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Hardest Maiden song to play?

Discussion in 'Musicians Discussion' started by Mega, Feb 1, 2010.

  1. SinisterMinisterX

    SinisterMinisterX Illuminatus Staff Member

    Hackett first recorded tapping in 1971, and I think the first Kiss album was 1973. Hackett also used a pick.
  2. Mosh

    Mosh The years just pass like trains Staff Member

    First KISS was 1973. Of course they were playing club shows before that though. But technically Steve Hackett did it first.
  3. Crimson Idol

    Crimson Idol Caveman

    Warning: this topic has not been posted in for at least 60 days.
    Unless you're sure you want to reply, please consider starting a new topic.

    Yes, I don't have enough reason to start a new discussion as the topic is practically identical!

    ... Hardest riff for me to play is the 2nd one in Back in the Village (excluding solo's, I can't do 99% of them  :(), I can do the intro one okay, tad sloppy in the sense of catching the odd off string every now and then but it's there. After that, hmm I don't know. I don't really struggle with any of the rhythm/harmonies, just solo's and the uber fast stuff (The fast bit in 22AA is pretty tough for me).

    I've been playing guitar just short of 6 years and generally put a lot of time in, I made it a rule for about 3 years to play minimum 2hours a day. However I have never had a lesson, know no theory or scales or things like keys/notes, cant play by ear (although I can hear when somethings wrong so I guess I could get there if I set my midn to it). Basically I learnt by putting on guitar pro and playing along to the tabs, I've never done the whole slowing it down and gradually working up.. which I guess is why I suck at solo's (that and advanced positioning of my fingers). Don't know none of these fancy sweep picking, my left hand just isn't fast enough.

    As with a lot of things in my life I kinda feel "I've put in the effort and worked hard, I feel like I deserve it to work for once!!" .. then I read about people like Neal Schon, who picked up a guitar at 15 and was in Santana's band before his 16th birthday... and it makes me feel extremely poor :p
  4. Sara

    Sara Not even Wensleydale?

    The intro/main riff of "Back In The Village" is definitely the hardest riff of Maiden's to play. And the only one that has given me any significant problems whilst learning it. Playing the right notes isn't too difficult, but playing them smoothly and cleanly is difficult.
  5. Crimson Idol

    Crimson Idol Caveman

    The riff I can't do is the one starting at around 8second mark, the one before that I can do - although a tad messy.
  6. Sara

    Sara Not even Wensleydale?

    I can play that riff, but it's a murderous one to pull off cleanly! I've been playing guitar for many years, and I still can't pull off that riff without a lot of effort... I can't think of a single other riff in Maiden's whole discography that gives me anywhere near as much trouble as that one does. lol
    Forostar likes this.
  7. Maturin

    Maturin Sköldpadda

    Of the ones I've tried to play on the guitar, the intro-riff of Rainmaker has been the one I've always struggled with.

    Hardest to play it probably Sign of the Cross. The clean break in the middle of it, and the time changes. Feels like something many bands just would fall through and barely come out of, if at all.
  8. Saapanael

    Saapanael "My hair sets the trend of tmrw by doing it today"

    Seventh Son has difficult solos and the harmony that follows them isn't too easy either.
    The intro of Mother Russia also has some annoying timing.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2013
  9. Saapanael

    Saapanael "My hair sets the trend of tmrw by doing it today"

    Sea of Madness is the hardest Maiden song I've come across. Requires weird hand movement and has a fast tempo. The solo and the calmer part after it have difficult timing.
  10. AlexandertheMariner

    AlexandertheMariner How do I metal?

    I think the Maiden riff that took me the longest time to nail perfectly was the main riff in Hallowed. The notes themselves weren't the issue for me, it was the timing + the alternate picking pattern. You have to alternate pick that riff a lot slower than you think.
  11. Collin

    Collin Jambi

    I've at least attempted to play most Iron Maiden songs so here is a list of ones I struggle with or cannot play.
    - Sea of Madness
    - Deja Vu
    - Out of the Silent Planet
    - Starblind
    - Back in the Village
    - Only the Good Die Young
    - Paschendale

    Sea of Madness has a very complex riff. I still have no idea how to play it to this day. With Out of the Silent Planet, its mainly just the intro, the rest of the song is easy. Starblind may be the hardest to play and thats because of the H solos. Back in the Village is a lot like Sea of Madness for me, very complex riffs. I've always struggled with Only the Good Die Young, I'm not really sure why, I'm just bad at playing it. For Pashcendale I can't get the tapping down, if anybody can play this perfectly and and provide me with tips that would be great. :)

    Furthermore, The Fugitive is the most complex song ever, therefore it is the hardest to play.
  12. RTC

    RTC Libera et impera!

    On the topic of Sea Of Madness, this is a pretty awesome cover:
  13. Maturin

    Maturin Sköldpadda

    The solo wasn't very good though.
  14. Crimson Idol

    Crimson Idol Caveman

    Discounting solos, the hardest I've tried so far are Back in the Village and Sea of Madness, not had any problem with the others mentioned (esp Starblind is fine rhythm wise). Solos, that's a whole different kettle of fish for me, as I tend to be somewhat crap at them in general. Flight of Icarus and Die With Your Boots are probably my two best Maiden efforts on the whole (used to be fine with Hallowed and Phantom studio versions but didn't play them for so long I mess the solos constantly), with things like Blood Brothers and Wasting Love not too far behind.

    Often it comes down to how good the tab is, I've had so many for Pasch and I feel a mix of all of them is the most accurate.

