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Follow the dark path or use the light

Hard Mode Guide

by Silversnares

~~~ Guitar Hero II: Hard Mode Guide ~~~
--- Version 1.22 ---
--- Written by Silversnares ---

"Your mom does not count as a fan."
                -Guitar Hero 2

*** The original version of the FAQ was posted at If you ***
*** are reading this on another site, you should check it out on GameFAQs. ***
*** GameFAQs is the raw version of this guide and is not in any way        ***
*** altered. Some other sites may have unsightly differences to GameFAQs,  ***
*** so if you want the best, most current version, go there.               ***

If you so desire, you can at any time locate any given section in this guide by
selecting Edit - Find in your browser or pressing Ctrl + F and typing in,
[####] where # is the Table of Contents code of the section you want to
find . So [sng1] would find the Opening Licks Section, etc.


--- Table of Contents --- [tbct]

  i. Table of Contents [tbct]
 ii. Version History [vshs]

  I. Introduction, Legal Stuff, and Contact Info [into]
 II. Hard Mode: What's different? [diff]
III. Star Power and Where to Start [spst]
 IV. The Guide [gide]

  a. Opening Licks          [sng1]
  b. Amp Warmers            [sng2]
  c. String Snappers        [sng3] (2/5 done)
  d. Thrash and Burn       }
  e. Return of the Shred   }
  f. Relentless Riffs      }- Coming Soon, Sorry!
  g. Furious Fretwork      }
  h. Face Melters          }
  j. Bonus Tracks          }

  V. FAQ [faqq]
 VI. Thanks [thxx]

--- Version History --- [vshs]

1.0 - Initial release. Up to and including TIGRYT done. All other songs are
      missing, but I think my strategies for the ones that are here are good
      and reflect that I'm going to keep working on it. It's gonna take a while
      to do all 64 songs.

1.1 - Strutter and Heart-Shaped Box done. Also fixed a lot of typos and made
      some minor changes.

1.11 - Fixed some minor details and added to the list of trusted

1.2 - Up to and including Carry On Wayward Son done, also made some minor
      changes and added a great section by LadiesMan2. Thanks. Also added the
      Silde section to Hard Mode, What's New. Added a small blurb about where
      to find note charts in addition. Also, if anyone has any questions,
      don't be hesitant to ask them, as the FAQ section is kind of
      uninteresting without any questions.

1.21 - Added a thank you to GameFAQs and added to the list of
       trusted sites.

1.22 - Two more songs done. Added to list of trusted sites.
       Added an FAQ which could use more questions, and fixed a lot of typos
       and made some minor changes. Hpoefully more coming soon, haven't had an
       update in a long time.

--- Introduction, Legal Stuff, and Contact Info --- [into]

First of all, let's get this junk over with:

Guitar Hero 2 and anything relating to it are copyright RedOctane, Harmonix, or
Activision. This guide, however, is copyright the author, Silversnares, aka
Noah Gilmore. It is for private and personal use only, and may not be used to
generate income or revenue. You may print this guide out, but only for private
and personal use. You may not post this guide on your site without asking
permission from me first, by way of email (see below). Permission is unlikely,
but if I do give you permission, you may not change anything about the guide,
not even one character, and you must keep it current by use of GameFAQs
( Furthermore, the songs and anything relating to them
including lyrics, etc. is copyright their respective artists.  Plagerism is a
crime. Don't make the wrong decision.

List of trusted sites:

As of the present, these sites  have permission to post this guide.

If you see these sites (other than gamefaqs) using this guide in the wrong way,
or if you see a site that is not on this list using the guide at all, plaese
contact me so that I can adress the issue.

That's a mouthful.

Anyway, hello and welcome to my Guitar Hero 2 Hard Mode Guide. I know that hard
mode was a real challenge for me and I hope that this guide helps you beat it.
Obviously, I am assuming throughout this guide that you know the game basics of
Guitar Hero: how to play, Star Power, blah blah blah. If you are attempting
Hard Mode and you don't know how to play, I suggest that you turn back and beat
easy and medium first.

If you want to contact me, I can be found at [email protected] I have
some standards for emailing, though.

I will accept

  Questions not answered in the guide
  Questions relating to the guide
  Questions with "Guitar Hero 2 Hard Mode Guide" in the Subject
  Suggestions and hints (with a source to credit)

I will viciously delete

  Questions already answered in the guide
  Questions not relating to the guide
  Repeated emailing about the same question
  Flaming, spamming or vulgar language

I strongly encourage you to email me if you have suggestions. If your email
meets my standards, I will be nice and reply. Please don't reply back unless I
ask you to, though.

I will try to keep spoilers to a minimum, but some things I can't keep secret.

Finally, in this guide I will refer to the Guitar Controller Fret Buttons as
GRYBO, for the sake of taking time to write out the colors. I will also refer
to your fingers as 2, 3, 4, and 5, 2 being your index finger and 5 being your
pinky, etc. 1 would be your thumb but you don't use that to press buttons.
Additionally, I will use - (the hyphen) to denote the length of a regular note,
=, the equals sign, to denote the length of a held note, and [], the brackets,
to denote a chord, and / to denote a half. So, the opening sequence of Shout
at the Devil would be:
G-G-G[RB]===========O=/G-G-G...etc. Each - or = equals 1/2 of a count. If you
don't understand, don't worry. You'll see what I mean when you see an actual

--- Sites to find note charts at: ---

Well, now that that's over with, let's get started.

