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  • Americans Hate Tingle: Rock Band does not sell well in Europe, where the general opinion is that it's a Guitar Hero rip-off. Never mind the fact that Rock Band was made by the creators of Guitar Hero, and that the first Rock Band game came out a year before Guitar Hero World Tour. Then again, the main problem was that the first Rock Band game came out a year late in Europe.
  • And the Fandom Rejoiced: Depends on the song, but this is usually happen whenever a beloved pop-culture song is confirmed for the games. As a demonstration, here's the list of confirmed on-disc songs for Rock Band 3, courtesy of The Other Wiki. (Note the one by Queen, currently seventh from the top, and remember that Rock Band 3 has keyboard and vocal harmonies).
    • Remember, kids, "Baba O'Riley" is mostly just keyboards!
    • The famous "Epic" above-10 packs usually get this reaction. Case in point, The Best of The Who pack, Iron Maiden Flight 666 Pack, Queen 10-Pack, the Creedence Clearwater Revival pack, Legend: The Best of Bob Marley and the Wailers, The Doors 12-pack, Bon Jovi's Greatest Hits, the Billy Joel 10-pack, and two Jimi Hendrix albums (with a few substituted songs to compensate for apparent missing masters) with the third on the way.
    • How about the original announcement that the original Rock Band's setlist would export to future games?
    • On the heels of the patch fixing the PlayStation 3 Key Sound Bug, Harmonix added a second method to activate overdrive for vocalists (the back button) and extended the pedal support to the Mustang and Keyboard. The only platform that didn't have rejoicing was the Wii, which Nintendo refuses to allow title updates for, especially since Rock Band 4 is announced to not come out this year because Rock Band 3 is so solid... after the patches.
  • Anticlimax Boss: Rock Band 2 has quite a few. Rush's "The Trees (Vault Edition)" is smack-dab in the middle of tier six on drums, yet is significantly easier than quite a few of the tier five songs. System of a Down's "Chop Suey" is listed as the second hardest song in the game on vocals, but the song's inflections really aren't at all complex. The only thing that might make it difficult is the speed at which the singer sings some of the parts, but that difficulty can easily be overcome by mumbling (which the game does not penalize you for), and once you get past their speed, they really aren't difficult to sing. Then there's The Allman Brothers Band's "Ramblin' Man" and Steely Dan's "Bodhisattva", both of which are categorized as tier six on bass, but are much easier than the other songs in that category.
    • As for the sequel, I Got You (I Feel Good) is a firm sixth-tier song on 5-button bass, but has surprisingly few notes on the chart. The only thing that makes it even modestly difficult is that the rhythm is very difficult to play on-time.
    • And The Look is categorized as a tier six, but it's a very repetitive song that has nothing that makes it worthy of its tier.
    • In Unplugged, the Rolling Stones Rock Immortals Challenge (the final setlist in Tour mode, not counting the Endless Setlist) consists of five songs. None of them are above the fifth tier of difficulty, and the last song in the set, "Livin' on a Prayer", is the second-easiest song in the game.
    • The Impossible-rated 5-button guitar songs on Rock Band 3 are pretty hard, but not compared to Rock Band 2, and the tier levels were increased, which means that some songs that used to be rated Impossible aren't anymore, further making some of the RB3 Impossible-rated songs stick out as being overrated in difficulty.
  • Archive Panic: Just getting into the game? If you buy the trilogy and export everything into Rock Band 3, you already have over 200 songs. Then there's the DLC and track packs.
  • Ascended Meme: A popular joke on the Rock Band forums is that the game is turning into "Dave Grohl Band". Come Rock Band 3, there's an achievement with that name, attained appropriately by playing enough songs in which Dave Grohl had a part.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Some songs are grossly undertiered, with the game claiming they are easier than they really are. In particular...
    • Rock Band 3's third tier of difficulty for the drums has a startling number of these, including "Free Bird", "Whip It", "I Feel Good", and "Antibodies", none of which have any business being described as "moderate". It also places "Jerry Was a Race Car Driver" in the fifth tier on bass and "Beast and the Harlot" in the fifth tier on guitar, both of which are some of the hardest songs in the game on their respective undertiered instruments.
    • Avenged Sevenfold's "Afterlife" on Guitar, which was ranked as high-end Challenging (tier 4 out of 6) in Rock Band 2, and low-end Nightmare (tier 8 out of 9) in Rock Band and The same difficulty tier (5 out of 6) in Rock Band 3. Passing this song (on Expert) hinges on how fast your left middle finger or right index finger can tap that red fret.
    • Who decided that "New" by No Doubt should be a four on drums? It features the same drum beat as Run To The Hills (which is a six on drums), and its even a bit faster by comparison, yet it only is a four on drums. Harmonix probably hinted that this is under-tiered by the fact that the song is a three on guitar and vocals and a zero on bass, but a four on general band difficulty, even though the individual instrument difficulties only average out to a two-and-a-half.
    • "Constant Motion" by Dream Theater may be the most glaring example of of a Boss in Mook Clothing. It is ranked as a five out of six on guitar, yet is agreed by many to be one of the hardest songs on guitar in the game, with many claiming it should be tier seven.[1]
    • "Sleepwalker" by Megadeth is a good example of this for vocals. It is ranked as Tier 4 (out of 6), but the verses glide up and down the scale in a very unintuitive way, kind of like "I Get By". Yet, the game still thinks "Carry On Wayward Son" (big range, but nothing too bad) and "Ramblin' Man" (mildly difficult, but tough to actually fail) are harder.
