Scary-hard songs to learn on guitar

It’s the scariest time of the year.

We know you’re up for a challenge, so why not take on a new guitar song that’s terrifyingly challenging?


“Eruption” – Van Halen 



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Eddie Van Halen’s face-melting guitar solo on Van Halen’s 1978 debut album showcased his tapping and squealing guitar prowess – and it’s often considered the best guitar solo of all time. For a leg up on learning this song, check out our Eddie Van Halen Player Study Course


“Through the Fire and Flames” – Dragonforce 

@fret_zealot Replying to @the_bone_doc #ThroughTheFireAndFlames by #DragonForce with #tabs from the #FretZealot app 🔥 #Guitar #Metal #GuitarTabs #SpeedMetal #Prog #ProgMetal #GuitarTok ♬ Through The Fire And Flames – DragonForce


“Through the Fire and Flames” was famously featured in Guitar Hero III – causing a lot of frustration for players, as it was one of the most difficult songs in the game. With a speed of 200 BPM, this song will give your fingers a real workout. 


“Cliffs of Dover” – Eric Johnson 

@fret_zealot “Cliffs of Dover” by Eric Johnson with Fret Zealot #Guitar #GuitarTabs #GuitarLessons #LearnGuitar #GuitarSong #Guitarist ♬ Cliffs Of Dover – Instrumental – Eric Johnson



Another instrumental composition that shows off the skills of its guitarist, “Cliffs of Dover” starts with an ad-libbed guitar solo. This song was also featured on Guitar Hero III. 


“CAFO” – Animals As Leaders 


Most guitarists probably find Animals As Leaders songs punishingly hard, as AAL guitarist Tosin Abasi is one of the greatest technical guitarists around. 


“Master of Puppets” – Metallica 


The title track of Metallica’s 1986 album is difficult because of the odd meters used in the fast, heavy riffs. The song was prominently featured in Stranger Things 4 and – SPOILER – Eddie Munson must have been a musical genius to be able to play it front to back the same year it came out without online tabs or videos! 


“Heartbreaker” – Led Zeppelin 


If you’ve ever thought that Jimmy Page’s guitar solo on “Heartbreaker” sounds different than the rest of the track, you’re right. Page told Guitar World in 1998 that the track was recorded separately in a different studio than the rest of the song. It was also the first time he used his  Gibson Les Paul/Marshall Stack combo for recording. 


“Neon” – John Mayer 


John Mayer has said his technique for playing his 1999 song “Neon” is a trick similar to “the kid at school turning his eyelids inside out”. In March 2021, Mayer uploaded a TikTok video sharing a “guitar tip” on how to play the song, which is to move your thumb and index finger back and forth on the guitar strings. 


 “U forgot to explain the step where u just dislocate your thumb,” one commenter pointed out. 


“Free Bird” – Lynyrd Skynryd 


“Free Bird” might be a bit of a punchline among guitarists – who hasn’t been hassled by a drunk audience member requesting it before? But the solo, which kicks in around the 4:55 mark, is a bona fide endurance contest of short licks that takes plenty of technique to master. Or, you can always troll the audience:


[TikTok video of Shane’s Free Bird request]



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