--- Hard Mode: What's different? --- [diff]

Hard Mode is second only to Expert Mode in terms of difficulty in Guitar Hero
2. If you are moving from Medium Mode to Hard Mode, as you most likely are, you
may have noticed some things that are different, and if you haven't, keep
reading, because I'm going to tell you.

The Orange Fret Button

One of the things that frustrates people the most when starting Hard Mode is
the Orange Fret Button, or more specifically, reaching it. As you do not have
enough fingers to have one finger on each fret, and since you have to use all
the frets in Hard Mode, you will need to reach it. I have seen people reach the
button a number of ways, but I think the best and most common way is to slide
your hand down out of the position where your 2 finger is on Green (henceforth
refered to as the Green Position) down to where your 2 finger is on Red (Red
Position) so that your pinky can rest on the O fret. It is extremely important
to remember where your hand is at all times - or else you could find yourself
playing all the wrong notes. There is a small bump on the Y fret that you can
use to get oriented, but I find it easier to just remember.

The Triple Chords

Another new thing in Hard Mode is Triple Chords, aka three notes at once. These
take a bit to get used to, but are actually harmless. There are three kinds of
triple chords: three notes next to each other, played with either 234 or 345,
those with a break between the 1st and 2nd note, played 245, and those with a
break between the 2nd and the 3rd, played 235.

The Double Strum (Also called Alt-Strum)

Though rare in Easy and Medium, there are many times in hard when notes are
coming at you so rapidly that your hand cannot possibly strum that fast. In
this case, you should use the Double Strum. This is when you strum the Strum
Bar down to play one note, then up to play another note. Because you can play
the note both ways, Double strumming is both faster and easier on your hand.

Hammer Ons and Pull Offs (ho/po's)

What? You don't know what a ho/po is? Well, I can't blame you. You almost never
have to use them in Easy and Medium, and I didn't even know what they were
Hard. But don't worry, I'll explain it. A ho/po is when you strum one note, but
only press the fret buttons (and don't strum) to play the next note. I'll give
you an example. Look at this:
Notice how there are three Red notes. The middle one has a little black ring
around the top; this is how notes usually look. But all the other notes, you
notice, have no ring. These are the notes that can be ho/po'd. Ho/po's are very
common in Hard. For more info, plaese refer to the in-game tutorial.

The Slide

Though it is not extremely common in Hard, sometimes you will come across a
section where you will need to use the Slide. What is the Silde, you ask? I'll
tell you. A Silde is when, in order to nail a ho/po, you need to either slide
your hand up to Red Position from Green, or down to Green from Red. For
example, let's say you're playing a sequence of Orange notes in a song. But
suddenly, oh no! There's a quick RG ho/po! To play it, you'll need to play the
R note, then slide your 2 finger to the Green quickly so that you can nail the
ho/po. That is the Slide. It will take some getting used to, but you will get
it with practice, and it's not that common, as I said.

Getting Used To Hard Mode (Thanks to LadiesMan2)

Here's some great insight by LadiesMan2 on getting used to Hard Mode: He says:

"Unlike the first Guitar Hero, Guitar Hero II doesn’t ease you in to the Hard
difficulty.  The jump from Medium from Hard is not easy.  In this section I’ll
give you some drills and advice to make it more manageable.  

There are three major parts to jumping from medium to Hard.  They are, hand
placement, Hammer-On’s and Pull-Off’s (HO-PO), and Alt Strumming.  First we’ll
concentrate on hand placement.

The main thing you notice when you start Hard, is the addition of the orange
fret button.  If you want to be successful in hitting the orange notes, than
mastering hand placement is a must.  There is a primary and secondary position
for playing on Hard and above.  In the primary position, your index finger is
on the green fret, and your pinky on the blue.  In secondary position, your
index is on red, and your pinky is on orange.  Being able to transfer between
the two positions is vital to your success on Hard. 

Here is a good way to get used to shifting.  Go into practice mode, and load up
Sweet Child O’ Mine on Hard.  We’re going to start off on slowest.  Start with
your hand in the secondary position.  The first note you see is a green note.
Quickly stretch your index finger out to the green and hit the first note, and
then bring it back.  Keep that up through out the entire intro.  Your goal %
for the song is 80-85, but you should play until you’re used to the orange
fret.  If you want to, you can try increasing your speed.

Next are the Hammer-Ons and Pull-Offs.  These are vital if you are planning on
nailing those tough solos.  If you’ve read this FAQ, you have already been
told how to play these.  I’m going to show you how to perfect them.

We’re gonna head off to practice again.  Load up Laid to Rest on Expert.
Select the last two sections.  Put it on slowest.  If you look closely, you’ll
see that the entire last two sections are all one big hammer-on.  This is hard,
even on slowest. Again, try to aim for 80-85%, or until you are comfortable
with the technique.  I would not suggest a speed increase, because you aren’t
gonna have to play this song for light years.

Our final technique is Alt (or double) Strumming.  Again, you’ve been told how
to do this.

