Black Widow of La Porte: Hand Mutilator Section by Section Guide
Ok, so I was a little frustrated by the lack of information on this song and am hoping to provide some information for those who are like me: Not bad at guitar but struggling with this song.
Background on the Song: It is not easy, but by no means the most difficult song out there. I don't think it would look out of place on a list of the top 5 hardest on disc songs in a music game, but it is not as difficult as Through the Fire and Flames or Jordan, but definitely more difficult that Freebird, probably on par with Visions. I would go through the song once on practice mode in order to get a feel for the song and familiarize yourself with the problem sections.
Glossary of terms (some established, others of my creation)
Alt strum: strumming both up and down instead of just down.
Trill: a set of fast alternating hammers between two adjacent notes
Flourish: a short section of hammers usually in a ascending/descending pattern.
Background on me: I am playing the Madcatz Players Edition Telecaster (basically a Rock Band stratocaster with some upgrades that won't help you pass this song). I am able to pass most songs, have all but Raining Blood 5 starred on GH3, so not amazing, but not without skill. Like most players, I was using Hyperspeed 4 or 5 for every runthrough, and 5 on my successful run.
My Star power path on my successful runthrough:
1) Got half full and activated in Serial Solo B
2) Activated at full power about a third of the way into Webspinning
3) Activated accidentally during Super Serial B at half full. Wasn't needed, but really helped.
4) Activated at the tease in Red Hourglass 3A.
Hopefully this will help a few people.
As a result of this path, I was only flashing red when I was forced to activate during the Web Spinning section.
Alternate path (assuming you can hit the chorus Star power phrases and anything easier)
1) Activate after the break in the Serial Solo
2) Activate at time signiture change just at the opening of Root of All evil (the end of Arachnaphobia)
3) Activate when needed during Web Spinning (should have worked back up to half full)
4) Activate during Super Serial A
5) Activate during Red Hourglass 3C
I've included a good video (not me, I'm not that good), but the real way to do this is to go through it on practice. Not only will you figure out the sections that will give you challenges, but you will be able to follow along with the guide in the post below.
I have added the time point in the video to the guide below for the tricky parts, as well as a section of the chart from PathHero, which should help you see what you are dealing with. Don't worry about the blue colour on the chart, it represents the optimal star power path to max out your score for the song. And if you are worried about that, you really don't need this guide.
So, let's start into the song, going section by section.
Slow intro, should give you no problems. It contains an easy Star Power phrase. Make sure you get this phrase.
8 Legged Intro
Starts with some chugging chords, has a few alt strums thrown in, but still nothing difficult. If you can not pass this section, you will not have enough skill to pass the song, though it may be your calibration. The end of this section, after the sustain is a star power phrase of chugging green notes and simple chords. Again, make sure you get this phrase.
Serial Solo A & B (0:47)
This is the first real test of the song. The strum pattern changes a few times, there are a lot of fast hammers, and the breaks are not long enough to really build back your rock meter. I found it easier to alt strum the entire section, even strumming the hammers. I was slowly losing my rock meter as a result, but not by that much. If you can get into the break between Serial A and B in the green, you are in good shape. Section doesn't repeat, but is similar enough until the next break, followed by a zig zag section leading into the chorus.
If you are having trouble with this section, or are even entering the chorus deep in the red, you can activate star power to get you through the solo, since you do have enough. It is hard to work your way back up with all the flourishes if you are too low, so it might be best to cut your losses and burn the star power, but do it around the break in the solo.
Nothing too difficult here, it starts with a star power phrase that you should try to get, but don't be concerned if you miss it. There will be plenty of other phrases (including this one repeated if you are close). There is an alt strumming flourish at the end, but it isn't that difficult. Practice might help, but isn't essential.
8 Legged Break 1
Very similar to the intro with chugging green and simple chords. There is a star power phrase in here as well, but this one you really should try for. You are going to need star power from somewhere, and despite a hand change and some descending chords, this is one of the easiest phrases.
Killer Solo A & B (1:30)
One of the easier solos, but you are still probably not going to master it without practice. The hammers are more on the level of flourishes for most of it, though they do get harder as the solo goes on. If you enterded the section in the green, you will have no trouble, you can just alt strum the trickier sections and get through the section ignoring your multiplier. Do not use Star Power, you will need it later.
Same as the last one, thought the trick alt strums have changed a bit. Another star power phrase that you should really try for, and it is identical to the phrase in Chorus 1. Hopefully you can build your meter back up into the green.
