Ride the Lightning (Main)

Animated Ride the Lightning (Main) tab by Metallica on guitar. So easy you'll be playing in minutes.

This is another Metallica classic. Three key things to remember about Metallica's earlier thrash style:

They use downstrokes as much as possible at slow - moderate tempos, and switch to alternate down/upstrokes for the very fast rhythms
Powerchords rule.
They alternate between very structured riffs. So, the Verse riffs will nearly always be played the same way, as will the chorus riffs, and so on. This means that you can divide even a long song up into a handful of riffs. Learn those riffs, and you effectively learn the whole song. Just apply them when needed.

So let's do just that and break the song down into the main riffs (we'll deal with the solos / fills in separate ActionTabs):

Intro Riff 1 and Intro Riff 2 - In the song, both riffs are played together as a harmony by Hetfield and Hammet. Here we start with Hetfield's riff then switch to Hammet's to show you both.

Verse Riff 1 - This is the main verse riff and appears first in the intro. It's pretty short and repetitive, but rocks. Later in the song there is a slight variation of this riff which we'll point out soon.

Bridge - Powerchords. The trick here is to shift between them quickly. As usual - practice slow, get it right, build up speed.

Verse Riff 2 - This is almost exactly the same as Verse Riff 1, except notice that the riff starts with 2 straight powerchords C5 and B5. This is played every 4 bars. You'll be playing this riff a lot in the song because it's the main verse.

Verse Riff 3 - This riff is used interchangeably with Verse Riff 2. The structure and strumming is similar, just move up from open Low E to the F# at fret 2. Also, a hammer on is used rather than a powerchord slide. We call this the pre-chorus riff, because it always leads into the chorus.

Chorus Riff - Powerchords. Naturally. Ends with a little vibrato B note before going back into the main verses.

Interlude Riff 1 - This doesn't come in until about a third of the song is played. Start using alternate picking now (i.e. down / up strokes).

Interlude Riff 2 - Again with the alternating picking for speed. It's not as difficult as it first seems. Just consistently pick the lowest note of each powerchord and open strike the full powerchord in the right places.

Solo Backing 1 - Slows down here for a nice repetitive simple riff.

Solo Backing 2 - Similar stuff, just shifted up a couple of frets. Ends with a stop-start break before the fast part.

Solo Backing 3 - This is the fast part, but nothing too scary to play. Stick to fast alternate picking (palm muting) the Low E string and open strike the G note pull offs.

Everything else in the song is riffs we've already covered. The very last part is the Outro, which is just picking the Low E and ending on 1 bar of the intro riff again (take your pick of riffs, as both guitars play it - we chose Hetfield's but you can use Hammet's instead).

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