Here is what I did to learn Alt Strumming.  Try going back to your medium
career, and go through it again, this time alt strumming everything, even
something that you could normally down strum easily.  Also, if you slow certain
sections down, they’re great for Alt Strumming.  Some of these sections are the
Hangar 18 ending (medium +), Trogdor Solo (Hard +), and All of Misirlou on

If you follow this advice, you will be dominating hard in no time.  Good luck,
and watch out for Carry Me Home!"

--- Star Power and Where to Start --- [spst]

In Medium Mode, Star Power was most likely just a way to earn more points, and
still is in Hard, except that now, since there are more extremely hard
sections, you must also sometimes use Star Power to keep from failing. Trust
me, when you get to the solo on Free Bird you're going to need it. Personally,
I prefer tipping up the guitar to deploy star power, but some people like to
hit Select with the palm of their hand. Either is fine. Whammying notes does
not give you extra points, but if you whammy a Star Power note, you get more
Star Power. And since chords are woth more points thatn notes, it makes sense
to use Star Power at sections with many chords. For intense info on where to
use Star Power, I'd reccomend shecking this part of out:
cb625938 (without the line break obviously).

That said, the first song that I would reccomend tackling in Hard is Strutter,
because it is very easy compared to the rest of them and also uses the Orange
fret very infrequently. After that you can move on to Cherry Pie and Heart-
Shaped Box and then on to start your band's career in Hard. The first tier is
in my opinion harder than the second, so don't de discouraged. After the second
tier, songs get progressively harder, allowing you to build your skill.

                            ~~~ The Guide --- [gide]

=== Opening Licks === [sng1]

Song Name: Shout At the Devil
Artist: Motley Crue
Total Notes: 504
4 Star Cutoff: 80,358
5 Star Cutoff: 112,502
Difficulty Rating: Tame (2/10)
5 Star Difficulty Rating: Trained (3/10)

Stategy: The song begins with three Green notes and a qiuck jump to [RB].
Whammy this chord, then quickly move your hand up to hit the orange note,
giving you your first Star Power boost. Then do the exact same thing only with
a [RY] chord, and jump to the Orange angain. This riff is pretty much the
backbone of the entire song, and it's not that hard. If you can do this, you
can beat, or possibly even 5 Star this song easily.

After a faster rehash of the opening, you will see the first of the six note
ho/po's, a reacurring trend in this song. This one is played RYBOBR, but others
include:  RYBOBR
          RYBGYR  } This,
          GRYRYB  } this,
          GRYGRB  } and this should be played in Green position; all others
                    should be played in Red.

          (In that order)

A note on the ho/po's: I know that these will probably be hard to do at first,
but with a little practice, you'll get it. Usually, I strum the third note in
the sequence, because I can't usually nail six ho/po notes in a row.

Keep your hand in the Green position for Verse 1: 
[RB]==[RY]==[GY]-[GY]-G[RY]=/ [RB]-[RB]-G[RY]=/[GY]
This section repeats three times; nail the second repeat to get more Star
Power. The fourth time, be ready for a suprise Y==O-Y-R==O-R- sequence.

The next section is a repeat of the beginning, and the Verse section then
repeats; watch for the Star Power Sequence at the end. The first riff repeats
again, with the ho/po YBYBYR.

Now for a faster part: Two [GR]'s followed by a [YB] (quickly take your 2 and 3
finger off and put your 4 and 5 finger on) then [GR][GR]-[GR]-[RB]=/ and keep
your finger down on Red for the same thing but with a [RY] shord, then an
ho/po: GRYRYB.

Eight quick Yellow notes, four quick blue ones, five Oranges and a Hammer On to
Blue. The ho/po GRYGRB takes you back to the fast part for a second, then a
[GY][RY][RB] Star Power sequence takes you out, and back to the main riff.

After a long rest comes a ho/po and then two repeats of the main riff. After
that is the hardest part in the song. A Green note first then two more Greens
then a Hammer On RY, then three more Green notes and two G's with a Hammer On
YB. (G-GGRY GGG-GGYB GGG-GGRY) Nailing this section will net you a Star Power
boost. Then an ho/po sequence, RYBGRB. This repeats. After a short chord
section with four ho/po's, a final [GY] chord. Watch out for the YY[YO]== at
the end. You'll have to move your hand quickly. If you need to cut of the [GY]
chord a little early to get into Red Position, don't sweat it.

To get the most points out of your Star Power, use it at the fast part. ~~~~~~~

Song Name: Mother
Artist: Danzig
Total Notes: 541
4 Star Cutoff: 88,796
5 Star Cutoff: 124,315
Difficulty Rating: Docile (1/10)
5 Star Difficulty Rating: Tame (2/10)

Strategy: This song is not at all as hard as Shout at the Devil, it's just that
it's really long, and slightly boring. There are five main parts to this song:
the opening, the verse, the chorus, and the two solos.

The opening is simple: three chords, [YO]======/[GY]===/[RB]===/ which repeats.
About eight or so times.

The verse section is also simple: G==R-Y-R==Y-B-O=/B-O. This repeats about nine

And the chorus is - you guessed it - simple: [GY]==[GY]--[GY]-[GY], then the
same thing but with [RB] and [YO] chords, and then a [YO]===/[RB]===/
progression, at which point it repeats.

The song is simple also. The opening eight times, the verse nine times, and the
chorus four times, with nine [GY] Star Power chords at the end.

