How to Play The Trooper by Iron Maiden

The Trooper” is one of my favorite tunes written by Iron Maiden. This bad ass song is found in their second album Piece of Mind which dates back to 1983. It’s pretty amazing how this song has inspired thousands of guitarists around the world and make them want to learn guitar riffs. To this day, The Trooper is one of Iron Maiden’s most popular songs and they often play it live.

Jamplay has kindly offered this free video lesson to GuitarPlayerWorld’s readers for FREE. Dennis Hodges is your instructor today and he takes you through a step by step process to mastering The Trooper.

Nothing is held back in this lesson. I hope you enjoy playing along to the galloping rhythms and take this opportunity to hone your techniques.

 

 

Points to Take in The Trooper

1 – Iron Maiden uses a whole slew of guitar techniques to create the classic galloping rhythm and fast riffs. If you listen closely to many of their songs, you will realize that the galloping guitar rhythm can be found in 80% of their songs. While it may sound simple on the CDs, if the galloping rhythm is played slightly out of time, it sounds plain awful. Do make use of a metronome and start slow.

2 – Knowledge of power chords is essential as it builds up the core foundation of the harmony Iron Maiden employs. Again, you need to build up your speed gradually and practice changing power chords until you can do so fluently.

3 – Dynamics. The manner in which you strike your chords is a key to achieving the desired sound. Try the following experiments out for yourself. Perform a downstroke on a power chord and do an upstroke on the power chord. Do you notice there is a subtle difference in the chord tones?

4 – Harmonizing a melody. Iron Maiden is a melody-driven band and they often incorporate riffs that could be played simultaneously by up to 3 guitarists. The typical intervals used in harmonies are the diatonic, minor and major 3rds.

5 – Practice. All being said, practice is what enables you to play the guitar to a certain level of professionalism. My advice here is to break things up in chunks and build up muscle memory in your fingers slowly. If a part is too difficult, slow it down and break it up. Tackle a section at a time and you will gradually move forward in progress.

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