Blackened Guitar Lesson – Metallica

In this video lesson we will take a look at the massive thrash riff based opener from Metallica's classic album And Justice For All, "Blackened".

As the opening track to their And Justice For All album, it rightly begins what was perhaps Metallica's most progressive and technical album.

The track starts with a lot of harmony guitar parts recorded in reverse along with an assortment of other recording techniques. However, those harmony parts just build the tension that explodes with the main opening riff. I won't be covering the opening harmonized guitar section, since it would require you to have a slew of guitars and studio effects to reproduce. We will just focus on the the entire song after that intro.

This Blackened guitar lesson video is gonna show you how to get those riffs under your fingers in no time. This is no small feat by the way. It requires an extremely fast right hand technique in order to play these riffs at full speed.

The key to understanding and memorizing these riffs is to be able to see the patterns within them . In these lessons I will demonstrate those patterns so you will know exactly how to count everything out easily. From there it will just be about slowly working up the speed at which you can play them.

In the first video lesson, I will demonstrate how to play all the guitar riffs all the way until we reach the first verse.

The first half of the riff requires you to do rapid downstrokes across the bass strings. The hardest part of this section is of course the fast right hand downstrokes, but the synchronization between the two hands can also be a bit tricky.

The end of the riff requires you to quickly shift down to the first fret along with performing a quick speed burst in the picking hand.

Make sure you keep the palm muting nice and tight and light. Keeping the strings muted not only helps the notes pop-out better but it also helps you control the strings easier making the riff a lot easier to play.

As with anything on the guitar that requires a pretty advanced technique, I suggest learning this riff just a few notes at a time. It is a lot easier to piece everything together that way.

In the second lesson I will show you all the remaining riffs found in "Blackened", as well as the two-guitar harmony section that occurs right before the first guitar solo.

The riffs in the second video lesson will also be quite fast, but there will also be a section were everything slows down and is pretty much groove based.

I will be covering the harmony guitar section note-for-note as well, including both guitar parts. There are a lot of notes to get down for that section but hopefully it won't take you too long to memorize.

In the third video lesson, I will finally tackle Kirk Hammett's first guitar solo. He starts this solo with a couple of relatively easy melodic patterns, but then quickly shifts into pure shred guitar mayhem. I will once again try and point out the patterns that are repeated within the various guitar licks to help you memorize them more easily.

There are some super fast picking and tapping licks in this solo so it definitely isn't for anyone but the more experienced guitarists out there.

In the fourth and final video lesson, I will show you how to play Kirk Hammett's second solo note-for-note. Once again, he throws a million notes at you from out of nowhere. The patterns used in this solo are essential to identify in order to grasp where everything is coming from.

Hope you enjoy learning this monster Metallica classic!


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Blackened Guitar Lesson - Metallica - Intro

Blackened Guitar Lesson - Chords/Riffs Pt.2 - Harmony Section

Blackened Guitar Lesson - First Solo

Blackened Guitar Lesson - Second Solo


  1. Chris Corderoy on April 25, 2016 at 3:10 am

    thank you so much carl! cant wait to finish this song. i’d also love to get into and justice for all and maybe something softer like hero of the day 🙂

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