    • A particularly egregious example is "Jesus Christ Pose's" (a heavy metal-style song featuring bafflingly fast alternate picking and awkward sliding as its main riff and gives competent Rock Band players extremely sore arms) difficulty on guitar warranting a 4-star rating and somehow being comparable to "Wanted Dead Or Alive" (a slow acoustic ballad whose sole claim to fame is a few tricky arpeggio sections that any competent Rock Band player can ease through) on the same instrument.
    • Spinal Tap's "Back From the Dead" is in the Nightmare tier on guitar in Rock band 2, but it's in the Impossible tier in Rock Band 1 due to the guitar solo's crazy Ho-Po runs, and its fast strumming near the end of the guitar solo .
    • Poni Hoax's "Antibodies", it starts off reasonable, but then near the end of the song the charts begin to progressively get unexpectedly difficult. The guitar chart is absolutely filled with frustratingly awkward strumming and chord progressions[2] (which are quite hard for a tier 2) and the drum chart (tier 3) goes a little beyond the disco influenced patterns it had earlier.
      • In full-band play, things get much more problematic, as for the first half of the song, the keyboards have a nice and simple note run with a few chords while everyone else has (relatively) easy parts and worry about the keyboardist failing out during the verses. Then, after the second chorus, the keyboardist is the entire band's lifeline as the out-of-nowhere jump in difficulty attacks the guitarist, bassist, and drummer while the vocalist(s) has clap notes and therefore couldn't do anything even if they had overdrive. Remind me again why the song as a whole isn't Impossible-Tier?
    • Alright, which one of the Harmonix guys decided Low Rider is Tier-0 on drums when the much-easier Makes Me Wonder is a tier-2?
      • Maybe the same guy who gave Whip It (which is really tough on Expert) Tier-3.
    • RBN 1 songs their chart difficulty tiering decreased a bit by the raised cutoffs in the Rock Band 3 engine (band difficulty was unaffected). The result? a song with three charts significantly more difficult than the entirety of the Mayhemfest pack has them rated just below Impossible.
    • "Through The Fire And Flames" is Tier 5 on bass. While it's not that difficult aside from the ridiculous speed, it's still much harder than several higher-tiered tracks.
    • While not ridiculously hard, Shackler's Revenge by Guns and Roses in Rock Band 2 is considerably more difficult than any of the other songs in that tier.
    • "Can't Be Tamed" by Miley Cyrus is Tier-3, which would be reasonable if not for the guitar solo section, which is considerably tougher then those on some Tier-4 songs
    • Thrasher by Evile is, on RB3, a 5 on bass. A song with incredibly fast strumming. It is easier due to the fixed engine, but not by much.
  • Breather Level: Some of the very difficult DLC track packs have one song that is significantly easier than the rest. The Mayhem Fest pack has "Disposable Teens", while Megadeth's "Rust in Peace" has "Dawn Patrol", and the Anthrax track pack 1 has "I'm the Man". These three songs has a one out of six on band difficulty, while the next easiest song in each pack is a five or four out of six, respectively.
    • Examples in Rock Band 3 are The Look on Bass, And Walk of life and Something Bigger Something Brighter on guitar.
  • Complaining About Shows You Don't Watch: Every week when Rock Band announces next week's DLC on Facebook, there will be always someone asking "People still play Rock Band?" EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: Like Guitar Hero, the series is a celebration of this trope. From the six or so discs we get around two hundred tracks with the likes of AC\DC, Green Day, Beatles, Soundgarden, Disturbed, Motorhead...go online and pick from the massive track list by artists such as Metallica, Blink-182, Smashing Pumpkins, Judas Priest, The Who...
  • Default Setting Syndrome: In Rock Band 3 whenever the player loads up the game The mic volume will be at it's default setting.
    • Also, miss sounds, breakneck speed, and most other options.
  • Difficulty Spike: Can sometimes happen in the lower tiers when an unexpectedly tough song comes along. "Can't Be Tamed" for example is listed as a Tier 3 overall, and while it does fit the bill in most aspects, it has a pretty brutal solo section that can easily trip you up.
    • "The New" by No Doubt is only rated as a 4 on drums, yet it easily gives "Run To The Hills" a "run" for it's money in the incredibly fast drumming department.
  • Even Better Sequel: RB2 was already this to RB1, but judging by the reviews coming in so far for the third installment, Harmonix has achieved it again.
  • Excuse Plot: You're a musician. You play in a band. Now rock the world.
  • Face Of The Game: Arguably The Duke of Gravity (given his Ensemble Darkhorse-like following). Still, Sir Thomas, Penny Twilight, Nicky Overdrive and Quentin Lance appeared as the faces of Lego: Rock Band, even making it onto the box artwork (but unlike The Duke, none of them survived the transfer to Rock Band 3).
  • Fan Dumb: So, SO very much.
    • Harmonix stated that 20 free bonus tracks for the series would be available as DLC. The fans complained about the fact that these tracks were from lesser known bands, even though 1) they didn't have to download and play the songs 2) they weren't paying a penny for them 3) Harmonix also stated they would be from lesser known bands in the first place.