The opening is pretty difficult, but the hard part doesn't last that long. And it is just some fast flourishes, so you can probably do well enough to muddle through and not really effect your rock meter. The section finishes with a nice break filled with long single sustains, which is another good chance to build your rock meter back. Again, don't use your Star Power.
Root of All Evil 1 (2:12)
Another tricky section with a new time signiture, but not unmanagable. Starts slow and then goes into a long string of hammers. Again, I found it easiest to just alt strum the entire second half, but that might not work for all people. The section ends with a star power phrase made up of 2 sustains, that you really should get, unless you have full star power (but if you have that, are you sure you need this guide?).
Venom Solo (2:23)
This is the hardest part of the song to master. The actual track is a tapping section and the chart was constructed to reflect the speed and randomness of the tapping. As a result, there really is no pattern to follow, just a long string of slider gems. But that is the saving grace, since you can play this on any guitar without strumming, meaning you are never in danger of overstrumming or losing the string and having to strum to catch up.
The trick here is that you can just run your index finger from the green to the orange key as fast as you can, and you will probably do pretty well. The stratocaster's small solo keys mean that you can do this much faster, tough it will work on any guitar (providing you have quick hands, though fortunately, they do not need to be accurate). Using this method on the solo keys in practice, I managed 80-85% accuarcy and a 12 note max streak. In performance, that meant that my rock meter barely budged. I started in the low green and ended in the low green or high yellow every time, without star power. even better, if you do not see a green note or orange note coming up, you can just focus on the centre or that side of the neck.
Root of All Evil 2
A lot of hammers, but they are mostly trills and flourishes. If you alt strum, you should make it through to the end of the section without too much damage to your rock meter. Do not use star power. The end of the section is a star power phrase (one of three before the next really tricky section, which is why I recommended saving your star power for the last little bit), but not an easy one.
Venom Solo 2 (2:45)
By this point, you will think that Guitar Hero hates you. Another tricky section, but it at least starts easy and grows in complexity. The A section ends with a star power phrase, but it is also tricky due to the strum pattern, but hopefully you still have all your star power. Your rock meter is probably taking a hit, but hopefully you are still out of the red.
Root of All Evil 3
More trills and flourishes, but there is a nice break in the middle that should get you to a good spot with your rock meter. The end of the break is a star power phrase, and not a difficult one, so this might be the one needed to top up your energy. Ends with more trills and flourishes. You can activate star power anytime after the break, if you have a full meter, but if you are not at full, wait until you are in the red.
This is a zig-zag section on par with Green Grass and High Tides or Freebird and it is *long*. The notes change every bar in the A section and then every half a bar and finally after every 4 notes in the B section. This is the reason why I have recommended saving your star power. Even starting in the green, I was never able to pass this section without star power. If you can, all the power to you, the rest of the song will hold no real challenges.
Finally, a true break. Fairly similar to the other choruses, but a tricky hammer section in between the A and B sections, though not bad enough to really kill you if you are in the green. The section has another starpower phase, identical to the ones from the previous choruses. Nail it to start rebuilding your safety net (though if you have made it this far, you probably won't need it).
8 Legged Break 2
You know the drill by this point. Very similar to the other 8 legged sections, but a short alt strumming section thrown into middle, though you should be fine.
Sustains, only minor hammers, really, just a chance to build your rock meter. It contains an easy star power phrase, again, help with the safety net.
Red Hourglass 1
This is a little tricky, but not overly so. There are tricky parts at the end of the A and B sections, but the rest of the section is pretty straight forward. The hammers are simple fourishes, and the strums are just eighth notes. Plus, you have star power if you need it, though I wouldn't use it unless absolutely necessary on the B section, since you will have more trouble with the next section. The C section is the song you hear in the preview, not diffficult, but may cause some people problems.
Super Serial Solo (4:52)
This is the last real test of the song. Divided into 4 parts, the A section is tricky, mostly a long set of zig-zag flourishs, though alt strumming will help, as will your rebuilt safety net, if needed. The B section is all sliders, but not as tricky as in the Venom solo, so you can try to play it normally or do the index finger slide, if you so desire. The C section is eighth notes and chords, but should allow you to build up your rock meter if you need it. D section is tricky and may require star power if you managed to avoid it in the A section, but the pattern is very similar to the first Serial solo. So you might be able to muddle through, since it is far shorter than the first one.
