Most Difficult Guitar Songs

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The Top TenXW

1Eruption - Van Halen

Judging by the amount of You Tube versions of this song that get it wrong, this song is very difficult to get right. The tapping part at the end is the least of your problems and is about the only part of this song that anyone ever gets right. There's a weird swing to some of it that so many ignore when they "master it". Many people anonymously will claim to be able to play Eruption no problem, but somehow they never materialize in real life or even on YT. Judge people only by their actions, not by their words. Eruption is nearly impossible and if you can actually play it 100% through to the letter, then count yourself among the elite 0.01% of people ever to pick up a guitar.

Also Eddie recorded this in 1978 and it still kicks the s* out of guitarists!

10 notes per second...
No comment - BigZ

The solo in the begening is far better than the entire Through the fire and flames song. How is this not number one? People who only play guitar hero shouldent be able to vote. The dificulty of playing a song on a real guitar is FAR greater then playing a plastic guitar with 5 buttons.

Can't even do it and I'm 40

V30 Comments
2Through the Fire and Flames - Dragonforce

I would be the luckiest guitarist alive if I can perform this in my college. Herman Li and Sam Totman sure did a number on this song. To be honest, My fingers cramped up after a few seconds and I never even got close to the tempo. Poor me. - aeromaxx777

The speed and tone of Li and Totman easily beat out anything on this list. As a shred guitarist I can tell you this uses a much more diverse set of scales than eruption. I'm really not sure of the particular Dream Theater song listed, but I can day the tapping in this song is ridiculous. Eddie Van Halen sticks to mostly pentatonic and single string tapping so its not even viable that it would be more difficult than this. Love it all though!

'i have tried other songs in the list as well such as afterlife and thunderstruck... But they are nothing compared to the insane speed and tempo of this song. Although dis song is not technically as sound as dance of eternity but the sheer power and brutality of the solos makes you makes it easily the most difficult song of all

Yes this song is probably the hardest song to play, If you would give me a guitar and tell me to play this song I will probably be honest and will not try to perform this song, its amazingly hard, however eruption is probably harder, enjoy the comment cheers

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3The Dance of Eternity - Dream Theater

EMM... Guys don't let Guitar Hero players vote. Seriously through the fire and flames number 1 and Eruption no. 2. And a Muse song ahead of this. Eruption is actually really easy once you learn to tap but Dance Of Eternity... Or nearly any other DT song is harder than most songs on this list. Also Master of Puppets... That's like one of the first guitar riffs you learn (If you're into Metal).

This song is insanely difficult. Id like to see the guitarists from the other bands attempt to even count this song. Willing to bet my life that they can't. Through the Fire and Flames is a terrible song. Not much to it. They can't even play it. The only song on this list besides this one that's anywhere near difficult if eruption. People are so dumb... - deadgrass27

Let's face it guys. Technically this is the hardest song on the list by far. The entire song varies through complex melodies, constantly changing time signatures and what some people could even describe as complete technical insanity! And this doesn't just go for the guitar - this song is also known for being one of the hardest songs ever for drums and keyboards as well, also including an intense bass solo! This song became famous for being so technically difficult! Let's face it guys, this list should be called "Top 10 most popular hard songs, " otherwise it just makes no sense to NOT put this at number 1...

Extremely insane, hard instrumental song that I've ever hear through my life. There are so many time signature here which mostly I can't figure out what meter it is, not to mention the guitar, bass, and keyboard notes and solos. This song is crazy as hell. Period.

Hail to Dream Theater!

V47 Comments
4Afterlife - Avenged Sevenfold

oh come on! Even Synyster Gates, the guy who made the solo for the song, admitted that at the beginning he didn't know how he was going to play it live. cause really? loads of triplets at 185 bmp. thats insane. and dragon force? really? you people know that that song is mostly keyboard right? not like guitar hero makes it out to be. and BYOB? thats just fast, its not even that hard. I'm not saying Afterlife should be at the top, but I think it should be higher than #9, and definitely higher than System of a Down

Dude sinsiter gates is amazing I don't even know avenged sevenfold got beaten by dragon force. I mean seriously sinister gates is probably one the best guitarists out there and not many people can pull off what he does live. I went to uproar this year and they were amazing! I've never been to any better concert then that

Just because he's good doesn't mean this song is hard. Shepard of Fire is much harder. (The solo) And Hail to the King is also Harder.

