“Fade To Black” by Metallica

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Composer – Burton / Hetfield / Mustaine

Where to find this song – Ride The Lightning track # 2

Release Date – January 1984

The Band:

James Hetfield – vocals, guitar
Kirk Hammett – guitar
Lars Ulrich – drums
Robert Trujillo – bass

The Bio:
Metallica was easily the best, most influential heavy metal band of the ’80s, responsible for bringing the ravaged music back to Earth. Instead of playing the usual rock star games of metal stars of the early ’80s, the band looked and talked like they were from the street. Metallica expanded the limits of thrash, using speed and volume not for their own sake, but to enhance their intricately structured compositions. The release of 1983’s “Kill Em All” marked the beginning of the legitimization of heavy metal’s underground scene.

Intro (Acoustic)

Difficulty: Easy

You can use either your pick or fingers to pick this one. I’m using my fingers to pick it in the audio and video.

The first and third measures are the same. Begin the first measure by placing your 1st finger on the second fret on the “A” string. Place your 4th finger on the fourth fret on the “D” string. Play according to the tablature until the second time that you play the second fret on the “A” string. Then, just move your 1st finger to the fourth fret on the “D” string, and your 2nd finger on the fifth fret on the “A” string. Play accordingly to end the measure.

Play the second measure by leaving your 1st finger on the fourth fret on the “D” string, and removing your 2nd finger. Play accordingly, and then simply place your 2nd finger back at the end of the measure.

Play the fourth measure by using your 3rd finger on the fourth fret on the “A” string. Place your 1st finger on the “D” string and the “G” string on the second frets. Play accordingly, and then just lift off with your 3rd finger at the end for the open note.

Intro Solo

This solo is played over the acoustic intro riff that we learned above. Most of the solo is somewhat easy, but there are a few spots that pretty hard.



The solo begins with these pick up notes:

Breakdown Of Solo

The solo can be broken down into 5 different phrases. Broken up below are
the 5 different phrases along with video of each:

Transition To 1st Verse

The following two measures of music gives us a brief interlude that transitions
us from the intro solo to the first verse. Here’s what it sounds like:

The first guitar is just a continuation of the lead guitar from the intro solo:

And here’s the acoustic guitar part:

Verse

Difficulty: Easy – Intermediate



Guitar 1

This guitar is an acoustic guitar playing fingerstyle. It’s built around a basic Am,C,G,Em chord progression utilizing common open chords.


Guitar 2

This guitar is an electric. It simply serves to enhance the main them played by the 1st guitar.

Bass

1st Interlude

The 1st interlude is played over the them from the verse. On top of this lead guitarist Kirk Hammett plays two harmony guitar parts. It creates a really cool effect. Here’s what it all sounds like together:



Below you’ll see tab for both guitar parts. Guitar 1 plays the notes on the top and guitar 2 plays the notes on the bottom:

Use the audio examples below to practice playing along. For example you start the audio for guitar 1 below and practice playing the guitar 2 part on top, or vice versa. It’s really fun to do, so give it a try!

Guitar 1 (notes on the top)

Guitar 2 (notes on the bottom)

Video

Guitar 1

Guitar 2

 

Riff Resources

Complete Transcription To “Fade To Black” (PDF)

Complete Transcription To “Fade To Black” (Power Tab)