Then it launches into the verse section seven times, then a Yellow note and two
Red notes, followed by a [GY] and a [RB] chord, and then into two choruses, but
with a different ending: O=/B-O-, the same ending as the verse. Then another
chorus, four Y notes, and the beginning of a chourus but with a dramatically
different ending. Although this is an ho/po, it is slow enough to strum each
note individually. It's just an ascending scale which then descends, and then
R-Y- repeated four times, then G-B-Y-B-Y-O-Y-O===. That was the beginning of
the solo.

Next is a Blue then an Orange, then the same thing with a shorter Orange, then
a quick hammer on from Yellow to Red. Three ascending notes starting with Y,
then B-Y-O-/. Two short held notes, a Red and a Yellow, then R-Y-R-Y- and
G-R-Y==. Orange, Yellow, Orange, held Yellow, then an Orange, a quick BYB
ho/po, then Y and a long Red note, and Y-B-O=====O===========/. Then you're
back to the verse.

The fourth repeat of the verse section ends with 12 [YO] Star power chords.
Blue, Orange, Blue, and hammer on to Orange, which is held, then O-B-Y- and a
BOB ho/po. Then B-R-B-R-B-B- BO hammer on, YR hammer on, with the R held. A
Green note follows, then stretch for a G-Y-O sequence. See if you can play the
G with your 2 finger, then stretch 3 to Y, and play O with 5. After that, the
song goes B-Y-O-B, then an RY ho/po, and a B==. Then Y-R- and a descending
scale from Orange to Red, finishing with O-/Y-/O==. Finally, a Y-B- and Star
Power O notes end the section. You can keep your hand in Red Position the whole

Except there's another solo section. It starts with Yellow, Blue, Yellow, then
launches into B-O-R-B-R-O-B-B- R-O-R-B-R-O-B- then G-R-B==, OB ho/po, then
three descending notes to get some Star Power. Almost there. An O note with an
YB ho/po is next, then B-B===R. Then a Yellow Triplet, a Red Triplet, a Triplet
where the first two notes are Yellow and the next is Blue, then a quick blue
note, which brings you to the ending, B=O-B====. Next,
R-R-Y-Y-B-B-O-B-O========O====. The final section is next. O-B-Y-/Y-/R-/B-O-
then a BYBY==/ ho/po. Two final Red notes, then a stretch [RO] chord, and
you're done.

For best results, use Star Power during the verse section, since it is
plentiful with chords. The solo is actually pretty easy, but if you need it you
can use Star Power there. ~~~~~~

Song Name: Surrender
Artist: Cheap Trick
Total Notes: 788
4 Star Cutoff: 124,270
5 Star Cutoff: 173,978
Difficulty Rating: Docile (1/10)
5 Star Difficulty Rating: Tame (2/10)

Strategy: This song is basically all power chords, either [GY], [RB], or [YO],
so if you cannot play these chords, you had better load up this song on
Practice mode and learn how to do them.

That said, the song is very easy except for a few things, which I'm going to

First, through all of this song you're going to see a sequence that looks like
this: Y-Y-[YO]-Y-Y-Y-[YO]-Y-  R-R-[RB]-R-R-R-[RB]-R-  G-G-[GY]-G-G-G-[GY]. This
is the backbone of the song, and can actually be suprisingly hard to nail. The
way to beat this is to concentrate on the fact that it's really just Y-Y[YO]-Y-
over and over again. Other than that, it will only come with practice. Don't
worry though: it won't take much. ;)

Also, there is a sequence thrown in the middle sometimes which is a combination
of Y notes and [YB] chords. Anywhere from [YB]=/Y-[YB]==/ to playing Y and [YB]
every half a beat. Often, however, it is essentially the same as the main riff,
except backwards: instead of putting a finger on every other beat, you will
have to take your 3 finger off. I know that it sounds confusing, but you will
learn, again, with practice.

The verse section is another trouble spot. This is the part where the singer
goes, "Mommy's all right, Daddy's all right..." and you must play progressively
larger chords, from [BO] to [YO] to [RO], with similar notes in between. The
last chord is the big one, however, as it is one of the first times in the game
it is used. Just remember that the verse section can be played completely in
Red Position, and that you don't have to stretch you hand to play that chord.
Again, practice makes perfect.

One part in this song that always gets me is the part with the ho/po's. You
know, where it goes: G-G-[GY]-G-G-G-GRY=/. It's not that the ho/po's are hard,
it's that I always want to put an extra G before the Y is finished. You have to
remember that the song actually skips putting a note on count 1 of the next
measure. The notes start on the and of 1. Until it throws you for a loop when
there is a note on count 1 the third time you play this sequence.

On a final note, look out for the slow triplets that look like quarter notes at
the end, and practice the descending power chords if you need to. These tend
to catch me off guard, and I always break my streak by playing them too fast.
Be patient.

Star power should be used just about anywhere in the song, since almost all
places have adequete amounts of chords. Personally, I use it on the repitition
of [GY] chords section, which is just like the beginning. ~~~~~~

Song Name: Woman
Artist: Wolfmother
Total Notes: 623
4 Star Cutoff: 99,454
5 Star Cutoff: 139,236 (Not Precisely Confirmed)
Difficulty Rating: Trained (3/10)
5 Star Difficulty Rating: Wild (5/10)

Strategy: This song has two parts, the verse and the solo. Okay, technically it
has a chorus too, but that's just a very easy chord progression. The hard parts
are the verse and the solo.

