his virtuosity and classical influences, delivered a captivating guitar solo on the song. His technical mastery and innovative approach to playing set him apart from his contemporaries. Tragically, Rhoads’ life ended prematurely, but his legacy lives on through his revolutionary guitar playing, notably showcased in his contribution to “Beat It.”

Famous Guitarists on Beat It

Neal Schon

Neal Schon, the formidable guitarist behind the rock band Journey, also left his mark on “Beat It.” Schon’s melodic sensibilities and fluid playing style perfectly complemented the song’s composition. With impeccable phrasing and precision, his guitar work added texture to the already dynamic track. Schon’s genre-defying talents allowed him to create magical moments, ultimately enhancing the overall impact of “Beat It.”

Famous Guitarists on Beat It

George Lynch

As the guitarist for Dokken, George Lynch brought his distinctive style to “Beat It.” Known for his intricate guitar licks and fierce playing, Lynch added a level of intensity to the song. His contributions, particularly in the form of blistering solos, elevated the energy of “Beat It” to new heights. Lynch’s influence can be heard not only through his performance in the song but also in his successful solo career, making him a true force to be reckoned with in the world of guitar.

Famous Guitarists on Beat It

Richie Sambora

Richie Sambora, the talented guitarist for Bon Jovi, left his indelible mark on “Beat It.” Sambora’s ability to infuse soulful melodies with powerful riffs perfectly complemented the song’s thematic and musical style. His guitar-playing prowess enhanced the emotional depth of “Beat It” and helped solidify its place in music history. Sambora’s contributions to the song stand as a testament to his exceptional skills and songwriting abilities.


“Beat It” remains an iconic song that seamlessly fused rock, pop, and R&B, captivating audiences across generations. The guitar work on this track, thanks to the skilled musicians who lent their talents, continues to inspire and influence aspiring guitarists worldwide. Whether it was Eddie Van Halen’s groundbreaking solos, Steve Lukather’s versatile playing, or the unique contributions of Randy Rhoads, Neal Schon, George Lynch, and Richie Sambora, their collective efforts made “Beat It” a timeless masterpiece. Through their exceptional skill, these guitarists shaped the course of music history and left an enduring legacy that continues to resonate with fans of all ages.

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