Ride The Lightning Guitar Lesson – Metallica

In this Ride the Lightning guitar lesson video series, I will show you how to play this Metallica classic note-for-note across 3 separate video lessons.

There are lots of cool riffs in this one that run the gamut for slow groove based riffs to ultra fast thrash metal. The tuning used in this lesson and the original recording is standard tuning.

In the first video lesson, I will show you all of the riffs in "Ride the Lightning" in the same order that they appear in the song. There are a lot of different sections of the song, so it is a marathon just getting the riffs together. Besides the riffs, I will also cover the harmony guitar intro and show you both parts just in case you have a second guitar player to jam with.

In the second and third video lessons, I will break down Kirk Hammett's epic guitar solo note-for-note.

The second video will cover the first half of the solo up until the fast double-time section. There is rapid tapping, octaves, blues licks, long legato based licks and a super fast alternate picked section to close out the first half of the solo.

As usual, I will take everything phrase-by-phrase in order to help you absorb all the different licks in a reasonable manner.

In the third video lesson, we make it to the fast double-time section of the solo that opens with a bunch of unison bends. From there we have some rapid blues based licks into some ascending triplets. By the way, many sections of the solo are either doubled an octave lower or harmonized. I will be teaching the highest harmony part just like Kirk Hammett plays it live. It sounds great just with that one part.

The real star of the show in Kirk Hammett's solo comes next with the fast arpeggio section. These arpeggios are based off of two separate repeated patterns which I will break down in detail.

When playing these arpeggios, you will need to be pretty fleet fingered. The are a lot of fast shifts and HUGE stretches so it definitely is for the more experienced guitar player.

I hope you guys enjoy learning this early masterpiece from Metallica!


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Ride The Lightning Guitar Lesson Pt.1 - 'Riffs'

Ride The Lightning Guitar Lesson Pt.2 - Solo (Part 1)

Ride The Lightning Guitar Lesson Pt.3 - Solo (Part 2)


  1. Zack Walker on November 9, 2016 at 10:27 am

    Hey Carl, my name is Zack. I found you on Youtube a while ago now and I decided it was time to become a member on your site. I’m interested in getting a “Premium Plus” membership. I had a few questions I wanted to ask before I did, and did not know where to post them. My first question is and its the thing I find most difficult about learning new things on guitar is the tablature.. Rarely is it actually accurate. Most the time its a ball park approximation and because I don’t know which ones are right and which are wrong I’m scared to invest the time learning a song from tabs to find out I learned it wrong. So thats my first question.. How do you yourself learn these songs? How does anybody learn songs when most tablature is simply incorrect? I’ve been playing a year and I’ve learned 3 songs because of your videos. Master of Puppets, Ride the Lightening, Enter Sandman. I’d be scared to say where I would be without your lessons. My other question is do you offer one on one lessons? I know you have a great course of videos but if thats not enough for someone like me and I have tons of questions and what not is there any room for individual sessions? I guess thats everything I wanted to ask. I’m definitely going to become as premium member at your website.. Theres no better site out there honestly and you are so amazing and kind for uploading so many free lessons.. You’re changing lives by doing that I promise.. Note for note song lessons is brilliant. And it brings people like me to subbing to your site because it makes people hungry to really get to the meat of learning guitar itself rather then just songs and not understanding the instrument. Thank you humbly and sincerely. You really did change my life I promise I’m not just being dramatic.

    • Carl Brown on November 11, 2016 at 9:34 pm

      Hey Zack, thanks a lot for the really cool comment! I am thrilled to hear you are getting so much from my lessons.

      Let me see if I can answer your questions real quick.

      First, I transcribe the songs myself since as you accurately stated, most TAB out there is pretty horrible. Internet based TAB is very bad and the only commercially available outlet that I know does reasonably accurate TABS in Guitar World magazine. But of course, you are limited to the songs they choose to cover.

      Even with official TAB books it can be almost impossible to decipher the song. The “And Justice For all” TAB book is one such book. There is almost nothing in that thing that is the actual way they play it. OK I am exaggerating a bit. 🙂

      I learn the songs I teach on YouTube by transcribing the music myself. I can do this because of the knowledge of how specific styles of guitar work along with ear training. Hopefully you can check out the syllabus of some of my guitar courses in the Premium section. It pretty much is my own personal method for approaching the guitar. If you know that stuff, figuring out music by ear is much less mysterious. It just takes knowledge. 🙂

      As for individual lessons, unfortunately at this point the closest I can get are the Premium Plus video responses. We can still get a lot done there though.

      I just have too much work to do for GL365, plus my own personal musical exploits that take up my time. That might change in the future though and I will definitely advertise my availability for private lessons via Skype or something on the website and YuoTube if that ever becomes available.

      In any case, thanks a bunch for watching my lessons!


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