“2 Minutes To Midnight” by Iron Maiden

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Riff Rundown

Difficulty: Easy – Intermediate

Composer – Dickinson / Smith

Where to find this song – Powerslave track # 2

Release Date – January 1984

The Bio:

Iron Maiden was one of the most influential bands of the heavy metal genre.
The often-imitated band existed for over 20 years, pumping out wild rock
similar to Judas Priest. Iron Maiden has always been an underground attraction;
although failing to ever obtain any real media attention in the U.S. (critics
claimed them to be Satanists due to their dark musical themes and their use
of grim reaper “Eddie”) .

Main Riff

The key to this riff is the open notes being played on the “A” string
to signify the timing. Begin by noticing that the first three measures are
primarily the same, with the second measure focusing a little less on the “A” string.
Use all downstrokes with your pick. It’s at a very fast tempo of 188 beats
per minute, so your picking arm might get a little tired.



Start by playing the “A” string open twice, and then use your 1st
finger on the fifth fret on the “D” string and the “G” string.
Play the open string again twice, and then use your 1st finger again for the
seventh frets on the “D” string and the “G” string. End
the measure by playing the “A” string open twice.

For the second measure, don’t forget to add a little vibrato on the seventh
frets on the “D” string, the “G” string, and this time,
the “B” string.

Play the last measure by placing your 1st finger on the fifth frets of the “D” string
and the “G” string. Play that once, and then play the “A” string
open a few times. End the measure by placing your 1st finger on the second
frets on the “D” string and the “G” string. Allow the “A” string
to remain open.

Riff Resources

Complete Transcription To “2
Minutes To Midnight” (PDF)

Complete Transcription To “2
Minutes To Midnight” (Power Tab)