In Guitar Hero, a chord is when multiple frets are played at the same time. A chord can be two, three, four or five notes. However, In Guitar Hero there were no three-note chords and in Guitar Hero II, three-note chords were seen only in expert and rather rare. The first three-note chord made its appearence at the end of Mother, on Guitar Hero II. It wasn't until Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock that three-note chords were seen very frequently in Hard and Expert.
Four note chords were first featured in Guitar Hero III in the rhythm section for Go That Far. 16 GRYB chords come in a row. The four note chord would be occasionally featured in Guitar Hero: On Tour. On lead guitar, only 3 songs in the series containing four note chords exist: Master of Puppets, I'm the One, and the Joe Perry Guitar Battle.
Five note chords were first seen in custom songs that aren't officially licensed for the games. Custom songs appear in every game from Guitar Hero to, currently, Guitar Hero: Metallica. However, in Guitar Hero: Smash Hits, Slayer's Raining Blood has a final note that is a five note chord.
In Easy any chord is rare. In Medium there are more chords and even split chords. In Hard there are more split chords, normal chords, and rarely 3-note chords. In Expert there are many chords, but more split chords than normal chords. Also more 3-note chords and very rarely 4-note chords.
Split chords are chords whose notes aren't all next to each other on the fret board. Split chords can be two, three, or four notes, with an example of a split chord being GY. The only split four note chords are a set of GRYO chords in Mean Street in Guitar Hero: Van Halen which are formed by orange notes overlayed over an extended sustain GRY chord. No split four note chords have ever been formed without extended sustains.
Chords can easily be divided into common and rare categories. The common chords are GR, GY, GB, RY, RB, RO, YB, YO, BO, GRY, GRB, GYB, RYB, RYO, RBO, and YBO. These chords are commonplace in all songs. All other chords are much rarer. Some have only appeared a few times, one has only ever been formed by Extended Sustains and never as a regular chord, and two have never appeared at all. GO chords are the most common of the rare chords and have appeared in several songs, including Monkey Wrench, Impulse, Anything, Little Guitars, The Number of the Beast, Take This Life, My Curse, Almost Easy, No Rain, Mercy, Audience of One, Guitar Battle vs. Tom Morello, Violet Hill, The Outsider, Beautiful Mourning, Rock of Ages, Supernatural Superserious, Only A Lad, Pandora's Box, Excuse Me Mr., Looks That Kill, Bohemian Rhapsody, Operation Ground and Pound, The Way It Ends, Minus Celsius, Give Me a Sign, Famous Last Words, Prayer of the Refugee, Stockholm Syndrome, Sleeping Giant, Radar Love, The Pretender, Sunday Morning, Before I Forget, Don't Hold Back, Carcinogen Crush, Savior, This Is How I Disappear, Ex's & Oh's, Fury of the Storm, American Pie, Radium Eyes, Dead!, Hold On Loosely, Unsung (Guitar Hero Smash Hits version), The bass sections of Holiday in Cambodia, GHWT's Santeria, GHSH's Free Bird, and the rhythm sections of Gemini and Through the Fire and Flames (in both the original and Guitar Hero Smash Hits versions). They are also the only rare two-note chord.
There are three rare chords comprised of three notes, all of which are heavily split chords - GRO, GYO, and GBO. One GRO chord is formed by extended sustains in Little Guitars and two are played regularly in the Guitar Hero 5 version of Stricken. GYO chords are slightly more common, appearing regularly in songs such as Through the Fire and Flames (Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock version), The Way It Ends, Cathedral, Minus Celsius, Heroes of Our Time, Fury of the Storm, Stricken (Guitar Hero 5 version), and Guitar Battle vs. Tom Morello. They are also formed by extended sustains in songs such as Eruption and One (Guitar Hero: Metallica version) and Cult of Personality (Guitar Hero Smash Hits version). Lastly, GBO chords have appeared regularly in songs such as Famous Last Words, Dead!, Photograph, Done With Everything, Die For Nothing, and Carcinogen Crush, and have been formed by extended sustains in songs such as Master of Puppets, and The Way It Ends, and via extended sustains in songs such as Jump.
All four note chords are rare. The first four note chords were a set of 16 GRYB chords in the rhythm section of GHIII's Go That Far. They later appeared in songs such as Master of Puppets, Joe Perry Guitar Battle, Pride and Joy (Guitar Hero: On Tour version) and Sweet Home Alabama (Guitar Hero On Tour: Decades version), and have been formed by extended sustains in songs such as Little Guitars, The Outsider, Dueling Banjos, Hotel California, The Nature of Reality, Holy Wars… The Punishment Due, Parabola, Stop, and Psychobilly Freakout (Guitar Hero Smash Hits version). A few GRYO chords are formed by extended sustains in Mean Street, this being their only appearance. The only regular RYBO chord is at the very end of I'm the One, though extended sustain RYBO chords have appeared in songs such as Mr. Crowley, Sacrifice, Barracuda (Guitar Hero Smash Hits version), 'Santeria, Break It Out', and 'Cowboys From Hell (Live) (Guitar Hero Smash Hits version) on Bass during the outro. A GYBO chord has also appeared as an extended sustain in Black Hole Sun as well as Give Me a Sign, but this song also includes extended chords for GRYB and GRYO notes. GRBO have never appeared outside of custom songs.
Lastly, the five note chord, GRYBO, has only ever officially appeared once, this being as a regular chord at the end of Guitar Hero Smash Hits's version of Raining Blood, signifying the song's climactic thunder sound effect.
List Of Chords
G = Green R = Red Y = Yellow B = Blue O = Orange
- GY (Split Chord)
- GB (Split Chord)
- GO (Split Chord)
- RB (Split Chord)
- RO (Split Chord)
- YO (Split Chord)
- GYO (Only 3-note split chord)