UG Weekend Riff: Part 11

Ultimate Guitar


Iron Maiden - The Trooper. When it comes to metal, the British are the best in the world. Pioneers like Iron Maiden wrote the rule book as far as metal is concerned and despite a combined age totalling at least 400 years (if you count Eddie the Ed) the band are still churning out hits today. Based in E minor, the powerful descending melody line that introduces the song is played on two guitars and Adrian Smith adds the 3rd notes of the scales over the Dave Murray's line. This section repeats before a trill of rapid hammer-ons is substituted and finally the heavy powerchords of D5, G5 and E5 come in, with the twist of the G5 chord being inverted so the D is in the bass.


To play the first four bars, split the notes in to groups of four, and use the third finger for the higher fret and the first finger for the lower fret of each grouping. After the two bars first bar, make sure you skip the first note of every two bars and instead hold the final E and add a touch of fast vibrato.

For the fast trill section, simply hammer on and pull off rapidly. As with everything else, if you can't do it straight away play ti a little slower until you master it then speed up. The rhythm is particularly difficult but not entirely out of reach. Finally, the extra powerchord section that makes up the verse riff for the main guitar (There are three of them... 20 strings in total)

Gear Settings:

A Marshall amplifier is required (it's in the rule-book) with gain around 8. Iron Maiden use custom humbuckers so while any guitar with a bridge humbucker will sound fine, Dave Murray's custom Jackson is the weapon of choice to really make your stack growl.

  • Treble: 9
  • Contour: 7
  • Bass: 5

    Audio & Tab:

    Use these links to get a tablature and a midi file for the tab above.

  • 29 comments sorted by best / new / date

      Great Song.....Great explination though it'd be good to see the tab on the same page
      great tab, very, VERY well done... what sucks tho is i can do the 2nd half, cant hammer that fast... lolz
      Geldof the Grey
      you don't need to read notes!!!.. it's tab on the top line and musical notation to show timing on the bottom but you can just use the tab if you're a musical pleb...
      I thought this was pretty badly written. It would be a little confusing to the average guitarist. Great song, though.
      Geldof the Grey
      If you can't hammer that fast, try subsituting 4 1/16 notes in the same space. It's a little easier.
      ^The Guitar World magazine had a Legends issue about EVH sometime this summer (July, I think), which had a step by step guide to playing Eruption, so any aspiring shredders could use that.
      Geldof the Grey
      oh... eruption is a 2 minute solo... about 100 bars of music. There is NO way on God's earth I am going to tab it all for one little column. Download guitar pro's demo, e-mail me and I'll send you a tab but I will NOT write about it since I've no hope in playing it.
      Geldof the Grey
      I ahd to sleep okay... it's difficult to tab this in ascii tab as there are 16th note triplets and the timing would be ineffable suggestions will be counted as spam!!! I have read that a custom Jackson was used to record the riff. The videos always shows the same guitars dammit!!! if the video was a live video, you would see the same guitars anyway as they always used those guitars live *shrug* The Jackson does exist, I remember one of my mates harping on about making a replica from his old Jackson and some Iron maiden signture pickups...
      crumfish, enlarge the image to actual size and you will see that it is a tab. nice work again geldof, and thanks for bringing this back!
      tab link does work... and im pretty sure in the video for the trooper that they used a strat and a gibson explorer, same for number of the beast
      yeah tab link doesnt work, i thought dave used a strat and Adrian an Ibanez destroyer
      Are the pickups costom made? I thought they were just some DiMarzios?
      Aww, damn... I'll try again when the links work... otherwise, keep up to good work.