Let's tackle the verse first. It is a sequence of [YB] chords, played
[YB]-[YB][YB]-[YB][YB]-[YB]RYB where the RYB is an ho/po. The chords are slow
enough to single strum if you're quick enough, but the ho/po can be
troublesome. I find that it is best to strum the last chord then hammer on the
first and second note but *keep your finger on the Yellow as you hammer on the
Blue.* I think it makes this sequence feel more natural, but expertise will
come with practice.

You cannot 5 Star this song without playing the solo good, that's for sure. The
solo is hard, though, and if you can't play it you can struggle through with
Star Power, but you'll never get a really good score unless you can do it. The
solo is basically just a long ho/po section. It reads:
BYR BYR BYRY-- BYR BYR BYRG. I find it easier to strum the first of each
three-note phrase (BYR), and the Y/G at the end. Even I, though, had to sit and
Practice this on Slowest to actually get good at it, and that may be what you
have to do, to.

The next part of the solo (that's right, there's a next part) is actually
easier than the first part. It reads: GRYB--GRYB--GRYB--GRYO--. The first part
is pretty easy to hammer on, but the GRYO is tricky. What I like to do is strum
the orange note. You have to be very quick to do this, but I think it is easier
than stretching you pinky out and trying to hammer on with it. Which is very
hard, at least for me. Anyway, this section keeps repeating for a while,
sometimes straying up to where you should play in the Red Position, but is
basically the same.

After a bit, you get to a different short solo section, OBYBYRG--. Strum the
second blue note. Then is a kind of shuffle part, GY-YB-RY- etc. It actually
helps me sometimes to move my body and the guitar back and forth whith each
ho/po. I know that sounds kind of weird, but trust me, it actually works.

After that, you're pretty much done: just another verse and a two measure solo
dose brings you out.

Use your Star Power at the verse section, where there are plenty of chords, but
be careful not to break your streak on the ho/po's! ~~~~~~

Song Name: Tonight I'm Gonna Rock You Tonight (Encore)
Artist: Spinal Tap
Total Notes: 393
4 Star Cutoff: 70,046
5 Star Cutoff: 98,065
Difficulty Rating: Captured (4/10)
5 Star Difficulty Rating: Captured (4/10)

Strategy: I love this song. Seriously, it's the-- oh right, the strategy.

This song starts out with one of my favorite chord progressions in the game.
It will really stick in your head. It's played:

The good news is that you don't have to move out of the Green Position to play
it. The bad news is that if you want to nail it, you'll have to play this song
alot. Which is okay, 'cause it's a cool song. There's really no help I can give
you on this except practice.

I hope you got good at those shuffle patterns in Woman, because they're
everywhere in this song. Fortunately, they are not as fast or in a group as
those in Woman were.

Another troubling thing in this song is the sequence: G=/G[GR] which repeats.
This may be hard at first, but concentrate on putting your 3 finger down on
beat 1 and 3. Once you get into this rythym, you will be able to play this

On a final note, when you hear, "Little girl, it's a crazy little world and
there's only one of me," you will see a [RB] [YO] progression coming up. Be
advised, though: this progression is slower than others like it in the song,
and it always takes me by suprise and I miss that HUGE long note. So be careful
of that.

Use you Star Power during the main chord progression, but watch out for other
SP phrases: they are commonly located there and it would be a shame to miss one
because Star Power is already engaged. ~~~~~~

=== Amp Warmers === [sng2]

Song Name: Strutter
Artist: KISS
Total Notes: 556
4 Star Cutoff: 81,966
5 Star Cutoff: 114,753
Difficulty Rating: Unconsious (0/10)
5 Star Difficulty Rating: Docile (1/10)

Strategy: This is **hands down** the easiest song on Hard. Hands down. For two
reasons: 1. There are a total of nine Orange notes in the entire song.
         2. There are **no Hammer Ons or Pull Offs at all.**

Seriously, this song should be on medium.

Basically, Strutter cosists of two note chords and eight notes. And some held
notes. About every riff is just one note in eighth notes with a chord tacked in
sometimes. Easy peasy.

The only possible place that I would think anyone would have trouble in this
song is when the sequence transitions from a [GR] sequence to a [RY] one, by
using a [GY] chord. This may look troubling at first, but you'll be suprised
how easy it is.

If anyone has any part of the song that they think needs a strategy, plaese
email me and I will write one for it. But other than that, you should be able
to do this song with your eyes closed.

(Well ok, not with you eyes closed. But I've done this song lefty, behind my
back, and while balancing on a balace board.)

It dosen't matter where you use Star Power, you'll probably 5 Star this song on
your first try.

Song Name: Heart-Shaped Box
Artist: Nirvana
Total Notes: 844
4 Star Cutoff: 109,520
5 Star Cutoff: 153,328 (Not Precisely Confirmed)
Difficulty Rating: Docile (1/10)
5 Star Difficulty Rating: Tame (2/10)

Strategy: The big thing with Heart-Shaped Box is little sections that repeat
inevitably and almost invariably. For most of the song, you will be playing
2 or 4-beat riffs that are transposed to start on different frets.