Really I have no problem with playing these songs, half these songs are not that hard if you can shred and know your power cords. This is one of my favorite songs and the hardest I personally believe about av7x songs are there solos, even thought its the solos that even synyster gates had trouble with. All the rest are fairly easy.

Avenged Sevenfold is my inspiration for learning guitar that it period

V21 Comments
5Cliffs of Dover - Eric Johnson

Yes it's a guitar instrumental so you would expect lot of guitar, BUT what you get is like running a marathon and sprinting the whole way. The guitar line is simply massive, relentless, and simply beautiful. No distortion, just clear tone, leaving nowhere to hide you fingering mistakes. The skill and time needed to completely learn most songs on this list would only get you through the first 30 seconds of this song.

THIS SONG IS INSANELY DIFFICULT! Afterlife isn't even that difficult because its basically sweeps for days. Through the Fire and flames is mostly keyboard. Holy wars isn't anything too crazy. Master of puppets is borderline easy. Welcome to the Jungle is eh. Hysteria is easy. The only other song I would put above this is Satch Boogie.

Easily the most difficult on this list. You need mastery of scales, hybrid picking which is very difficult, tempo, and did I mention the ability to FLY through scales? Give it 3 years and you can get most others on this list. Give it 5-10 and you still won't have cliffs of dover near Johnson quality.

And he plays it on acoustic.

V25 Comments
6Master of Puppets - Metallica

I'm only 14 and I have mastered the song in a month... It's fairly easy. I haven't had guitar lessons either. The whole song is down picking besides the solo which is mostly hammer ons and pull offs while you tremolo pick. It's honestly not that difficult as you guys are making it out to be. Get something on your computer that can slow down the song and and just start playing it. After you memorize all the notes, then start slowly increasing the speed and you WILL get it. - jevonm.jenkins

I tried this, after about a month, of playing guitar, and couldn't play it, till someone told me to alternate pick it (cut me some slack I didn't now nothing back then) and the the song was fairly easy. This song is a good song to get introduced to metal genre and get to know what its about... But its not the 6th most difficult for me

You dickheads have no idea this is just so hard that my strumming hand almost falls off. This song is almost Impossible to play Cleanly and as good as they do. And the thing that makes me wonder if james Hetfield is Human, is that he plays this song even Faster Live.

Really the only hard part is accepting the fact this is on the top ten for hardest. it's a super easy song

V30 Comments
7Voodoo Child - Jimi Hendrix

Speed is one thing. Imitating Jimi's sound is something on a whole different level. Nobody has his sound and he does a million things that you just can't pick up on. Sure dragonforce is really fast but its all technique. You can't practice what Jimi does. He does a lot of chord variations that have you wanting to smash your guitar in a million pieces because its too complicated to learn.

How is welcome to the jungle rated higher than this, utter bull. All of these super fast songs are so much easier to play as it just takes technique, there is no awkward timings it's just play as fast as you can, when you play hendrix it's much more than that. You have to feel the song, there's no way to practice it, you have to get given the notes and the order but no one will ever get the timings or the little changes and nuances correct. R.I.P.

I've been playing guitar for a living for years and eruption is easier than voodoo child and the Justin bieber song shouldn't be aloud on this list

Anyone can shed. You just have to move your fingers fast enough. It takes true talent however to play guitar like this.

V23 Comments
8Hysteria - Muse

Unless you're referring to the bass part, this is literally easier than 99% than all other rock songs ever made. What dumbass put this on this list?

