Ace of Spades

Animated Ace of Spades tab by Motorhead on guitar. So easy you'll be playing in minutes.

A truly classic rock / metal song which is harder than you'd think, if only because of the furious pace and clever rhythms - trademarks of this great metal band. As with most Motorhead songs, the Ace of Spades is tuned in Eb - so use the ActionTab tuner to tune each string down by a semitone (1 note).

The good thing about this song is that it still sounds great when played slower. This makes it easier to keep practicing / enjoying the song and you'll develop the manic speed over time as your hands get familiar with the song. So don't let the difficulty rating put you off too much. It is rated higher than average mostly due to the speed.

It's tempting to follow the rhythm of the first few bars that you hear in the song, but that's Lemmy's bass, not the guitar! The guitar first comes in after the bass intro - so watch out, because the guitar part is actually quite different to Lemmy's intro bass riff.

Pay VERY close attention to the pick strokes for the main rhythm parts (such as the very first guitar part). Picking the way we show here is the best way to play at the fast pace required without missing a step. With fast rhythm styles like this it is important to keep your wrist loose for flexibility and speed, but also keep your hand tight to the guitar body so that your pick is always just over the low E string. Hold your palm edge against the body of the guitar (above the pickups) for stability and control if you wish, but be careful though, too close and you'll end up palm muting the strings, which still sounds good, but it isn't Motorhead's style.

During the solo the rhythm guitar simply shifts between the A open powerchord and B powerchord (1st finger fret 2). Very simple if you choose to do that and skip playing the solo. The solo itself (shown here) is pretty quick in places so be careful to make sure you use the right fingers or you'll get caught out on the timing when playing at full speed!

Remember to divide the song up into manageable chunks and practice them until your fingers just know what to do. Start slower and build speed last. Once you have got your selected chunk right, then move on to the next part of the song and just do the same.

Many of the song segments repeat, so once you have the first part of the song right, you'll already know most of the entire song! The rhythms will take time to get right, they can be tricky at first and you'll need good string control. However, once your fingers begin to get the hang of these rhythms, other parts of the song will flow a lot easier too.

The very last lead lick is shown by itself at the end of the ActionTab, but remember it is actually played over the last few chords of the song.


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