A friend of mine recently regaled me with a tale of watching a guy play Guitar Hero 3 at a competition. The contestant played Metallica’s One and ripped off 93 percent on the “Expert” setting. That is good – very good. In fact, we can engage in some hyperbole here and throw in the extra “very”, in bold.

Very, very good.

We are not here, however, to talk about “very good”. We are here to talk about “completely and unbelievably fucking awesome” which is what the performance in the following video most definitely is. Through The Fire And Flames is generally considered to be the hardest song in GH3, period, bar none, end of discussion, thank you. One is difficult to be sure, but Flames is rather more difficult in the same way that Crime And Punishment is somewhat longer than Green Eggs And Ham. And on “Expert”, it becomes something exponentially more intricate, the notes akin to an arcane language that you can hear, but simply have no hope of ever comprehending.

And while there are some things of note in this performance – the excellent two-handed technique in the long hammer-on section at the start, the switch from the strum bar to two-handed tapping and back in the really hard part at 2:24, and the crucial drying of the hand on the jeans at 4:00 – there is no real point in trying to quantify or even understand the way this plays out. Just watch the video.

You’ll know.

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