Hardest Songs to Play on Guitar

Note, that these are not by any means the best solos, but are mostly speed picking. God forbid the Guitar Hero company of finding this list. These Songs are what gave me the hardest time.

Don't forget metal bands like Prototype, Brocas Helm... The list goes on and on. And to note also, these are over all hard guitar songs. Many hard solos exist out there, like in Extreme - Play With Me, one of my favorites.

The Top Ten

1 Through the Fire and Flames - DragonForce

I think that a lot of people would agree that this song is popular for 2 reasons one it's a good a very hard song and 2 its on a lot of those guitar games and its always the hardest

This Song?!? Number 15?!

No one can play this. Literally no one. It was sped up in the recording studio. - IronSabbathPriest

Actually, I've seen people on YouTube getting it almost perfect, just missing one or two notes. - Alpha101

Fast... Blood pumping tune. Nothing like it... at all.

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2 I'm the One - Van Halen
3 Voodoo Child (Slight Return) - The Jimi Hendrix Experience

YESS. Don't even Stick To the solo, just improvise

4 Tornado of Souls - Megadeth

Epic solo, riff isn't easy for rookies to play

It’s pretty hard and u know it solos are nuts and rhythm is intense

5 Heartbreaker - Led Zeppelin

This song is for beginners. Guys don't believe it. This song is very easy comparing to other songs here. This is probably a troll item. - zxm

Who the hell thinks this is even hard?! THIS IS ONE OF THE EASIEST TO PLAY SONGS EVER!

6 Cafo - Animals as Leaders

After a lifetime of practicing you will never be able to play this song. Sorry :(

Intro is insane, in my opinion this should be near the top, if not at the top.

This should be in the top 10. - naFrovivuS

I don't know any other song that can compete with the difficulty of this song. but this list is missing some allan holdsworth stuff that have super hard chords if not impossible for people with small hands

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7 Eruption - Eddie Van Halen

Bear with me, I'm going to go through this thoroughly. Eruption is just one of those things that you can play and people will be amazed. This should DEFINITELY not be bomber 1, but it's not easy either. It is mostly e and a minor pentatonic. So theory wise, it's not very technical. The intro starts out with a slide down the neck into an a power chord. The first 15 seconds is very aggressive. It utilizes pinch harmonics, slides, palm muting, and Sammy bar dives. The first part before the Sammy dive uses two main patterns and that's it. Like I said it is very simple. After the dive, it goes into a minor pentatonic again and does a lot of string bends before going into another dive. Then the tremolo picked bit on the high e as it works down the neck. A long dramatic pause. A minor pentatonic again Tremolo picked with hammer on and pull offs. Then the tapping part. Tapping is a technique that is easy to get the basics, but difficult to master. This is easy when it comes to tapping. People ...more

I hope that comment was sarcasm because if you think that that sounds simple, you're out of your mind. - DrummerBoyJack

As good as this sing is, it's not even in the top 30 hardest songs to play. You guys really need to expand the music and players you listen to. Perpetual Burn by Jason Becker is one of them. This song is the second easiest one to play on this list with only One being easier. Though the way Kirk plays it live since 89 is much more difficult than on record. The solo was incomplete when he recorded because of time restraints.

Very hard to play I only know 1 person who can play it correctly Eddie van halen

This song shouldn't even be on this list, and neither the hardest song on guitar.

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8 Hallowed Point - Slayer
9 Dance of Eternity - Dream Theater

Really complicated across any and every instrument.

10 Hot for Teacher - Van Halen

This one is more difficult than Eruption in my opinion.

What kind of list is this without Hot For Teacher!?

I'm Learning To Play This And I'm 10 It's Really Hard - BeatlesFan1964

The Contenders

11 Afterlife - Synyster Gates

Best and hardest solo I have ever heard. Love synyster gates and his guitar playing... And most of all love this band... This is an epic and best heavy metal band forever...

