6 Best Metallica Guitar Songs to Learn – Masterpieces Every Guitarist Should Jam To

Hey Rockers! If you are all about that high-octane, electrifying guitar sound, then Metallica songs are your sanctuary. So, whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned guitarist, let’s delve into some of the most iconic Metallica songs that can amplify your playing skills and elevate your rock spirit!

Understanding Metallica’s Style

Before we delve into the songs, let’s talk a bit about Metallica’s musical essence. Known for their complex compositions, intricate riffs, and explosive solos, Metallica’s music can be both challenging and incredibly rewarding to learn. It’s a blend of speed, precision, and raw power. Their style ranges from the fast and furious thrash metal to more melodic and symphonic compositions.

1. “Enter Sandman”

Facts about the Song
“Enter Sandman,” from the self-titled album released in 1991, is one of Metallica’s most recognizable songs. It’s known for its ominous riff and powerful, driving rhythm, and it brought Metallica into mainstream rock.

Learning & Playing Tips
The opening riff, with its catchy and repetitive nature, is a great starting point. It’s a relatively simple sequence that can help in developing precision and timing. The song also features a clean, melodic middle section that can be excellent for practicing dynamics and expression.

2. “Nothing Else Matters”

Facts about the Song
“Nothing Else Matters” is a power ballad from Metallica’s 1991 album. It showcases a different, more melodic side of Metallica and has become one of their most popular songs, featuring clean, arpeggiated guitar parts and a memorable solo.

Learning & Playing Tips
This song is great for learning fingerpicking techniques. The intro and verses played using arpeggiated chords, can help develop finger independence and coordination. The solo, while not overly fast, requires good bending and vibrato techniques, making it an excellent practice piece for expression.

https://youtu.be/-kVY5NxIPwU?si=L5_UFzQb-6069LQN

3. “Master of Puppets”

Facts about the Song
The title track from the 1986 album, “Master of Puppets” is a thrash metal masterpiece and is regarded as one of Metallica’s signature songs. It’s a musical journey, featuring fast, intricate riffs, clean, melodic sections, and a blistering solo.

Learning & Playing Tips
The main riff is fast and requires down-picking stamina and precision. It’s great for building picking speed and accuracy. The clean middle section is an excellent practice for chord changes and dynamics, and the solo can be a technical challenge with its fast runs and complex phrasing.

4. “One”

Facts about the Song
“One,” from the 1988 album “…And Justice for All,” is a progressive metal masterpiece, known for its haunting clean guitar parts, explosive riffs, and intricate soloing. It tells the harrowing story of a soldier who is severely wounded and left in a state where he cannot see, speak, move, or communicate.

Learning & Playing Tips
The song starts with clean, picked arpeggios, excellent for practicing fingerpicking and chord shapes. The song’s latter part is a showcase of technical proficiency, with fast, palm-muted riffs and a rapid, alternate-picked solo, providing an array of techniques to master.

5. “Fade to Black”

Facts about the Song
“Fade to Black,” from the 1984 album “Ride the Lightning,” is another of Metallica’s iconic ballads, combining clean, melodic parts with heavy, powerful riffs and a soaring, emotional solo.

Learning & Playing Tips
The intro and verses are played with clean, arpeggiated chords, requiring precise fingerpicking. The song’s transitions from clean to distorted sections are great for practicing dynamics and tone control. The final solo is a melodic masterpiece, requiring good bending, vibrato, and phrasing techniques.

6. “The Unforgiven”

Facts about the Song
“The Unforgiven,” from the 1991 self-titled album, is known for its Western-themed intro, dynamic verses, and a memorable, melodic solo. It explores themes of freedom, rebellion, and the search for self-identity.

Learning & Playing Tips
The intro features a distinct, picked melody, which is great for practicing alternate picking and finger coordination. The verses have a dynamic, palm-muted rhythm part that can help develop right-hand control. The solo, with its melodic bends and fast runs, is excellent for building technical proficiency and expressive playing.

Diving into Metallica’s musical realm is an electrifying journey. Their compositions, brimming with energy, complexity, and emotion, offer a rich learning ground for guitarists of all levels. Whether it’s the aggressive down-picked riffs, the clean, melodic passages, the explosive solos, or the dynamic changes, there’s something in Metallica’s music for every aspiring rock guitarist. So, plug in your guitar, crank up the volume, and let the power of Metallica guide your musical exploration! Keep rocking and keep learning!