Which songs are the hardest to learn? The Top-100 longest tabs. (09. August 2020)

The other day I was thinking about measuring the complexity of tabs in order to get an idea as to how "hard" to learn a particular song might be.

One straight forward approach is to count the number of symbols (i.e. the tab length). The results are presented below.

It is important to note that even though we get a first cursory measure using this technique, we are still fairly limited, as we do not take into account things like the length of the actual song (the tabs tries to reflect), the adequacy or quality of the tab (for a particular song), more generally the internal variations within a song/tab (take the same note on the same fret for example vs. high-distance movements between frets and strings), as well as the information/noise ratio within a tab and other factors.

That said, here are ...

The Top-100 longest tabs in the database

Note: why am I not surprised to see Dream Theater leading the list? :)

  1. Dream Theater - A Change Of Seasons
  2. Guns N' Roses - Sweet Child O' Mine
  3. Dream Theater - Learning to Live
  4. Jaco Pastorius - Invite
  5. Persuader - Judas Immortal
  6. Antônio Carlos Jobim - Desafinado
  7. Metallica - The Day That Never Comes
  8. X Japan - Longing
  9. Dream Theater - The Glass Prison
  10. Jaco Pastorius - Cut Off
  11. Dream Theater - The Dark Eternal Night
  12. Mastodon - Hearts Alive
  13. Iced Earth - High Water Mark
  14. Billy Sheehan - 7718 3a17
  15. Charles Mingus (Quintet) - Haitian Fight Song
  16. The Marmalade - Lovin' Things
  17. X Japan - Rusty Nail
  18. Symphony X - The Odyssey
  19. Dream Theater - In The Presence Of Enemies, Pt. 2
  20. The Marmalade - Wait for me Mary-Anne
  21. Iced Earth - Dante's Inferno
  22. X Japan - Alive
  23. Nightwish - Stargazers
  24. Yngwie Malmsteen - Locked And Loaded
  25. Stuart Hamm - A Better World
  26. Chris Duarte - My Way Down
  27. Hammerfall - Genocide
  28. Emperor - I Am The Black Wizards
  29. Iced Earth - The Phantom Opera Ghost
  30. Haken - The Architect
  31. Dream Theater - The Dance Of Eternity
  32. Caravan - Nine Feet Underground
  33. X Japan - I'll Kill You
  34. Gunner — Denali
  35. Pantera - Cemetery Gates
  36. Dream Theater - In The Name Of God
  37. Gamma Ray - Lust For Life
  38. Pagans Mind - Back To The Magic Of Childhood Exploring Life
  39. X Japan - Kurenai
  40. Immortal - Withstand Fall Of Time
  41. Yngwie Malmsteen - Far Beyond the Sun
  42. Dream Theater - Voices
  43. Dream Theater - Honor Thy Father
  44. Between The Buried And Me - Decade Of Statues
  45. Children Of Bodom - Hatebreeder
  46. Sepultura - Mass Hypnosis
  47. Iron Maiden - Don't Look To The Eyes Of A Stranger
  48. Deep Purple - A Gypsy's Kiss
  49. Opeth - The Lotus Eater
  50. Quo Vadis - Silence Calls the Storm
  51. Iron Maiden - The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
  52. Iron Maiden - The Unbeliever
  53. Dream Theater - Under A Glass Moon
  54. Sepultura - Desperate Cry
  55. Liquid Tension Experiment - Biaxident
  56. Metallica - One
  57. Metallica - Anesthesia (Pulling Teeth)
  58. Gamma Ray - Eagle
  59. Coheed and Cambria - The Willing Well II: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness
  60. Iced Earth - Travel In Stygian
  61. Dream Theater - Home
  62. Pagan's Mind - Aegean Shores
  63. Yes - Yours is No Disgrace
  64. Dimmu Borgir - Tormentor Of Christian Souls
  65. Dream Theater - Beyond This Life
  66. Blind Guardian - Majesty
  67. Rata Blanca - El Sueño De La Gitana
  68. Gamma Ray - Abyss Of The Void
  69. Dream Theater - The Mirror
  70. Santana - Primavera
  71. Cannibal Corpse - Gallery Of Suicide
  72. The Gazette - Reila
  73. Forgiveness Is Murder - I Killed The Prom Queen
  74. Joe Cocker - Feelin Alright
  75. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Backwoods
  76. B.B. King - Why I Sing The Blues
  77. Led Zeppelin - Trampled Under Foot
  78. Megadeth - Hangar 18
  79. Metallica - Am I Evil?
  80. Metallica - Enter Sandman
  81. Helloween - How Many Tears
  82. Yes - Mind Drive
  83. Dragonforce - Fury of the Storm
  84. Iron Maiden - Purgatory
  85. Dragonforce - Once in a Lifetime
  86. Joe Cocker - Cry Me A River
  87. Nightwish - Sleeping Sun
  88. Death - Death Medley
  89. Blind Guardian - Mirror Mirror
  90. Metallica - My Friend Of Misery
  91. Cradle Of Filth - Queen Of Winter, Throned
  92. Helloween - Save Us
  93. Cradle Of Filth - All Hope In Eclipse
  94. Dream Theater - Endless Sacrifice
  95. Iron Maiden - Infinite Dreams
  96. Symphony X - The Damnation Game
  97. Porcupine Tree - Arriving Somewhere But Not Here
  98. Dream Theater - Endless Sacrifice
  99. Mercyful Fate - Devil Eyes
  100. Quinn Peck - What I Could Have Said