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How to play hammer-on "bar chords" in Guitar Hero Live (tutorial)

It takes a special technique to play hammer-on and pull-off bar chords - bar chords in general really - in Guitar Hero Live.

Let's all face it, Guitar Hero Live did an awful job of explaining how to play. With no tutorial outside of, "Play a top note, play a bottom note, play an open strum," it can be pretty difficult for a new player to figure out what they're doing.

New to Guitar Hero Live? Check out my previous game guides:

Previous Guitar Hero games explained hammer-ons, pull-offs, and all sorts of other shenanigans like how you can hold down buttons higher on the neck of the guitar while you play notes closer to the body. Today's issue is a little strange, however, and makes absolutely no sense when compared to playing a real guitar.

Slipknot's "Before I Forget", Disturbed's "Down With The Sickness", Deftones' "Diamond Eyes", "Toxicity" by System of a Down, and "Disposable Teens" by (cringe) Marilyn Manson. What do all of these songs have in common?

They all feature what I call subsequent bar chords, one of the most difficult-to-play note patterns in Guitar Hero Live.

Marilyn Manson Disposable Teens Guitar Hero Live GHTV Bar Chords

At first, these notes seem like they should be easy enough. Hold down the bar chord in the first row by pressing both top and bottom buttons, next note comes along just put your next finger on the next buttons like any other note, right? WRONG.

Bar chords, for whatever ridiculous reason, are non-compatible with hammer-ons, pull-offs, or playing up the neck in Guitar Hero Live. "But btide, how is there such a thing as bar chord hammer-ons then?" Very simple my young padawan, you must remove your fingers from every other note before playing the next bar chord. 

Yes, it's that easy. Rather than being played like a standard hammer-on where you can hold the previous note at the same time, you'll need to release any previously played buttons before playing the next bar chord. This goes for standard bar chords, as well as hammer-on and pull-off bar chords. The only note that can be held down is the bar chord you are about to play.

Disturbed Down With The Sickness GHTV Guitar Hero Live Bar Chords

The result of this ridiculous change in the standard Guitar Hero principles was a lot of veteran players, like yours truly, messing up a lot of songs after the initial release of the game. The technique itself is absolutely ridiculous, as more than one bar chord can be played at once on a real guitar. 

Long story short: play your first bar chord, remove your fingers from the fret board entirely, then move your fingers to the next bar chord. Get ready to feel the burn when you play those mosh-y metal parts because this is still quite difficult to do, even after you know how to do it. Your best bet is to save up hero power and use it during these parts of the song.

Published Feb. 1st 2016

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