    Anything with a Janick solo tends to be painful to attempt, Wild Wind is pretty straight forward for Adrian solo, Dave's is trickier but okay if I I'm on a good day, Janicks is just wtf.
  15. Saapanael

    Saapanael "My hair sets the trend of tmrw by doing it today"

    The guitar tone kind of sucks as does the solo but the rhythm parts are done well.
  16. Mega

    Mega Ancient Mariner

    Wow, this sure takes me back. I was an active member of this forum once! Too bad my grammar sucked so much.

    Anyway, It's amazing to see how much I've improved over the last 5 years. I can pretty much play every riff I thought was hard before:
    Sea of madness, 22 Acacia Avenue (the main riff in the song, the one behind the solo at the end), pretty much every one of them.

    I also seem to be able to replicate Janick's solos pretty well. I think he uses the same method I use when I just wanna go crazy during a solo:
    Pick really fast, but really shallow, and go through some basic pentatonic shapes. Stick a dirty sweep here and there, and you're done!
    I love it when I play along without knowing how to play a solo, but I end up being pretty close just from remembering how it goes.

    Oh wait, I recorded a cover of moonchild! I'll upload it to somewhere and post it here.


    I was going to use it as a mixing pratice (so the playing is somewhat sloppy), but never got around to it. I'm playing guitars and bass, the drums and synth are programmed. Enjoy!
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2015
  17. Here are the toughest Maiden songs to play on bass (in my opinion). Many of Harris's trademarks (high-tempo galloping, power chords, clanky tone) are common throughout his repertoire, so once you've mastered those skills a large section of his catalogue is playable.

    Here are some of the toughest songs (album tracks only, chronological):
    1. Phantom of the Opera. Thirty-five years later, Harris`s first epic remains one of the most difficult to play. It`s fairly long, fast, and has a number of complex, subtle riffs. I usually struggle with the lead riff at 3:22.
    2. Genghis Khan. It`s a short song, and the last third is pretty simple, but the first two minutes will kill your fingers. Brutally fast and fairly complex.
    3. Purgatory. Another exceptionally fast song with some tricky fills. This is probably their fastest song that isn't based around a gallop.
    4. Invaders. I never liked listening to this song but I have a new-found appreciation for it after trying to play it on bass. There are a few tricky riffs but what really gets me is the unrelenting speed.
    5. To Tame a Land. The single most difficult song in their catalogue. It's pretty straightforward for the first third of the song, but then you face a challenging trio of riffs. First the "play the melody and rhythm simultaneously" riff (2:49), then mirroring the guitar melodies to kick off the lengthy instrumental (4:04), then the riff under the guitar solos with frequent chord changes (4:38). The first one isn't too bad but the last two are probably the most challenging combination of speed and technical complexity in their entire catalogue.
    6. The Duellists. Maybe a surprise pick, as I think most people focus on the superb guitar playing in this song, but Harris`s part is a challenge. The main riffs are fast and heavy, and the bass is playing some surprisingly complex riffs during the lengthy instrumental passage.
    7. Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Sceptics might point out that a big chunk of the song is a generic, mid-tempo gallop, and that you can cool down during the slow, spacey interlude. Those points are true, but there are so many other things going on in this song. The bass solo is very difficult and the large number of faster riffs and fills makes this behemoth a true challenge. There`s another tricky "melody and rhythm simultaneously" part, similar to To Tame a Land. Rime is more than just about endurance (though that`s part of the challenge).
    8. Caught Somewhere in Time. Maiden has a lot of "fast galloping" songs, and I don't want to list them all. This one in particular is a challenge due to its length. Once it kicks into full speed, you're keeping up the insane pace for over six minutes. A few other "fast galloping" songs are slightly faster but none require this much stamina. Other "fast gallop" songs that are particularly challenging are Killers and Only the Good Die Young.

    Here are some of the easiest:
    1. Running Free. This was the first Maiden song I learned to play on bass. I still like the main riff, but there`s nothing challenging anywhere in the composition.
    2. The Ides of March. It`s really the same rhythm repeated five times (first, second and fifth as ringing notes, the third and fourth as a leisurely gallop), with no fills or variations at all.
    3. 2AM. There are a few fills here, but Harris (and the rest of the band) take a step back and put the emphasis on the vocals/lyrics in this slow tune.
    4. Como Estais Amigos. A beautiful song, but Harris's contributions are seemingly minimal. Aside from a brief but nice riff (3:14) this song is an absolute breeze to play.

    Yes, I'm aware the band has released albums over the past fifteen years - just that none of the bass performances have struck me as exceptionally easy or difficult.
    songlessbird and Welsh Phantom like this.
  18. SinisterMinisterX

    SinisterMinisterX Illuminatus Staff Member

    That's a very accurate list. I'd personally drop Phantom to down below Duellists, but that's simply from having played Phantom so many more times.

    I'd also raise CSIT, that stamina is a huge deal on that song. What really crazy are the live versions, where they played it even faster.
  19. I was listing the songs chronologically, but if I had to pick the very toughest it would be "To Tame a Land" and "Genghis Khan", in that order.
  20. songlessbird

    songlessbird Prowler

    I am mainly playing ryhtm guitars and biggest challenges for me ( only first 5 albums played )

    1 - Ghengis Khan
    2 - Back To The Village
    3 - Purgatory
    4 - Still Life ( Let's say harder than expected, for me only maybe )
    5 - Murders On The Rue Morgue ( very fast riffs over and over )

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