Same as the last one, use it to build up your rock meter if needed. And yes, there is an easy star power phrase to rebuild your safety net.
Red Hourglass 2 (5:24)
The A and B sections are almost identical to sections in the previous Red Hourglass. There is a tricky transition, but nothing overly difficult. The C section is just some chords and alt strumming sections. Tricky, but nothing that will tank your rock meter, though the transition is pretty long and a little challenging. The D section is largely just 8th note chords, but it starts with some sustained hammer chords (where you strum and hold one note, hammer the second note of the chord). In that section is another star power phrase, so you might get back to usable if you burned your net during during the Super Serial Solo.
Spider Crawl (6:06)
Another slider section representing tapping. There is a pattern this time, but a tricky one, so you might be better off just sliding away with your index finger and keeping your rock meter stable.
Red Hourglass 3
This has a real tease in it. It will sound like the song is ending, but it just keeps going. The A section starts very simple, just strummed eighth notes with a 16th hammer thrown in from time to time, but moves into a tricky hammer and strum section. Alt strumming again should get you through this until the tease section. The B section is short, with trills and flourishes, but not that difficult, so you should be able to muddle through. The C section is a longish hammer section, but not extreme. You can probably make it through with alt strumming, but if you are at all concerned, use your star power. You are right near the end, and it would really be heart breaking to fail when you are so close to the end.
8 Legged Outro
Yes, I said "Outro," but don't relax too much. This is a chance to build back your rock meter, but the pattern has changed from the other 8 legged sections. It isn't more difficult, just different, though they did throw in some 3 note chords to make things interesting.
The Devil Knows Your Name
The end of the song, but not an easy end. 2 sets of 2 fast hammer flourishes, but that is it. The song is over and you are good. Enjoy your achievement.
Nice guide so far, perhaps you could include some images on the different sections? Not everything, just the hardest part of the song.
And I am SO glad I didn't have to do this myself
This guide gave a friend of mine the final push into completing BWoLP on Expert. Nice work
Also, have you mentioned Hyperspeed as a tip?
Hyperspeed is very useful scine you won't get thrown a sick amount of notes at your head
Nice guide. :)
I actually found this song ridiculously easy, but then I'm used to anything that GH can try to throw at me. :p
I can do a hands video if you want, might help. I can consistently get 600K+ (I think :P).
Also, there's absolutely no way Venom Solo is harder than Super Serial Solo. At all. It's not even close really. Serial Solo is quite possibly the hardest section of the song whereas Venom Solo is just simple purple note triplets which you can keep a multiplier at least most of the way. The speed of Super Serial solo and the fact they are slider notes DEFINATELY make it harder. If you are talking about just passing then I understand but as far as 100%ing goes, SSS is far above Venom Solo.
The Venom Solo is actually 32nd notes in 4/4 time, there are no triplets in the solo. The difficulty comes from the sheer lack of pattern. Super Serial Solo, is also very difficult, but it has a pattern, and one that you have seen before in the song. The speed of the solo is the same (16th notes at 180 BPM) as that of the Venom Solo (32nd notes at 90 BPM), so the speed is not the problem. The sheer lack of pattern in the Venom Solo was the reason why I called it the hardest part of the song to master. If you are a person who plays purely on a visual level, it may be easier, but not for audio first players. The difficulty of the Super Serial solo is the strum pattern.
And a hands video might be useful. I made the thread mostly for the trick in the venom solo and the star power path. A hands video might get people to realize that thte song is not at fast as they think.
I don't really see how that's possible. I believe you, don't get me wrong but SSB just feels faster then venom. I can FC venom almost everytime and I can't even hit SSB WITH tapping.
There is NO way Venom solo is faster or at the same speed as SSB. Just compare those 2 vids. Venom solo is so much slower.
No, you are right about that part. Those 3 bars are 16th note triplets. I thought you were talking about triplets in the venom solo. The saving grace of that section is that they are repeating triplets, so you could really master it by building up some muscle memory. And I found it didn't last long enough to really trip me up, though if you read the first post, I did activate accidentaly during this section. But, after talking to you, I might beef up the section on the Super Serial Solo. I managed to pass it first try, but that might not be everyone's experience. Though you should keep in mind that this guide is more for people who are struggling to pass the song, not for people who are trying to master it.
Passing it is easy, FCing is a whole different story. However you are right, SSB is easier to pass then Venom solo because Venom solo is longer. But for players who are a bit better then that, SSB is 100x harder than Venom solo.
this song doesnt look hard at all
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