    • There was also a massive backlash when the first country songs were announced despite, again, no one was forcing these people to download the songs.
    • Also noteworthy are the people who download ALL the available songs, even if they hate them.
    • Subverted with respect to the Lady Gaga pack, as the usual defense for having certain songs (like anything in the country genre) does not work when there are no guitar parts (bass, rhythm, or lead) in the instrumentals. For once, the people saying it shouldn't be on Rock Band are actually doing research.
      • And the same argument gets thrown at one of the Rock Band Network songs, the jazz song "Footloose and Fancy Free", which has no guitar or vocals... so the guitar plays piano the entire time, and the vocals? They play the saxophone. That last part in particular has drawn much ire, much to the dismay of various people who have already played vocal parts on their wind instrument of choice and were greatly looking forward to more or less doing the real thing...
        • And that song hasn't even passed the quality control test, so it's not even publically available yet. Oy...
    • There will always be someone that complains about the lack of Muse or Pantera (or several other artists) songs on the weekly announcement of DLC songs. And even when they released a full Pantera album, the fans complained because it wasn't one of their best albums...
    • When it was revealed that Rock Band 3 would add keyboard, harmonies and pro guitar/bass, the fandom demanded that the old songs be made compatible. Harmonix has started to do this, releasing new versions of a few Bon Jovi songs and some Queen songs. Now the fandom is outraged that they have to pay for a new version.
      • Keep in mind that the old version are not compatible with the new modes; instead they are releasing brand new DLC for the same songs. If you own the old DLC, you can't update for harmonies and keyboard; instead, you need to buy the new DLC at full price (or just keep your old DLC without the new stuff).
    • Since Rock Band 3 had been released, the fans bitched and moaned at Harmonix for their recent DLC, claiming that the songs were "too easy on guitar" and demanded them to release songs that were challenging on guitar. So what does Harmonix do? They released 2 DragonForce tracks, both of which are ball bustingly hard on guitar. After they were released, the fans bitched and moaned because they are "too hard".
    • When Harmonix revealed plans for Rock Band Blitz, a Spiritual Successor to previous Harmonix games Amplitude and Frequency, it was met with backlash by the community for being different to the main game, despite the fact that the song for it are totally compatible with Rock Band 3 and that you didn't have to pay to transfer those songs. They also criticized it for being too similar to Audiosurf, despite the fact that Harmonix created the games that Audiosurf got its roots from.
  • Fan Hater / Hate Dumb / "Stop Having Fun!" Guys: There is the view that people playing with plastic guitars should go out and get a life by learning to play for real. And now, their last leg has been kicked out from under them: Rock Band 3's "Pro mode" is played with an actual guitar. Except, no, if you need a game to help you, you're obviously not "worthy" of wielding an axe.
    • Or at least you'd think people would stop complaining. Now there is a group complaining that Rock Band 3 is trying to be a guitar simulator, completely ignoring that Pro mode is entirely optional.
    • This strip pretty much sums it up.
    • And on that note the CIA revealed how many Modern Warfare fans have signed up. Zero.
      • While we're on the subject, First Person Shooters dominate the list of games most requested from Canadian military units overseas. Just because you can do the real thing, doesn't mean you can't enjoy a game of it.
      • Because you play music games you have to be able to play for real, I think was the point.
    • On a lesser example, requests for LEGO Rock Band's optional 'Automatic Kick' mode in later games is frequently met with comments like 'learn to play drums for real'. Aside from the fact that there are very legitimate reasons for not being able to use the bass drum, like leg injury or disability, some people just don't have the co-ordination to use three limbs at once and having to try and do so spoils their enjoyment of the game.
  • Game Breaker: The "talky" segments of many songs are nearly impossible due to how the game handles audio input -- except on the PS2 version, where just rubbing the microphone is enough to get full score. The sequel handles things this way regardless of version, making it simple to get full combos on talky songs even on Expert.
    • Surprisingly, while nearly all of the talky sections can be mumbled through, SOME talky sections are blatantly hard to pull off on Expert. Painkiller's descending "AAAAAAH" phrases stands out, as they are marked as talky phrases in Rock Band (Guitar Hero Van Halen "charts" them as a full-octave slide downward). Screaming "AAAAAAH" isn't enough to get it, you have to do some trickery with your voice to get the game to cooperate.
    • The Super Easy difficulty in Lego Rock Band turns every song into a talkie. Say hello to your super easy Endless Setlist achievement! Seriously, you can just set the mic in front of a fan and walk away.
    • Rock Band 3 lets you get solo scores while playing in a band, adjusting various things around so that playing in a band can't give you an unfair advantage for your solo score. However, they missed something; if someone fails while someone else is deploying overdrive, overdrive will stop running (the gameplay reason for this is so that person can decide to use the OD to save the person who failed). Through careful manipulation involving two "supporting" bandmates (one that purposely fails at specific spots and another to save him\her from failing), one can have more control over their OD deployment and get solo scores that are impossible to get playing alone.
      • It also appears that the score recorded for the individual instrument is the solo score - and the score used to determine an individual player's stars (which is ALSO recorded) uses the band bonus. 5-starring the entire setlist on Expert on individual instruments suddenly gets a lot easier.
