The Trooper guitar lesson The Trooper TAB how to play The Trooper

Title says it all. In this guitar lesson, you’ll be learning how to play The Trooper. We’ll look at The Trooper TAB and we will break it down and learn how to play this Iron Maiden classic one part at a time. There are a lot of great Iron Maiden tracks that are very fun to play, but for me, it’s the Trooper that I enjoy playing the most. 

The Trooper was the second single from Iron Maiden’s fourth studio album called Piece of Mind. It reached number 12 on the UK singles charts and number 28 on the US Mainstream Rock Chart. Written by Iron Maiden founding member and bass player, Steve Harris, The Trooper was based on the Charge of the Light Brigade at the battle of Balaclava in 1854 which took place during the Crimean War.

The track contains a couple of iconic guitar riffs that every guitarist should learn and also a galloping rhythm which sounds incredible and that can be used by guitarists in their own music. Let’s take a look at The Trooper TAB.

the trooper tab and guitar lesson iron maiden

The Trooper TAB & Guitar Lesson

So, the trooper starts off with a badass guitar riff that’s based on the E and A strings. We will refer to this riff as something unique to avoid confusion. Let’s call it riff 1.

The Trooper guitar riff 1 TAB

This guitar riff can feel quite tricky at first as you have to shift down the fretboard at pace. Don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of it pretty quickly.

It’s not long before we hear the first harmonisation. Here is the TAB for it. The empty bars are there as a guide to aid you in where to come in with it.

The Trooper guitar riff 1 harmony TAB

That harmonised part is great if you’re playing in a situation where there’s more than one guitarist but if you’re playing alone, I’d tend to stick to the main version. This won’t be the last we see of harmony parts in this guitar lesson so use this as a general rule throughout.

Riff 1 merges into a new riff which we will refer to as riff 2. The final E of the previous riff is tied with the first E of the this next one. This riff may feel a little trickier than the previous one but it’s another one that most will get the hang of fairly quickly. This is thanks to the similarity in rhythm to the first. Don’t be put off by the fact that it sounds fiddly and quick. Here’s the TAB.

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The Trooper guitar riff 2 TAB

Pay attention to the repeats there. The easiest way to think of this is that you’ll hear the fiddly little hammer on and pull off section a total of 8 times before we transition into the next part. Before we move onto that part though, let’s take a look at the harmony for this riff.

The Trooper TAB riff 2 harmony

One of the things that I love about The Trooper by Iron Maiden is how these parts gel together. This next part is another example of that. We’re moving into the first verse of the song here. As you can hear in the track, the guitar drops out in parts for the first section of this verse. This is a great chance for you to have a little break from the intensity.

I’ve included the very last few notes of the previous riff so that you can see how the two parts link together. I’ve also included the first part of the following gallop section which we’ll get to shortly. Here is the TAB for the first part of the first verse.

The Trooper TAB verse 1 part 1

The above doesn’t need any further explanation as it’s simple enough. What follows the above is the first gallop rhythm part of the song. I’m a huge fan of this rhythm. It sounds really cool and it’s partly why I’ve chosen to do a guitar lesson for The Trooper. I really want guitarists to learn this approach to power chord-based rhythm.

Once again, I’ve included the first part of the following section at the end so you can see how the parts tie together.

Verse 1 gallop section

Again, I don’t really need to go into any detail with that. What you see is what you get. It’s just a matter of getting your head around that rhythm but that can easily be done if you listen carefully to the track.

Next, we have the woah woah woah part or is it the chorus part? Who cares? This is how you play it on guitar. Here, you have what I like to call, chill out moments, combined with some of that galloping rhythm from before.

Chorus section

You’ll notice that at the end of that part, there’s a part of riff 2 from earlier. That’s because, as you can hear in the track, this chorus part links back to riff 2 which is played in the same way once the merge is complete. This means that we don’t need any new TAB for that part.  The start of the above is also part of the previous verse section.

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You can also choose to mess with that chorus rhythm a little if you choose. I’ve written it as part gallop part single chord. If you like, you can do all galloping or all single chords.

What follows that section of riff 2 is another verse section. This time, we don’t have 2 parts of the verse, we just have the gallop rhythm throughout. Here is how verse 2 looks when linked with the previous riff 2 section and the following chorus section.

The Trooper verse 2 TAB

As mentioned previously, what follows this verse is another chorus section and as there’s no change in what you need to do on the guitar, we don’t need the TAB for it.

That chorus is followed by the guitar solo section. This is a very cool solo that’s definitely worth the challenge and definitely worth tackling. The solo in the song is performed over multiple tracks but to keep things simple, we’ll be combing all the lead together into 1 track and all the rhythm together into another. I’ll also break these parts down into smaller parts. This is for 2 reasons. Firstly, it will make it easier to digest and secondly, it makes the pictures easier to see. This is quite a long guitar solo section.

The Trooper guitar solo TAB rhythm part 1

The Trooper guitar solo TAB rhythm part 2

The Trooper guitar solo TAB lead part 1

The Trooper guitar solo TAB lead part 2

I know I know. Just take the solo on 1 lick at a time. It’s achievable from a technical standpoint thanks to the phrasing being relatively easy to follow even if the licks themselves are a little tricky. As for the TAB, that’s as close as it’s getting. I’ve fiddled around with that for ages and I’ve got to call it now.

You can also see right at the end there that the solo ties back into riff 2, which is the riff that follows the solo. There are no changes to this riff in terms of how it’s played so we don’t need any new TAB.

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That section of riff 2 is followed by another full gallop rhythm verse which is linked up in the same way as last time, so we don’t need any new TAB for that verse either.

We then reach the final chorus of The Trooper and once again, we know how to play it so no TAB required. What happens after that last chorus is pretty cool if you ask me. We return to that riff from the opening that I dubbed “riff 1”. You don’t need the TAB for that whole riff because you already have it but we can take a little look at how that final chorus links with it and also, the very end of the track.

The Trooper TAB final chorus to riff 1

The Trooper TAB Outro

We’ve now arrived at the end of the song. Well done if you got this far. The Trooper is a fun track to play for anyone into this kind of music. Just a couple of things to consider. Firstly, there’s almost certainly imperfections in the solo. In fact, I even added my own notes at one point so don’t come to me and say that it’s not note for note perfect. I don’t care.

Another thing that you should think about is palm muting with your rhythm. I’ve not given any muting guidance because this is something that can be experimented with by the player.

What next?

That concludes this Iron Maiden guitar lesson and The Trooper TAB. This is the first Iron Maiden guitar lesson that I’ve created for Eat Sleep Guitar Repeat thus far so a natural recommendation isn’t straight forward just yet.

What I can do is recommend some similar tracks in terms of genre. Take a look at the guitar lessons below. All three of these songs are awesome and all three are songs that all guitar players should learn. 

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