Take for example, the verse section. This section may look frightning at first,
but if you look at it you will see that the riff; Y-B-O-B- is repeating. Every
second beat you will go into a transposition of this: R-Y-B-Y-, G-R-Y-R-, etc.
If you can do this, and I'm betting you can if you've beaten Medium, you can
play almost the whole verse.

Another repeating trend is at the end of a phrase, which is about 1 1/2
measures, there will be a riff that plays Y-G-Y-G-Y-B-[BO]-B-. This is pretty
easy: Just remember to move your hand to Red Position when you get to the Blue

Also reoccuring is the B-B-B-B-R-R-B- sequence which needs no explanation.

Once you get into the chorus, you'll see that that, too, is a huge repeating
riff. This one goes [YO]-[YO]-O=/ [RB]-[RB]-O=/ [GY]-B-B-B-B-R-O==/. This is
also easy. Here's a tip: play this whole sequence in Red Position. For the [GY]
chord, reach down with your 2 finger to Green while still keeping your 345 on
YBO. This way your hand will stay in Red Position so that you can nail the
Orange note. Of course if you want to, you could move you hand down, then back
up for the O, it's really your choice.

The final trend in this song accurs in the solo. Many times the riff O=BYR-R-B=
repeats, sometimes transposed to start on Blue. This is not a very hard ho/po,
and if you can't do it, it won't take much until you can.

Just an interesting note, there is a short sequence in the solo that reads:
O-[YO]. This is funny because you can jsut keep your hands on Y and O and strum
twice to play both of them. These kind of sequences occur sometimes in songs,
especially Free Bird.

Also, at the end, just like in TIGRYT, the notes are slower, so be careful not
to overestimate their speed and miss them.

To make the most of your Star Power, use it at the chorus, specifically at the
end of the song where there are many chords. ~~~~~~

Song Name: Message in a Bottle
Artist: The Police
Total Notes: 942
4 Star Cutoff: 125,840
5 Star Cutoff: 176,176 (Not Precisely Confirmed)
Difficulty Rating: Trained (3/10)
5 Star Difficulty Rating: Trained (3/10)

Strategy: This song isn't hard, at all. The only thing is that almost all the
time you're playing notes: there's not many rests. Other than that, the song is
pretty easy if you know how to do it.

The first thing you'll notice about this song is the constant barrage of notes
that comes at you almost immediatly. It reads Y-B-B-R==Y-Y-R==B-B-G==R-Y-B, and
it repeats 10 times. Luckily, this section has no Orange notes, so you can keep
your hand comfortably in the Green Positon. If you can get comfortable with the
rythym, (R==Y-Y-) which won't take much time at all, than you will easily be
able to play this section.

The next part of the song is a sequence of 9 [GY] chords, 3 [RB] ones, and a
[YO]. This is the part when the song goes, "I'll send my S.O.S to the world."
After this, the singer says, "I hope that someone gets my message in a bottle."

This is a harder part. It is actually similar to the riff in Surrender. It
reads [BY]-B-, which repeats, then [RB]-R-, which repeats again. To play this
section, remember that the chords are directly on the beats: if you put your 5
finger down every beat, you can nail it. As for the transition from B to R,
concentrate on putting your 2 finger down instead of 5. The transition from R
B, though, is harder. Your hand wil want to put a chord where the last note is,
resulting in an error and loss of multiplier for you. Try to concentrate on the
last Red note, then put your 4 and 5 fingers on the [BO] chord rather hard.
That always helps me do it right. And if you're not good at it, with a little
practice you'll get it.

Now for the solo. The solo in this song is mostly comprised of two note
ho/po's, which are relatively easy, so you shouldn't have too much of a
problem with it. Sometimes, though, something interesting happens. An Orange
note is played, then a couple more notes depending on the sequence, and then a
ho/po RG. This is a situation where you'll have to use the Slide (see above in
the [diff] section.

At the end of the song, there is an ascending scale, and then a suprise [YBO]
chord that you won't see coming. That's right, three notes. What you need to do
is know it's coming, and when it gets to you, slam all three fingers down,
quickly. You may want to play the preceding part in the Red Position to get

To use your Star Power effectively, use them at the chorus, where the singer
says, "I'll send my S.O.S to the world." This part is filled with chords. You
could also use it at the end, to get the most out of that [YBO] chord. ~~~~~~

Song Name: You Really Got Me
Artist: Van Halen
Total Notes: 437
4 Star Cutoff: 62,784
5 Star Cutoff: 87,898
Difficulty Rating: Trained (3/10)
5 Star Difficulty Rating: Captured (4/10)

Strategy: Ah yes, Van Halen, one of the best bands in my opinion. Anyway, this
song isn't that hard, actually. There are just a few things that you have to
watch out for.

First, the main riff is no longer composed of only notes, as it was in Easy and
meduim. There are now chords mixed in. The progression goes:
G-[RB]-[RB]-G-[RB]. This riff is a trend throughout the song. It's not really
that hard, it just takes a little practice.

Not before the second riff, you will see a puzzling fast YY. This is a place
where you must employ the Double Strum. Double Strum those notes quickly, then
get back to doing that main riff again. This happens a couple other times in
the song. If you need further help, you should take a look at LadiesMan2's
section up near the top about getting aquainted with Hard.