  • Goddamned Bats: Some songs require you to just hit the same note over and over again. Really. Really. Quickly. There's no real skill involved, just you strumming/flailing on the drums faster than you ever thought possible. (You do need skill to actually keep the rhythm while doing this, but for most people, full-comboing these sections is a write-off anyway). Of note is "Thrasher" on bass, "Black Magic" on guitar, the latter part of "My Last Words", and the outro of "The Camera Eye" on drums.
  • Good Bad Bugs: A randomly appearing glitch in the Xbox 360 version of Rock Band 1 did talky parts for you, allowing vocalists to FC songs that were nigh-impossible without it.
    • Don't like the mystery setlist Rock Band 3's tour mode gave you? Just back out and choose it again! This can be done over and over until an ideal setlist is dealt.
    • There's a venue with a lot of green lights with a black cross-hatch pattern on them. In this venue, in Rock Band 3, at least in the PS3 version, the bandmates will levitate during a few moves; one of the positions they can be is erroneously several feet off the ground!
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In the original Guitar Hero, a loading screen tip admonished you not to hold the guitar above your belt because "You're not in The Beatles." Several years later, you got your chance.
    • After The Naked Brothers Band joined the Music Store, many detractors started countdowns to when either The Jonas Brothers or Hannah Montana would follow suit. Well, as of June 22, Miley Cyrus has five songs available for download.
    • A long New York Times article prior to The Beatles: Rock Band release claimed that HMX, while developing the Rock Band Network, chose the name "Rock Band: Nickelback" to deflect attention from the project, though later HMX claimed this wasn't really the case. Regardless if this was true, the week after we got the Miley Cyrus, guess which artist made their DLC debut...?
  • It's Easy, So It Sucks: One of the foremost complaints about The Beatles: Rock Band. Keep in mind the inherent difficulty in harmonizing with other players on vocals.
    • Curiously, that's also a Real Life criticism on the Beatles themselves. Of course, studying how they managed to get to those "three chords" they always use shows that the four from Liverpool had quite some grounding in musical theory.
    • Green Day is also fairly tame, at least compared to some of the metal on the main platform. And Lego Rock Band.
  • It's Short, So It Sucks: How most of the songs turn out to be in the DS Version of Lego Rock Band and Rock Band 3.
    • Also the Radio edit of Prequel To The Sequel.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Most Wonderful Sound: Getting a high score in Rock Band 3 makes a nice "fire cackling" sound play in the results screen.
    • Each star earned makes a distinct "shwing!" sound.
  • Narm:
    • When your band's singer's gender and the vocal track's gender's voice don't match (e.g. a metalhead-looking singer belting out Still Alive)
    • Any instance of extended death growls (which are common in metal and are always rendered as talky segments). Since most people can't death growl, this usually becomes a drawn-out monotone.
    • Some people cannot effectively sing the lower growly metal type songs, so they just straight up sing them.
    • The guitarist and bassist doing the backing vocals in "Rock Lobster", if at least one of them is male. Nothing more to say from here.
      • In any song with other band members singing, really. See also: "The Look," "Total Eclipse of the Heart," "Paradise by the Dashboard Light," "Bohemian Rhapsody," "Clint Eastwood"...
  • Older Than They Think: Most of the songs first appeared in other Rhythm games before they appeared in Rock Band.
  • One of Us: "Conventional Lover"
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike: A noticeable case of Unpleasable Fanbase. Note how many people complained that Guitar Hero III was too hard, and that Rock Band was too easy, and compare it to how many people complained that Guitar Hero World Tour is too easy and Rock Band 2 is too hard.
  • The Scrappy: There's a death metal song in Rock Band 2 called Visions by the band Abnormality. It's very difficult and many people in the Rock Band forums find it unlistenable, and so don't want to practice to get better at it. Many a Bladder of Steel runs have been ruined by this song.
    • On the other end of the spectrum is "Welcome to the Neighborhood" by Libyans (also in Rock Band 2), a punk song with vocals that many people also find unlistenable and instruments that don't really make up for that fact. Thankfully, it's relatively easy and shows up fairly early in the endless setlist, so it can only ruin a Bladder of Steel run by convincing the person to stop playing so they don't have to listen to it.
    • The new Scrappy of RB3 seems to be Outer Space by The Muffs.
    • Certain DLC packs also became scrappies, including the Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, and Nickelback packs. As you can tell, it's usually the popular[3] artists' whose DLC is likely to become a scrappy.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: Probably one of the most controversial features among the more hardcore Rock Band drummers is the drum fills:
    • To deploy Overdrive, drummers are occasionally given a chance to improvise a short drum fill, finishing with a green cymbal hit to deploy Overdrive. However, if the drummer chooses not to deploy, he'll be given a chance to do so later and later. Therefore, choosing not to deploy Overdrive for a long time allows drummers to essentially take short breaks every few seconds, allowing them to coast through otherwise difficult sections, and the notes overwritten by the drum fills don't count into the total percentage, meaning that different drummers can get 100% on a song with a different amount of notes played in total.
    • What makes the drum fills doubly annoying for the really hardcore crowd is the "squeezing" bug in the game engine, which allows drummers to play one of the missing notes on the chart, which would otherwise be overridden by the final cymbal hit on the fill. So if a drummer wanted to get the absolute highest score possible, they would essentially have to memorize the entire chart to know what they should hit at that moment.