Actually its "Afterlife - Avenged Sevenfold" but yes agreed. This song is insane! - Jetticus12

Its Afterlife by Avenged Sevenfold. This solo is insane one of the hardest solos I've ever heard

Metal or not metal. This song is hard to play. - zxm

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12 Free Bird - Lynyrd Skynyrd

The first time I heard this I went insane. harder that most metal songs

13 Double Guitar Solo - Michael Angelo Batio

This is hard. Some of these songs shouldn't even be on this list. One? Ha! That was the first song I ever learned on guitar! And Justice For All? Even easier! Master of Puppets? Very easy to play other than the last solo. Raining Blood? You must be joking. The intro, main riff, verse, and chorus, are SUPER EASY! I'm not so good at the solo, but it is still quite short and simple.

He isn't totally wrong. Not only thrash or death metal has to have hardest guitar songs. Even some instrumental, neoclassical, power metal songs are harder to play on guitar. Just check the tabs of MOP or One and then Double guitar solo. Thrash or death metal are hard to play but not hard to remember the chords. The strumming is hard. - zxm

Speed picker, crazy sweeps... And a double v necked guitar at the same time?

He plays to guitar neks at the same time doing solos that where impossible before how doe he do it without strumming is it a hoax I don't know but the solo is still more difficult then anything ever performed

Can't believe this isn't number one. - gemcloben

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14 Crossroads - Cream

Crossroads is by far the hardest song to play on this list. I seriously don't know why it's not number 1. Most of the songs in the top 20 just require you to play fast and have little to no skill at playing the guitar. This is one where no matter how fast and loud you are, you can never get it right. Eric Clapton's solo on Crossroads is simply impossible to perfect. Countless well established guitarists have marvelled at how he was able to keep time for the solo and we might never know. Try as you may but Crossroads, is one guitar song you simply cannot master. - guyritchi

Close to impossible to perfect his last solo. Like. WOW.

Hard bro great song

WOW

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15 Bark at the Moon - Ozzy Osbourne
16 Cliffs of Dover - Eric Johnson

As a guitarist I can testify that this song is far more difficult than some of the top 10s, such as eruption.

Most the songs here aren't actually that bad. Eruption is surprisingly easy. One was the first guitar solo I ever learned.

This song played with the same tone as Eric Johnson allows for absolutely no mistakes. This song deserves number 1.

Absolutely ridiculous as it utilizes intense shredding and very fast measures

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17 Canon Rock - JerryC

I like this song so much because the solo and the interpretation of the song of pachebel xD this would be a nice song for every event :O xD I would like to listen this song before I die nd I will die in peace :3 - Slyver

One of my FAVORITES! I don't know, no matter how much I play it, I never use to get bore... THIS ROCKS!

After playing guitar for nearly ten years now this is still one of my absolute favorites!

One of the best

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18 Caprici Di Diablo - Yngwie Malmsteen

As much as I love eruption, it is no way near as difficult as this. Yngwie's stuff takes a lot more control and technique to master and even though I love the tapping solo at the end of eruption, tapping is actually quite easy to do once learnt whereas yngwie's arpeggios are just insane. If you seriously think eruption is the best then I would definitely check out yngwie's stuff along with Paul Gilbert's and jeff loomis if you really want your mind blown!

Come on eruption is a little tricky but yngwie's songs are in a different league, anything classically inspired is about 3 times harder to play, yngwie's whole discography should come before eruption and Canon rock, not impressed with this list.

Yngwie is king of shred... Picks his notes fast and with melody style... You don't find that too much with shredders (and guitarist in general)

Come on! its Yngwie Malmsteen! Much harder than anything else!

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19 Jordan - Buckethead

What? This is the craziest song in the world! How did this not get in the top ten at all? Great composition, tasteful phrases, and buckethead's signature wah sound make this a truly original masterpiece. If you think I'm kidding, go have a listen. I guarantee your brain will be confused long after you're done.