The song is basically a very cool rehash of the first part until you get to
the first solo section. It starts with a long Yellow then four Blues and a
Hammer On to Y. This is another section that you must Double Strum. I usually
strum the Yellow note too, as long as I'm Double Strumming. I find it hard to
do a Double Strum sequence and then an ho/po in quick succession.

Then comes a positively hideous Trill section. YBYBYBRBRBGBGBR==. This is hard
and will take some getting used to until you can do it. If you're really
having trouble, you could try just forgetting about the Blue notes and only
playing the other ones. This will not bring your Meter down that much, but it
will kill your multiplier, so use it only if you really need to.

During the solo, there are one or two places where you need to Slide, so look
up at the top of this guide if you don't remember how.

Near the beginning of the Breakdown (I beleive it's called) there will be a
sequence of Red notes starting slow but increasing in speed almost
exponentially. Be careful not to underestimate the speed of the notes; it gets
to sixteenth notes at the end.

Finally, at the end of the song there is another short solo, this time being a
monstrous ho/po. It reads YRBYRYRY- RYB-RYG-RYB- BY... and gets to the ending.
Thankfully, this can be played entirely in the Green Position. Personally, I
don't think that this is harder than the first solo, buy either way, practice
makes perfect.

To get the most points from your Star Power, use it at the main riff section,
preferably the one with chords. ~~~~~~

Song Name: Carry On Wayward Son (Encore)
Artist: Kansas
Total Notes: 895
4 Star Cutoff: 107,968
5 Star Cutoff: 151,156
Difficulty Rating: Tame (2/10)
5 Star Difficulty Rating: Trained (3/10)

Strategy: Carry on My Wayward Son. In addition to being good lyrics, this is
actually a good attitude to have when playing this song. Sometimes, notes will
come at you constantly, but don't worry, it's easy, and you'll do fine.

After a cool vocal intro, there'll be an easy part, and shortly after that
you'll notice a curious ho/po, GRYBRYB. This is a bit hard and you probably
won't be able to do it the first time, but carry on wayward son, you'll get it
with practice. If I'm feeling really crazy at this part, I like to Single Strum
all the notes; otherwise you could also practice your Double Strumming. Either
way, I always strum the second Red note.

At the beginning of the first short solo section, you'll see a series of R and
B notes that are very fast, as fast as any ho/po, and can be ho/po'd, but
ho/po'ing them is very hard. This is another time to use your awesome Double
Strumming skills. If you can't, you can get by with Single Strum if you're VERY
quick, or you could sacrifice your multiplier and play only the Blue notes. Of
course, you could take the hard road and try to ho/po these, in which case
you'd need to strum every Blue note also.

After this, you'll come to a sequence that's comprised mainly of three note
descending ho/po's. Just remember to strum every three notes, and do just like
you did on Woman, and you'll so fine.

Next is a section made of eighth notes coming at you constantly. Just
concentrate on the note colors, and watch out for suprise [RB] and [YO] chords
at the end, and you'll be fine.

You'll soon encounter another ho/po, the second main one in the song. This one
reads BYRGRGR. This is not as hard as the previous one, but it's still hard. I
like to strum the Blue note and all the Red notes. This will also come with
practice. Also, watch out for a few Slides in the solo.

At the end of the solo will come, get ready for this, a huge ho/po measure that
reads: BO-OBYYBYRGRYBO. In the long ho/po at the end of this section, I usually
strum the first Blue and second Red notes.

After that, you'll have an easy section and then another of those
BRBRBRBRBRBRBRB sections: remember how to Double Strum. Or ho/po if you're
really good. After that it's smooth sailling until the end.

To get the most points, use Star Power at the 1st solo, 2nd solo, in the
constant note section, or at the end. Basically about anywhere except the swing
riff. ~~~~~~

=== String Snappers ===

Song Name: Monkey Wrench
Artist: Foo Fighters
Total Notes: 1,036
4 Star Cutoff: 176,024
5 Star Cutoff: 246,434
Difficulty Rating: Tame (2/10)
5 Star Difficulty Rating: Trained (3/10)

Strategy: This entire song is really just an excercise in double strumming. If
you can double strum okay, than you have nothing to fear with this song.

It starts out with a Guitar Hook, O-O-B-B-Y-Y-R-R-B-B-Y-Y-R-R-G-G-... Use your
Double Strumming skills to ace this section. After the first six notes, you can
move your hand down into the Green Position and play the rest of the phrase
there. Move it back up again when you see Orange notes. At the end of each
phrase is a small ho/po, Y-B-Y-R-. Since you're Double Strumming already, you
can further hone your skills by Double Strumming this part too; if you don't
feel like it, it isn't that hard to ho/po.

After the Guitar Hook, there is a section of chords that won't be hard if you
can Double Strum them. At the end of each phrase in this section is a
G-[GR]-G-[GR]-G- riff. I find that it is easier to Single Strum this riff, and
if you can just nail the Double-Single Strum transition, which isn't that hard,
you can ace this section every time.

Later in the song, there is a similar G and R section. The thing to remember
with this one is that the [GR] chords almost always fall directly on the beat.
If you can get used to putting your 3 finger down every beat, you can beat this
section and easily ace it with a bit of practice.