    • Thankfully, Rock Band 3 finally rectifies this by allowing players to deploy Overdrive by just hitting the green cymbal, like in Beatles Rock Band.
      • Unfortunately, it's a kick to the nuts when you realize that the activation points do not change and that notes that would be covered up by a fill do not count for or against you. In other words, it's a fill, but with the underlying notes visible.
    • All Instruments Mode. in Rock Band 3, it is actually possible to play with 4 instruments and 3 vocalists all at the same time, even if everyone's playing in pro mode! Hold on though; for any combination that has the guitarist, bassist, and keyboardist playing together, you need to turn on All Instruments Mode. In All Instruments Mode, the vocalist is forced to play on easy, doesn't make any progress, doesn't get overdrive, and isn't scored at all.
      • The tambourine fills in solo vocals. There are three ways to do them: first, and most usual, is to beat the mic's head against your other hand (or anything soft), which will end up ruining your palm. Second, is pressing A (Xbox 360)/X (Playstation 2 and 3) on the controller, which shoots down some of the experience. The third (and most awkward) way is to make sharp noises into the microphone (I.E. exhaling fast on the note). While they can be skipped at no penalty to your performance meter, getting gold stars in Rock Band 3 on solo vocals requires the vocalist to do them since they do contribute to score. Fortunately, they do not show up in harmony vocals.
        • More of a Guide Dang It; you can whack the mic with a drumstick, tap the mic itself (not the mesh) or, perhaps most effective, wrap one hand around the mic and tap your hand with your other hand.
  • Special Effects Failure: This is a flaw Guitar Hero shares, but the utter lack of guitar straps on characters is starting to become a little ridiculous at this point. Though the magically levitating guitars are funny.
  • Spiritual Successor: to Guitar Hero; when Harmonix and RedOctane split, Harmonix went on to make Rock Band while RedOctane continued with Guitar Hero.
    • Unplugged and the DS version of Lego Rock Band are spiritual successors to pre-Guitar Hero Harmonix game Amplitude. As a matter of fact, the former was going to be a direct (non-Rock Band) sequel to Amplitude but Sony vetoed the idea, forcing Harmonix to slap the Rock Band name on it.
      • RB3 for the DS follows in this route as well.
    • The vocal part is sort of a spiritual successor to Karaoke Revolution, one of Harmonix's own IPs.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Alternative music; Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters are the most represented groups in the entire game at 26 and 29 songs respectively. Some alternative fans are very happy about this.
  • "Stop Having Fun!" Guys: RB3's Pro Mode is considered to be a serious transition in music gaming.
    • There is some leeway on real chords, allowing mis-fretting on one, and in some cases even two strings without breaking combo. Reasonable enough. Unfortunately, such scenarios also award full points, and there is no limit where the game starts complaining about them, so SHFGs will take to deliberately half-assing chords as much as they know they can get away with, by memorizing the exact rules for what the game will forgive.
  • Surprise Difficulty: Many people mistake the vocal mode for nothing more than a karaoke sim. What many of them don't realize is that the game will penalize you for "getting creative" with the pitch at which you sing, and it's even possible to fail miserably on easy mode while playing a song you know if you don't have a feel for how much you need to match the pitch.
    • Some songs seem easy at first, then out of nowhere they nail you with a really difficult solo section that can easily catch you off guard and screw up an otherwise perfect run. A prime example is Miley Cyrus "Can't Be Tamed", you'd expect it to be easy because it's a Miley Cyrus song right? WRONG! Her other songs aren't so tough, but this one in particular is a total pain in the ass on Expert guitars, the rhythm sections are a cakewalk, but the solo is just brutal[4] it's every bit as difficult, if not moreso then the solo section in "Tornado Of Souls"!
  • That One Attack: Some songs are very easy for most of their duration, save for one guitar solo (or even just one part of the solo) that will make you beg for mercy. Examples include The Outlaw's "Green Grass and High Tides", "There Was a Time", "Red Devil" by Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force, "Can't Be Tamed" by Miley Cyrus, "Surfing with the Alien" by Joe Satriani, "According To You" by Orianthi and "Forever" by In This Moment.
  • That One Song: Rock Band 1 has Run to the Hills on drums (and bass), I Get By on vocals, and Green Grass and High Tides on guitar. And that's just the on-disc songs in the first game! Most downloadable metal songs will give you nightmares, too.
    • In Rock Band 2, That One Song multiplied like rabbits. Player-eating rabbits. Visions isn't near the joke-level that were Through the Fire and the Flames or Jordan (and by joke we mean failing at 1% with a "are you even kidding me?!" expression), but it's definitely tougher than most songs, even DLC.
    • Rock Band 3 has its own slew of That One Song's:
      • The guitar has "Beast and the Harlot", "Freebird", "Crazy Train", and "Rainbow in the Dark", the solos of which are absolutely relentless.
      • The bass has "Antibodies", which starts out easy enough, then comes in with a riff that's all over the board and stays steady for a few minutes, draining whatever endurance you may have, and "Jerry Was a Race Car Driver", with very awkward chords worked into its riff and no easy part during which you can take a breather.
      • The drums have the latter part of Smoke on the Water, which could best be described as crossover hell [5]; "Roundabout", which enters a very inconsistent paradiddle-based drum beat about half-way in; and "Llama", which is three minutes of one of the hardest drum beats outside of the DLC store.