While this songs starts off on a relatively slow, unimpressive note, it really starts to pick up, and when he hits that solo - holy crap, you can hit that many notes ON TUNE in that little amount of time?

A great solo riff that'll go down in history.

FYI: You'll need a killswitch to play this.

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20 Burn It Down - Avenged Sevenfold
21 Technical Difficulties - Paul Gilbert

May sound easier than the rest, but this requires a great deal of skill to master.

His finger stretch is not human

Way harder than eruption

Unless you've played all of these songs you probably wouldn't know that this song is harder than breaking bricks with your flaccid penis #truestory

22 One - Metallica

Um... This was the first guitar solo I ever learned... Why is this even on here... Metallica has so many harder songs.

One is easily one of my favorite songs to play I have been play for 8 years and I am twelve years old and I can play both solos in this song easily

Don't listen to the poser who comments on this. This song is real difficult especially the last solo which has the fast tapping part and speed shredding. Kirk and James did perfect job to polish another gem on their arsenal. ONE does not simply learn to play this masterpiece in a couple of months.

The lyrics are great, inspiring, and way too hard to sing along while playing your guitar.

23 Master of Puppets - Metallica

I think the rhythm part of this song is harder than lead part. - zxm

Hard to pick rather than fret,
Even for the guitar made by air.

I don't even know what this song is, I just voted because it was the last song on the list and I wanted to see how far up it would go

This is probably the greatest post ever, "I don't even know what this song is, I just voted because it was the last song on the list and I wanted to see how far up it would go" - Dragonlee

24 Miles of Machines - Jeff Loomis

Whoa this has to be up the the top! Some of the best guitar shredding I have ever heard, with its neo-classical intro & riff, and insane soloing throughout! - petrucci75hammet

Just try to hear or play it on your own and you'll realize

25 Fracture - King Crimson

This song is the toughest song I've ever played nothing can top it

26 Black Widow of la Porte - John 5

Great composition and skill required to play this.

Sweep picking + tapping going on at once at some parts

27 Raining Blood - Slayer

The thing about this song is its only hard if you can't pick fast, if you can its fairly easy but straining on the right arms

I learned the song but the fast and crazy part is too difficult

I love Canon Rock but it's not really that hard to play, it depends how you learn it. I used a slowed down video with an onscreen tab and it wasn't too hard. (I've only been playing for 2 years by the way)

How about the spider crawl part ofb he song? That is HARD!

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28 The Devil Went Down to Georgia - Steve Ouimette

I bet that if more people knew about this song this one would place at least top 10. This is insanely challenging and the last solo is out of this world.

No crying, this is extremely difficult to play. It's a remake of the original version of the Charlie Daniels Band. Steve Ouimette is great.

Such an unknown song but very hard to play due to the stamina and technique changing required

29 Holy Wars... The Punishment Due - Megadeth

Hardest parts are the palm mutings you can't even do it fast in between every riff

30 17th Century Chicken Pickin' - Chris Impellitteri

Once again, a guitar masterpiece.

31 Far Beyond the Sun - Yngwie Malmsteen

Try to play the solo... and give up. - Metal_Treasure

32 Ocean - John Butler

I can not imagine almost any other musician being able to play such a complex and intricate song such as this one. John Butler plays with such precision, that is almost unmatchable by any other guitarist out there

Hardest song played on a 12 string ( how he plays it) and 6 string

Very hard and complicated song, LOVE IT!

33 Smoke On the Water - Deep Purple

This is the easiest song to ever play on guitar.

How is this on here? I learned how to play all of it at full speed in less than 5 minutes. Pride and Joy should be on here it is way harder.

Again, another troll item. This song is for beginners. Do you know why? Because it is very slow. A perfect song for beginners. I'd rather choose highway star harder to play than this. - zxm

It's easy to play, but the hardest one by far to really feel and put your whole soul into.