In the chorus, there is a section which reads
[RY]-[RY]--B--[RY]-[RY]-B-[RY]-[YB]. A tip on this section: It's much easier to
play [YB] for the B notes. This will work, as in Guitar hero only the highest
button pushed registers, but it makes it so that this section is only [RY] and
[YB] chords.

Basically, the rest of the song is a rehash of the other parts. Remember to
Double Strum, and you'll be fine.

Use Star Power at the verse section, because this is constant chords, and will
give you the most points. ~~~~~~

Song Name: Them Bones
Artist: Alice In Chains
Total Notes: 475
4 Star Cutoff: 99,040
5 Star Cutoff: 138,656
Difficulty Rating: Trained (3/10)
5 Star Difficulty Rating: Captured (4/10)

Strategy: Right off the bat you'll notice something peculiar about this song:
the length of the prhrases doesn't seem right. That's because the beginning of
this song is in 7/4 time - seven beats in a measure, quarter note gets one
count. You can use this to your advantage: since Guitar Hero measures the
drainage of Star Power by measure, not note, you can get more points out of
your Star Power by using it in these sections.

Of course, to monopolize on these sections, you'll need to play them first, and
some of the chord progressions can be a bit tricky. The songs starts off with a
[YB]-[RB][RB] and continues upward in a two-note chord scale of sorts, after
which it repeats. Almost every chord change has a note that doesn't change -
just concentrate on keeping your finger on that note and you'll be nailing this
in no time.

The same is true for the next section when this progression turns
into held chords. Thankfully, you won't have to take your hand out of the Green
Position for any of these sections.

When the singer says, "I feel so alone..." you'll know the chorus has begun.
The chorus is actually easier than the verse, but it does have some orange
notes, so be careful. You night miss a few of the first notes the first time
you play this song, but after that you'll be able to easily recognize the
correct rythm: -[YB]==[YB]==[YB]-[YB]-[YB]-[RY]==[RY]==[RY]-R-Y-B=/.

The solo is easily passed with some  quick fingerings and single strums, but
that little lick at the end is tricky. The descending inversion scale is easy
to master, but you'll have a hard time with the last 2-4 measures. It begins
with a R then a YRY hammer-on, followed by some more of those shuffle one note
hammer-ons you've seen in other songs. If you can recognize that the first part
is three notes, you can have this down pat easy.

Absolutely use your Star Power at the verse sections, and you'll have no
problem 5-starring this song.

Song Name: Search and Destroy
Artist: Iggy Pop and the Stooges
Total Notes: 762
4 Star Cutoff: 126,612
5 Star Cutoff: 177,257
Difficulty Rating:
5 Star Difficulty Rating:

Song Name: Tatooed Love Boys
Artist: The Pretenders
Total Notes: 561
4 Star Cutoff: 89,940
5 Star Cutoff: 125,916
Difficulty Rating:
5 Star Difficulty Rating:

Song Name: War Pigs (Encore)
Artist: Black Sabbath
Total Notes: 1,006
4 Star Cutoff: 143,598
5 Star Cutoff: 201,038
Difficulty Rating:
5 Star Difficulty Rating:

All other songs: Coming soon, Sorry.

--- FAQ --- [faqq]

Q: Ahhhhhh your FAQ has tons of typos!
A: I know. I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm not the best typist in the world.
   I try every update to eleminate any typos, but there's no way I can get all
   of them. If it's a typo that really makes the text hard to understand, just
   tell me and I'll fix it.

Q: Can I put you guide on my site?
A: Maybe, if I feel like it. Don't do it without checking with me.

Q: How do I get custom songs in my game/will you make a custom for me?
A: I'm sorry, but I don't have time to make customs for everyone. If you would
   like to get custom songs in you game, there are many Youtube tutorials on
   the matter.

Q: Ahhhhhh Woman is too hard!
A: I know. All I can tell you is to read the tips in the guide then practice,
   practice, practice, so that you can gat all the notes consistantly. It's not
   like it's impossible. You can do it, trust me, I did, and that's not the
   hardest song to 5-star on Hard.

Q: Will you make a guide for GH1/GH3/Rock Band?
A: I have both GH3 and Rock Band, though unfortunately I don't plan on making
   guides for them very soon. As for GH1, most likely not. I am actually
   working on a few other guides at the moment so after this one I will likely
   continue on those. Sorry.

Keep sending in your questions!

--- Thanks --- [thxx]

I'd like to give an sincere thank you to:

RedOctane/Harmonix/Activision, for making this awesome game.
LadiesMan2, for writing the excellent section about getting used to Hard Mode.
  Thank you very much.
RogSoft, for making the excellent program Notepad+, in which this guide was
JGSoft, for making EditPad Lite, which I switched to because I liked it better.
  Sorry, RogSoft., from which I got the info on the number of notes and cuttoffs
  for each song, as well as some note charts. This is an excellent site.
This website:, for providing note
  charts to go off of because I can't have the game on all the time. This is
  also an awesome site.
GameFAQs, for being an awesome website and for letting me post this guide there
You, for being kind enough to read this guide. Thanks!


"It's getting late, I should have known; Won't somebody carry me home?"
                             -The Living End, "Carry Me Home"

~~~ Guitar Hero II: Hard Mode Guide ~~~
--- Version 1.22 ---
--- Written by Silversnares ---