      • If you use real e-drums with a high-hat pedal, you can tell the drums to output open high hats as blue (or yellow for lefties)... and it's still freaking hard.
      • Keyboards, though generally pretty easy compared to the rest of the instruments, has "Antibodies", which is all over the place right from the beginning, and "Roundabout", the difficulty of which there are no words to describe in 5-key mode, forget about Pro mode.
      • Vocals has "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Good Vibrations (Live)", the harmonies of which make it difficult to find a single vocal part to hit and fill that meter, and are quite hard to pull off in a group, and James Brown's "I Got You (I Feel Good) (Alternate Studio Version)", which is simply all over the place in terms of pitch.
    • The downloadable content store has quite a few songs to satisfy those who eat tier-6 songs for breakfast. Specifically:
    • Guitar:
      • Here's a warning for guitarists who want to buy either of the Megadeth albums Peace Sells and Rust in Peace or Yngwie Malmsteen's pack: unless you eat up last-tier songs for warmup, don't expect to pass even one. The highlights of each pack include "Devil's Island", "Tornado of Souls", and "Caprici Di Diablo", respectively.
      • The DLC store also has Black Tide's "Warriors of Time" and Ministry's "The Great Satan".
      • Do not be fooled by the fact that Dream Theater's "Constant Motion" is rated as a five on guitar: that song will haunt the dreams of any player who tries to beat it on expert guitar.
      • Evile's "Thrasher" was the first song released on the DLC that is harder on guitar than the on-disk songs. Best of luck.
      • Joe Satriani's songs are right up there with Yngwie Malmsteen's songs in terms of guitar difficulty. "Surfing with the Alien" has some of the fastest trills you will ever see, and "Satch Boogie" is currently the third hardest song in Rock Band 3 on guitar.
      • Venture onto the Rock Band Network and you will find "Death Quota for Purification" by The Myriad Burial. Though the RBN doesn't arrange its songs in order of difficulty, "Death Quota for Purification" is without a doubt one of the hardest songs on guitar on there, if not the hardest. As the uploader of that video said, "So this is what happens when Visions meets Jordan...", though it's more like Caprici Di Diablo (which is harder than Visions) meets Jordan. Of particular interest is the run of notes about a minute and a half in.
      • Talking about Rock Band Network tracks, one must mention Flight of the Bumblebee, which would be nigh impossible if it wasn't only 2 minutes long.
      • And on that note, Tastes Like Kevin Bacon by iwrestledabearonce. Even experienced plastic guitarists will fail out repeatedly with the demo alone.
      • We may have THE That One Boss of any guitar game: "Guitars SUCK" by Bumblefoot. Dear god, just look at it; it looks like a custom song from Frets on Fire made by someone who thought "Satch Boogie" was boring... and yet, it's on the Rock Band Network. Nihilanth by Gatling is similarly difficult. Highlight of the song: a two-star on expert with Guitars SUCK yields a score within the top 400. (It's possible to two-star a song and still pass it? Who knew?)
      • Satch Boogie was dethroned as hardest guitar chart in Rock Band 3 by two songs from a very familiar face: Through The Fire and Flames and Operation Ground and Pound, which now make up the hardest and second hardest guitar songs. Both of them have sextuplets outside of solos, and the intro to TTFAF is still on guitar. Oh, and TTFAF also has Pro Guitar.
      • And yes, the Rock Band 3 versions of the songs are much, much harder than their Guitar Hero 3 counterparts, even with the shredboard tapping during solos AND GUITAR FILLS. Although, at least this time you don't have to play any keyboard parts on the guitar, making some parts a bit easier.
      • Chaotrope. Anything and everything by him (except that one really easy song he's pushing through RBN). Out of those released in 2011 (in RBN 2.0), there is Diachylon (see Solo 1 and 5C-5D'), Thief in the Night part I (solo G), and The Fall of Psilanthropy (the whole freaking song). And apparently, those are the EASY ones, Dystopia has been described by the charter himself as "pushing the limits"
      • Scream Aim Fire's guitar chart seems to have been charted with the intent of screwing over the guitarist. Guitar Hero World Tour vets playing the wrong chart notwithstanding, the three downward slides are charted as a pair of 16th notes - specifically, strummed Yellow into a strummed blue-orange sustained chord, with an orange pull-off at the end. There's also notes right before chords that aren't audibly strummed in the guitar part and some awkwardly placed hammer-ons in the slow part. And then you reach Solo D...
    • Drums:
      • Start out with The Who's "Young Man Blues" and Megadeth's (see a pattern yet?) "Good Mourning/Black Friday"; it only gets worse from there.
      • Ministry's "Cuz U R Next" is affectionately known as "The Painkiller of Rock Band DLC". You'll know why when your foot feels ready to fall off after playing it; it takes the regular Painkiller beat and speeds it up a lot. Ouch.
      • Were it not for it's length of one minute, The Red Hot Chili Peppers' "They're Red Hot" would be right up there with the Mayhem Pack songs. Know this: it will be the single most difficult minute of your life.
      • Take the typical drum beat with a high-hat or cymbal hit on every beat, a kick-pedal hit every other beat, a snare hit on every off beat, and speed that up to almost eight beats a second. You now have the horror that is "Blinded By Fear" by At the Gates.