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34 Scatterbrain - Jeff Beck

Look this one up live, it's a guitar play song with great drumming too.

35 Stone Cold Crazy - Queen

The one and only Brian May can be the only one to pull this off perfectly. Sorry, I sound like I'm repeating myself. Uh, just read it till you get it. I Freddie!

The first trash-metal song!

Written by Freddie.
Made by Metallica also.

36 Anaconda - Nicki Minaj

Impossible to play on guitar... Because you can't play 30 seconds (If you managed to figure out where the hell are the guitars in this song (no explanation needed. There are no guitars) before your ears start bleeding

Who put this here?

Guitar playing in this song is just orgasmic..

37 ...And Justice for All - Metallica
38 Satch Boogie - Joe Satriani

Gave me a hand cramp the first time I tried it.

39 What Begins Ends - Cesar Rodriguez

Hi I'm Cesar Rodriguez it's somewhere around 7 min it's solo is harder than one. The solo is really one, afterlife, raining blood and canon rock. I tried doing it live in my neighborhood and did not get a single note write. He are some facts BPM 89671 notes per second 1,647 this should be 2 this song is A.K. A BEST SONG EVER/HARDEST SONG EVER!

40 On the Backs of Angels - Dream Theater

Holy cow, I don't believe it! No John Petrucci in the top tens! This one has to be in the top 3 at least, it's one of the most difficult songs to play ON ANY INSTRUMENT, EVER!

41 It's Not Safe To Swim Today - Veil of Maya

Marc Okubo is such an underrated guitarist

You guys are weak, if you can play this song perfectly you deserve a lifetime acheivment award and your hands should be placed in sealed oxygenized containers to be remembered for all time.

42 While My Guitar Gently Weeps - The Beatles

Eric Clapton's solo on While My Guitar Gently Weeps, while not the hardest technically is an amazingly hard solo to perfect. Clapton's vibrato and string bending are like no one else's and guitarists who have been playing for decades have not been able to perfect it (you can see evidence of this by looking at tutorials for the solo.) In addition to his amazing vibrato and bending, the flames of passion that inspire Clapton's fiery solos burn deep within his soul and that is something that you simply cannot replicate or master. - guyritchi

Clapton's vibrato is literally impossible

This solo is lit

hard

43 Speed Metal Symphony - Cacophony

If you want to spend a year in your basement, you should try to learn this song. It's as easy as licking your own elbow.

Very hard to play... if you don't know this song listen it...

44 Crazy Train - Ozzy Osbourne

No votes come on people. Extremely hard solo; eruption is nothing compared to this one, Randy Rhoads inspired me to play guitar. I'm a Beatles lover but when I listened to this I changed slightly to Neo-classical metal. Great song! Oh and P.S. not to brag but I'm only 12 and can play eruption easy.

45 Gray Pianos Flying - Shawn Lane
46 Sudden Death - Megadeth
47 No Laundry - Linkin Park

Why is this here! Did it get up here because it is so easy!

48 La Villa Strangiato - Rush

Even Rush had difficulty playing this live and they wrote the song.

49 Fury of the Storm - DragonForce

One of the fastest and most difficult. Not as hard as Through the Fire and Flames by the same band

Can't Beat it on Expert.P. S How does GuitarHeroPhenom do it
He is CRAZY!
I can do it on Everything except for expert. Only song I can't beat. I can't beat it
WAY TOO HARD!

50 B.Y.O.B. - System of a Down

There's a lot of really fast picking, and if you don't palm mute it right, it sounds like garbage. - Fiend

This song is so funcking fast!

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List Stats

1,000 votes
106 listings
7 years, 357 days old

Top Remixes

1. Cafo - Animals as Leaders
2. Through the Fire and Flames - DragonForce
3. Dance of Eternity - Dream Theater
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1. I'm the One - Van Halen
2. Voodoo Child (Slight Return) - The Jimi Hendrix Experience
3. Tornado of Souls - Megadeth
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