As both a Muser and Dream Theatre fan, I have to agree - this doesn't belong here. Fantastic to hear and VERY fun to play, guitarists can expect to easily finish this piece provided they can memorise the bass line (which is easier than Futurism) and alternately pick the guitar solo. I'm amazed 'In The Name Of God' is not number 1! - Maskillator

I can play it just fine great song

Keep Calm And Try This Song...

This song should not be on the list

V6 Comments
9Holy Wars... The Punishment Due - Megadeth

Through Fire And Flame? Master Of Puppets? Haha this song has 3 tempos: 168, 122 and 188 bpm. There are 3 solos and one break. This is easily one of Megadeth's hardest songs. - danuprankalayanamit

YES! Now this is/was metal at its more difficult end.. I'm not sure about the ones higher up (or lower for that matter)... Master of puppets? I mean come on!. Bieber? Gimmie a break... Teen spirit? Laugh out loud. Mustaine and Megadeth deserve major kudos for their contribution to the music industry and Tornado of Souls will forever be one of the greatest pieces of music ever written.

Holy Wars riff intro has 4 chromatic triplets along with a chord ending. While master of puppets has just three simple power chords in chromatic descent as intro. Master of puppets is a simple song only here on the list bcs. Its one of metaallica's most popular songs. You can learn rhythm of master of puppets in your first two weeks of guitar playing easily. Holy wars rhythm in nearly two months, by that time you can learn the entire master of puppets album.
FYI learning means playing it with perfection.

Kicks Ass! Tough to play, but if you like a challenge, this one's for you.

V28 Comments
10Welcome to the Jungle - Guns 'n Roses

These people must be idiots this song is one of the most easiest songs ever written

This song is really easy, aside drone the delay effect at the start that's pretty hard to get right, the song is generally easy.

This song sucks I enjoy it very much. I like to listen to it and it is my least favorite song ever in the whole wide world

This song is the best ever

V5 Comments

The Newcomers

?For Whom the Bell Tolls - Metallica
?Keeper of the Seven Keys - Helloween
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The Contenders

11Thunderstruck - AC/DC

Thunderstruck is just an etude in B Major, nothing too crafty.

I gotta say after a while it gets easy, I can almost play it with my eyes closed but the jump from 4 to 12 takes getting used to, I always overdo it and hit 13 instead.

Not really that hard. Just sounds and looks really hard. I'm a beginner guitarist with only 6 months of experience, and I can play this just fine. Still learning it, of course, but really it's not that complicated.

The beginning is very hard to keep tempo

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12Jordan - Buckethead

Hardest song from Buckethead in my opinion. I can (and love to) play Soothsayer, but this one is just so insane I don't even try to learn. By the way I got myself a killswitch on my guitar just because of this guy.

This is by far the hardest song ever, "Through the Fire and the Flames" was made on a computer, so technically it shouldn't be on this list.

I think this song has over ten different notes per sec in the solo

Besides Buckethead, I've never heard anyone play this flawless.

V8 Comments
13La Villa Strangiato - Rush

Alex lifeson doesn't get nearly enough credit as a guitarist. The riffs throughout the song make you cramp up, but it doesn't matter anyways because the intro solo tires you out before you have a chance at any riffs. The solo halfway through the song has actually made my fingers bleed in the past. You can't truely call yourself a guitarist until you can play this. If you've never heard it, listen to it. Now. - kriss

I love this song with a passion. My favorite version is on the "Exit Stage Left" live album... I love how the solo in the middle starts off slow and builds into a climax that sends chills down my spine. I'm currently trying to learn in and it is the most frustrating thing I've ever tried to do. Alex Lifeson's timing and patterns are so weird and unique, but it works so well! This song is way harder than any other on this list.