      • The Drum Solo of "If 6 Was 9" Expect the crowd to boo you off stage if you try to do it without overdrive. Actually, expect them to boo you out anyway- you can't activate overdrive during a drum solo, so your overdrive will be gone already by the time you reach the really difficult part.
      • Coheed And Cambria's "Guns of Summer" may be the hardest song in the game on drums that is difficult because of the dexterity required to play it, rather than the speed required.
      • With the Mayhem pack, the drums got... well, every single song in the mayhem pack. Some of the hardest songs from the Mayhem pack are The Black Dahlia Murder's "What A Horrible Night to Have a Curse" (which frequently makes you hit the drums faster with your non-dominant hand than your dominant hand), Behemoth's "Conquer All" (which has some of the fasted kick-pedal hits known to man), and Job For a Cowboy's "Embedded" (which is like Visions on crack). The hardest, however, is "This is Exile" by Whitechapel, which incorporates all three of the aforementioned elements at some point and is currently listed as the hardest song in the game on drums
      • Most of the songs on the Rock Band Network that have a six for band difficulty got there because their drum tracks are ridiculously difficult. Songs that fit this mold include "Where the Light Was Born", "Day of Mourning", "Packet Flier", "Descend Into the Eternal Pits of Possession", "Mordecai", and "Unfurling A Darkened Gospel".
      • Through The Fire And Flames. Go ahead and try it on expert. The absurdly fast bass notes will make you fail and cause much pain to your foot, and that's not even getting to how difficult the drum fills are.
      • "Everlong" was once the king of this trope, but compared to the other songs listed here, it's easy (assuming you have the DEX score to time on the 16th-note rhythms correctly).
      • Tired of metal and want a refresher? Don't pick Blink 182's "The Party Song."
    • Vocals:
      • Dead Kennedys' "Holiday in Cambodia" and Free's "All Right Now"
      • James Brown's "Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine - Pt 1" and "Super Bad Pts 1 and 2" are exactly as difficult to sing as trying to copy the godfather of soul sounds like it would be. Even singing at your natural octave won't help much.
      • the Jackson 5's "ABC", Need we say more?
      • The hardest song on vocals is currently the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "They're Red Hot" . You'll probably be mumbling the first few times you play it, since the words go by so quickly you won't even be able to read them, let alone hit all the notes while enunciating. Do yourself a favor and use the talky parts as an opportunity to inhale.
    • Bass:
      • Soundgarden's "Jesus Christ Pose" and Megadeth's "Bad Omen" will give bass players a run for their money.
      • Evile's "Thrasher" doesn't require much dexterity in your fret hand, but it has some of the fastest sustained strumming you'll ever see.
      • "Rude Mood" by Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, though difficult on all instruments, is particularly unforgiving on bass, and is currently the hardest DLC song from the regular music store to play on bass. The game lists it as easier than "Visions" and "Panic Attack", but Your Mileage May Vary on that.
      • "Death Quota for Purification" by The Myriad Burial is bad enough on guitar, but the basist of The Myriad Burial did the players the favor of copying the most difficult guitar part note for note, making this without a doubt the hardest song in the game on bass. Watch and weep.
    • Keys:
      • I Want It All (RB 3 Version). It starts rather easy, which makes you wonder why it's a devil-tier song. Then, right before the fast part, you see a long series of fast arpeggios.
      • Then there's Paradise by the Dashboard Light by Meat Loaf, which doesn't have as many arpeggios, but is almost nine minutes long. Say hello to carpal tunnel syndrome.
      • A recently release preview for RBN showcases Amberian Dawn's instrumental song "Dream Chaser". All keys players will wet there pants at the solo. Gauranteed.
      • Now available on RBN is "Veil of Illumination" by Andromeda; since RBN songs can only be at most ten minutes long, this 17-minute song was split into two parts. The first part is definitely very difficult, featuring many long streams of notes. However, it is absolutely nothing compared to the second part, which opens with a keyboard solo so insane, it makes Roundabout look like a first-tier song. (And the rest of the song, being similar to the first part, is still quite difficult.) The person who charted the part (who also uploaded the video of him playing it) calls it "the hardest Rock Band chart ever", and it's hard to argue with him about that.
      • Chameleon Carnival also deserves a mention for its keyboard solo, which has a lot of retriggered keyboard notes with every other hit charted. The original chart actually had every single hit charted, resulting in inhumanly fast double-tapping that may have been faster than the keyboard could keep up with. This, thankfully, was nerfed for release, although the similar passage in Veil of Illumination Part II's solo got through unmodified. There are also a couple more songs from Andromeda on Rock Band Network, and they're of similar difficulty.
      • Chaotrope's Thief in the Night Part I. You know the guitar solo? KEYBOARD DOUBLES THAT PART. And yes, there's Pro Keys (as required by Harmonix).
    • Band:
      • The "Impossible" band songs in the music store doubled the day the Mayhem Festival pack came out.
      • The Iron Maiden pack deserves special mention not only for being a very difficult pack but also for being one of the few packs whose songs have high band difficulty ratings because of the difficulty of the vocals (in addition to the other instruments), not in spite of it.
      • Megadeth's Rust In Peace album. With the exception of Dawn Patrol, all of the songs on it are incredibly difficult, with many being sixes on all instruments except vocals. And that guitar solo in Tornado of Souls? * shudder*
      • "Rude Mood" by Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble is an instrumental that is a six on every instrument. As horrifying as that is, it isn't even that hardest song in the DLC store.
