Master of Puppets Guitar Lesson – Metallica

In this lesson I will demonstrate how to play the killer intro to Metallica's incredible "Master of Puppets".

Now I don't plan on only teaching this part of the song. I will definitely be finishing the whole thing note-for-note. I just always gauge which songs to finish first based of the support they get. So if you wanna see the rest of these lessons let me know!

In this Master of Puppets guitar lesson I will break down the extremely fast down picked intro that so many Metallica fans love.

In will require a pretty advanced picking hand technique. If you don't have very much experience with this type of rapid muted down stroke metal thrashing, simply try and get the coordination down first. Then as you slowly speed the riff up, pay close attention to any tension that may arise in your picking hand wrist, forearm and shoulder. Use small relaxed movements.

The left hand doesn't get to sit around very long either. It is required to hop down the fretboard fret-by-fret keeping up with the right hand. Getting them both synchronized can be quite the challenge.

The second half of the intro goes into a riff that is a bit easier to play since it stays put in one area of the fretboard and the right hand picking is slightly easier (I explain why in the video lesson).

This is classic thrash metal at it's absolute best so take your time and learn it right.

In the second video lesson I will finish all the heavy rhythm guitar parts. "Master of Puppets" is truly a masterful collection of some of the greatest riffs in metal history so you will definitely want to master all of these riffs.

In the third lesson I will demonstrate how to play the serene harmony guitar solo (both parts!) note-for-note. I will also show you how to play the guitar solo for this section and the clean arpeggio guitar rhythms.

In the fourth lesson we will finally take a crack at the Kirk Hammett's main guitar solo. This solo is full of blistering legato, alternate picking, tremolo picking, screaming harmonics and sequences. It is a true workout for the metal guitar lover. It is also one of Kirk Hammett's finest moments in my opinion.

In the last video lesson (yep that is 5 in all!), I will demonstrate how to play the killer musical interlude that occurs after the main solo. This is truly Metallica at their peak!

Hopefully, you guys will make it through the monster lesson series! If you do, I would love to see you do a cover of it on YouTube! Good Luck! ๐Ÿ™‚


If these free lessons help you, please donate to keep new ones coming daily. Thanks!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Master of Puppets Guitar Lesson - Intro

Master of Puppets Guitar Lesson Pt.2 - Rhythms

Master of Puppets Guitar Lesson Pt.3 - Harmony Solo

Master of Puppets Guitar Lesson Pt.4 - Main Solo

Master of Puppets Guitar Lesson Pt.5 - Interlude


  1. anonymous anonymous on December 15, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    Can you please make a lesson for the guitarsolo in this song

  2. anonymous anonymous on December 18, 2014 at 11:34 am

    Ok, thanks Carl. Your lessons is the best

  3. gavin pharris on December 23, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    I can honestly say metallica is my all time favorite band. These lessons are awesome please continue this song! Your awesome!!!

  4. Cookinman on December 28, 2014 at 8:11 am

    Carl, Looking forward to seein this finished ๐Ÿ™‚ I have seen a few tutorials on this and they seem off a little bit. I’m looking forward to yours!

  5. Nathan Koher on February 9, 2015 at 7:48 pm

    Is there a tab to go with this? So far so good on learning this, but when it gets to the solo, having the tab would help. If it’s already tabbed out, can someone point me where I can find it on the site? Thanks!!

    • Carl Brown on February 10, 2015 at 11:10 am

      Hey Nathan, unfortunately I can’t provide TAB for this song due to international copyright restrictions. ๐Ÿ™

  6. chris martin on April 27, 2015 at 7:18 am

    hi car thanks a lot.i want to know how many hours you working guitar everyday except the solo i mean for your own please guide me because most of the time i lose how to practice how many hours a day and sometimes i complicated and my hands getting locked please guide me i wanna use your experience thanks a lot I m waiting ;D and i mention that i play almost of your solos 90 percent like you and i have all your excersices and i don know how to play them that not forgot.your a great man buddy thanks.๏ปฟ

  7. Milos Oparnica on July 20, 2015 at 7:19 am

    Do I need more than 22 frets to play this song? Thanks!

  8. Eid Ali on September 2, 2015 at 8:13 am

    Hi Carl! This lesson is the main reason for me to signup because finally I can learn this song the way I should. Although I’m still struggling with my Roland Amp settings and pedal but It will come ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for your great efforts. Subscription was worthy.

  9. Justin Rhymer on December 19, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    Hi Carl, I have a question for you. Im very new to guitar but your lesson for master of puppets has me playing it better and better everyday but since i am very new to guitar, how exactly are you playing the open power cord at the very start of the song. I have the rest if the intro down just not that part. Thanks Justin

    • Carl Brown on December 20, 2015 at 12:06 pm

      Hey Justin, it’s just an open E power chord. 6th string open and 2nd fret on the 5th string played together. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Justin Rhymer on December 21, 2015 at 5:50 am

        Awesome!!! Thank you Carl!

  10. Kevin Fron on January 9, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    Thanks for all you do Carl!!!!

  11. Matthew Kocourek on July 4, 2016 at 8:46 pm

    Hey Carl great lesson as always. what weight pick do you use

    • Carl Brown on July 5, 2016 at 12:35 pm

      Hey Matthew, thanks for watching!

      I use the Jim Dunlop Ultex Jazz III picks. They are very thick and sharp little guys. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Julio Laurent on October 26, 2018 at 10:46 pm

    Hey Carl, What are the settings for the Harmony solo of Master of Puppets?

  13. Andrew Wheeler on June 6, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    question on the intro. Could it really be all downpicking except for the string cross thing down in F position? I mean…the recording is so, so fast. I can’t imagine this is all downpicking…

    • Carl Brown on June 7, 2019 at 5:18 pm

      Yeah unfortunately it is all down-picked. It is something that will take a while to master. I used to play that style of picking a lot as a teenager and could easily play it as fast as the recording back then. These days, my rapid down-stokes aren’t is as good of shape since I rarely play them unless I am doing a YouTube lesson or something and it is difficult for me to get it that fast as well.

  14. Steven Van Sickle on October 19, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    what is a good bpm on the metronome to shoot for to get this dialed? Just to put it in perspective.

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