Stranger in a Strange Land

Animated Stranger in a Strange Land tab by Iron Maiden on guitar. So easy you'll be playing in minutes.

This is another great song from the masters of epic metal. It has a fantastic solo which ticks the right boxes - it's melodic and memorable, and the riffs aren't too difficult to learn, making this a great song for maiden fans to learn quite quickly. The difficulty rating is mostly due to the fast parts of the solo, which will take patience! However the rest of the song is solid Maiden, and not too hard to get quite quickly.

The song is in standard tuning (Low E A D G B E) and the main riffs are based in E (natural) minor - typical of maiden. The ActionTab is a whopper - it follows the entire song, then at the end we also show you the rhythm guitar part that underlies the solo (for those wanting to know it!)

The solo is a bit of classic Adrian Smith (who also wrote the song). Nicely melodic, and changing emphaisis along with the simple background chords. The whole song and solo are based around E minor, so familiarity with the E natural minor scale in particular will help you learn it.

E natural minor scale: E F# G A B C D E

Most of the solo is moderately paced and not too difficult, with lovely technique - especially on bends and vibrato. The fast parts of the solo will be a challenge. Particularly the little blues licks around the 12 - 15th frets.

To play these repetitive licks fast you need to keep your 1st and 3rd fingers very close to the frets. Your fingers should be in position, already fretting the notes ready to be picked next. This will be faster than trying to switch strings with your finger to play notes on adjacent strings. This is particularly true for your first finger. Some people simply fret it across the 12th fret and let the 3rd finger / picking hand do all the rest of the work. Pay attention to the 'Prepare note' dots (X) - these will keep you right! Your other fingers should always be moving to where they are needed next - don't pause on any note (unless it is a bend)!

These very fast blues licks are very common in rock and metal - for example, Slash uses them in the Sweet Child O' Mine solo and there are countless other songs where they are used. They sound great, and with enough practice will become second nature to you. So don't be put off by the speed. Work on the tricky bits slowed down and let your finger muscles get up to speed with time and practice. Remember, your fingers do get stronger and faster with time. Regular practice will ensure accuracy too. These licks may sound impossibly fast, but it's just lots of practice!

This is definitely a solo worth practicing - you will learn a lot about good technique and melody from emulating players like Iron Maiden's Adrian Smith and Dave Murray - very understated guitarists!

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