Metallica Fridays (no. 7): This Time… On Bass!

Look, before we even start i am going to get this out of the way. i’m sure you can tell i am NOT Clifford Lee Burton, Jason Curtis Newsted or Roberto Agustín Miguel Santiago Samuel Trujillo Veracruz.

THERE! Next post…

(But seriously though)

How do i even attempt to reach such heights as those three? Well, by not trying to BE them, and knowing my limitations, just do what i do. It’s better than feeling sad that i’m not there (yet), and not doing anything at all. i can play tiny portions of a couple of Metallica songs on guitar- and if i’m not at the level of the bassists, do you really think i’m even at a modicum of the level of Hammett or Hetfield??!!

Interestingly, a lot of people started out learning guitar to their songs. But like with the drums, that wasn’t my experience. i have begun to get over my fear that this type of thing is impossible. As i keep saying, i am a basic player. However, that doesn’t mean i can’t navigate my way around a song. i looked at it in two ways: (a. what songs would be really fun to play, and (b. what songs would be possible to do at my skill level.

If you’ve been following these posts regularly i’m sure you’re aware of one of the songs.

‘For Whom The Bell Tolls’.

i definitely didn’t play the bass line note for note. i can’t read music (and i haven’t really watched any tutorials on it) so i played it how i heard the notes in my head, so listening to it over again i am chuckling a bit at how a few of the notes sound kind of off, despite actually tuning it before i played. i’m sure i’m also playing it in a much more difficult way than it could/should be played.

All you pro bassists out there, don’t be mad at me! Y’all could give me some tips though (wink). i hope Cliff won’t be too mad with me…

i don’t know about you, but watching me play the bass with a straight face for a whole four or five minute song is kinda boring. So i asked myself, ‘How can i make this fun?’

i jumped in the fire and made a little music video.

Metallica has no shortage of dope riffs, but this song has some of my favorite in their whole catalog. Every single riff in this song is so good. The solo is excellent (i know that Kirk has publicly stated dissatisfaction with the album’s solos as a whole), and i am a major fan of the 16th note ‘disco’ beat in metal and punk. The song also has one of my favorite bass lines on the album. Y’all already know i am a Load/St. Anger fanboi (and yes, Justice and Puppets are my 2nd and 3rd favorite of theirs), but you cannot deny the impact a bunch of dudes not yet 21 made on the thrash scene with Kill ‘Em All, and how far advanced they became by the time of Ride The Lightning‘s release.

Lars has claimed that the song was their attempt at ‘Run To The Hills’ (of which the intro riff is my favorite metal riff of all time)- and i only see it a little bit. They messed around a bit with the song on Garage Days, and even played live with drummer Nicko McBrain. But if that song inspired them to make them dope riffs, well okay then. i’m definitely not a fan of the original lyrics (sorrynotsorry), and the reworked lyrics are silly; the song is fun to play though, and working out a ‘music video’ was fun as well.

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