There are many by Rush that make the list- this is the obvious one... A highly original song the whole Hemispheres album should be on the list

This song is a masterpiece

V8 Comments
14Frantic Disembowelment - Cannibal Corpse

This is probably the hardest song I've ever seen. Every cover I've seen of this song is massively simplified and usually slowed by a lot. Cannibal corpse only plated it live once and they don't anymore because it 's too hard. They had to get a new live guitarist (Jeremy turner) to pull it off live once and he couldn't 'to even really do it, he had a really difficult time, the only guy who can really do it is pat o'brien the lead guitarist of cannibal corpse, and he only did once. ( live and in the studio, that us. ) the reason there is no live footage of this song is because it's too hard to play. Now that's difficulty.

Try to play it... :-)

15Free Bird - Lynyrd Skynyrd

This isn't top 10? SERIOUSLY? Sure some of these are more difficult than free bird, but Thunderstruck? Half of the song is the same rift over and over again, and the other half isn't nearly as difficult as the 5 minute guitar solo in Free Bird. Should easily be in the top 10. Afterlife could drop down too.

How is this NOT on the list? The guitar solo alone would justify Free Bird's place in the Top 10! Three guitarists playing that solo at once! Get a couple of buddies and... well, good luck... - c0mf0rta61ynum6

This is endurance for your fingers, in other words if you listen to it, you will break your air guitar!

This should be in the top ten

V10 Comments
16Crazy Train - Ozzy Osbourne

This song is on of the greatest and hardest songs to play! Listen to it and you will understand.

The licks in the pre-chorus are crazy fast

17Snow (Hey Oh) - Red Hot Chili Peppers

The riff really isn't hard it just incorporates a different style I guess it would be a folk like style? I don't know all I know is it's not that hard for me. It is just some string switching and a hammer on pull of. anyways pretty much any megadeth song off of the rust in peace album is infinitely harder as well as plenty of metal songs. I take it anyone who voted for this has never tried to play any metal song ever aside from maybe smoke on the water.

Pretty easier to remember due to repetitive chords, but it is extremely difficult to play this riff up to speed, and play is for nearly the entirety of the song. John Frusciante can jam.

"This riff is moving... And it keeps moving for five minutes. This is John Frusciante's world... We are just living in it. "

I hope you kidding laugh out loud why is it even on the list...

V9 Comments
18B. Y. O. B. - System of a Down

It's hard, but once you get the hang of it, it's pretty easy. This I love this song with a passion, and I don't want this list to discourage any starting guitar players. Keep on playing! Never Give UP - thatonemeatlfan667

Love this song. I guess I'm a pro, because at 12 years old I learned this whole song in ten minutes. Always have loved this song, probably always will. Love it!

Hard to believe it was played using a Distortion guitar. Not just hard to figure out but even more Difficult to play. Amazing Vocals from Godsend Dr. Serj makes this song beautiful.

It is really hard but you get the hang of it

V11 Comments
19Technical Difficulties - Racer X (Paul Gilbert)

Not really the hardest song I can imagine, but I just wanted to add it because of the name of the song :)
I can't really see any point in this list anyways since there are so many who don't even have a clue what they're voting on..

Getting it as clean as the recording is extremely difficult. The guitar skill is outstanding. Master of puppets is easy I don't understand why it would be higher than this

20Fury of the Storm - Dragonforce

THIS SHOULD BE IN THE TOP 5. I really hate how difficult, even on bass, this song is. I can not imagine ever being able to complete this song on hard or expert for any instrument and definitely can not do it on the drums cause I DO NOT have a double petal

Has the combination of all the instruments at great speeds. easily one of the toughest songs on earth along with many other dforce songs. DRAGONFORCE'S songs are indeed in the list of the world toughest songs.

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List StatsUpdated 31 Aug 2015

4,000 votes
190 listings
7 years, 100 days old

Top Remixes (11)

1. The Dance of Eternity - Dream Theater
2. Afterlife - Avenged Sevenfold
3. Eruption - Van Halen
chasithot
1. Through the Fire and Flames - Dragonforce
2. The Dance of Eternity - Dream Theater
3. Eruption - Van Halen
FistofDeath
1. Through the Fire and Flames - Dragonforce
2. Eruption - Van Halen
3. Thunderstruck - AC/DC
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