Hard (also known as Advanced in Guitar Hero Live) is the second hardest difficulty in the Guitar Hero series after Expert (except on drums where after Expert and Expert +). While it uses all five fret buttons (or six buttons in Guitar Hero Live), its note patterns are not as difficult as Expert, and most songs are easy to Full Combo for an experienced Expert player. Hammer Ons and Pull Offs are not as common in Hard (and there are fewer streaks that last for several hundred notes.
Gameplay Elements to Make Hard Harder than Medium
One of the most noticeable additions is the use of the orange fret button. While the learning curve was less steep in Guitar Hero, the curve was steepened much more in Guitar Hero II. There are also more chords in Hard, and split chords (Green and blue notes and Red and Orange notes) begin to appear. There are also rare three note chords on this difficulty, but generally only at last note, with the expection of Cherub Rock and The Number of the Beast. With Neversoft's new system for Hammer-Ons, there are several 16th notes in Guitar Hero III that would have been Hammer-Ons with Guitar Hero II's game engine, but with their new engine, they are made to be strummed. When Guitar Hero 3 have numberal instances of three note chords, in Guitar Hero: Aerosmith only two songs have a 3 note chord. Excellent example of that Hard is much harder than Medium is the song Cliffs of Dover on Guitar Hero III. Most Hard and Expert players can FC it on Medium because there are very few sixteenth notes. On Hard and Expert, there are many more sixteenth notes and note triplets. One example of this is The Number of the Beast from Guitar Hero III. Most Hard players can get 5 stars on Medium and fail on Hard. Another rare chord is the green and orange note.