      • The legendarily difficult Dummied Out song "Trippolette" from the first Guitar Hero is now available for Rock Band thanks to the Rock Band Network. Your eyes do not deceive you: it is a six on every instrument.
      • Anything by Chaotrope. All 6 (to date) songs have runs about as fast as Constant Motion's infamous solo, the difference being that the runs in Chaotrope's songs aren't merely descending arpreggios. Oh, and the bass gets some of those runs. And some tremolo sections break the strum limit in Rock Band 2 NTSC.
      • Did you think that Rock Band Network 2.0 would result in some relatively saner songs? Nope, the only difference now is there are Keyboard parts on the songs, and they frequently double the lead guitar's part. Even during the solos. Oh, and if you think that it's already hard enough dealing with trills that make Dragon Force look slow, the artist and charter's comment on This video will break you.

 shinymonkey8 (Chaotrope): You think this is pushing the limits? BWAHAHHAHAHAHAHA! You haven't seen my new songs. This is cake on guitar compared to songs like Dystopia.

  • That One Disadvantage: One event that can randomly come up in the World Tour is a critic lambasting your band for "relying too much on overdrive", and challenging you to play a set without any overdrive at all. If you make it, you'll get double the fans and money. The problem is, stars are more important to your progress than anything else in this game. With no overdrive, you will get a lower score which is likely to mean less stars (the same at best), not to mention some songs are much harder to even pass when overdrive is taken away.
    • The other event, which is suicidal to take on, is "Biggest Show Ever", which adds an encore, strips away overdrive, and requires you to get 5 stars on every song. get 4 stars on any of the songs in the setlist (INCLUDING the encore, Ace of Spades) and the fan count changes as if you failed each song in the setlist once. God help you if a Zero Effort Boss pops up, as those are impossible to 5-star WITH overdrive.
      • It gets worse: In order to 5-star a song with a Bassist, Guitarist, and Drummer in the band, the average score per note must be over 100 (in other words, the BASSIST must have the majority of the notes). This means whether or not you can even clear this challenge is entirely dependent on the distribution of notes and how many of the notes are in any solos. In quite a handful of cases, it's impossible.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: The DLC version of Her Majesty adds the last note that was missing from the album version. Apparently people didn't like that.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks: Many non-hardcore fans still don't know that Harmonix made Guitar Hero 1 & 2, and so think that Rock Band is a shameless knockoff of Guitar Hero. When a "professional" editor at Forbes (which is supposed to a be source of correcting misinformation) was called out on this, he tried to save face and said they knew that all along, but it was no excuse for a lack of innovation (besides adding drums and vocals, changing the highway graphics completely, shifting from mostly covers to mostly masters...)
  • They Just Didn't Care: hahahaha, no. They do care (A lot, actually). Case in point: one of the ways they're dealing with the 1000+ songs some people have in their collection for Rock Band 3 is the addition of filters. The other way? Saving usermade setlists - something that has been asked for since 2008!
  • Tough Act to Follow: Probably the likeliest reason why Green Day: Rock Band was met with a relatively lukewarm reception compared to The Beatles: Rock Band, a lovingly crafted tribute to one of the most widely beloved groups in the history of popular music.
  • What Do You Mean It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: The dreamscapes on The Beatles: Rock Band and music videos in Rock Band 3 (particularly the one that plays in Jimi Hendrix songs). Prior main games had their moments as well, such as "If 6 Was 9" from The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Speaking of The Experience, the vocals for Third Stone From the Sun are charted.
    • In Rock Band 3, during the menus, you get clips of your band hanging out. Sometimes, like on the train tracks, they are clearly tripping out, as evidenced by the sky occasionally changing into all sorts of psychedelic colours.
      • In all of the background clips, actually, including the song selection ones (where the landscape outside the vehicles' windows changes from normal to trippy from time to time). Also happens when your band performs in a music video, with different chroma-key backgrounds depending on the song. Come to think of it, there's still cheering at the end. Were they really performing a music video, or were they tripping the hell out on-stage? You decide.
  • X Meets Y: Guitar Hero II meets Karaoke Revolution meets Drum Mania and Keyboard Mania. No surprise as it's from the same development team of two of those.

Notes

  1. For those who don't know, tier seven is a coloquial term used to describe any DLC song which is harder than the hardest on-disc song in the game on a respective instrument. On guitar, this honor is limited to "Thrasher" by Evile, "Caprici Di Diablo" by Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force, and "Satch Boogie" by Joe Satriani. Those who try will probably beat "Thrasher" before they can beat "Constant Motion", which is why that song is said to be unofficially tier seven.
  2. Which is just plain Fake Difficulty because of how dead notes are charted in 5-lane mode - your fingers move a lot less in Pro Mode than on 5-lane mode, even if you play every note perfectly
  3. "popular" in this case can refer to the genre of the music the artist makes and/or how well known the artist is by the public. The former usually applies to DLC packs that become scrappies; the latter invariably applies.
  4. It's also surprising because the song itself has no actual guitars to speak of, the solo was charted just for the game, and most players won't be expecting to get hit with a tough solo section in a song that has no guitars
  5. And it's just as difficult (if not more difficult) on Pro Drums. (And this is why some people WANT open Hi-Hat kept on yellow)
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