#1
I am a self-taught beginner and I am trying to learn the Fade To Black solo intro by Metallica. I am having problems with that faster fancy part of the solo and I am getting really frustrated now. It feels like I am never going to learn how to play that fast part. I feel like this because I have played that part a lot today but it seems like I can't play it better now than what I could when I started practicing it earlier today when I picked up the guitar.

I can almost play it as fast as it is supposed to be played. But when I play it faster it feels like my picking hand starts panicking and goes all over the place and I can't play fast and accurately enough on the right string. It's like I don't have enough control over my picking hand when playing fast and it feels uncomfortable as if it has a mind of it's own.

Why is this? How can i solve this problem? How should I practice? Is it because I haven't used the metronome when practicing? Is it normal as a beginner to spend hours upon hours for days to just get one part of a solo down?
#2
Slow it down, get it right at a lower tempo to get it ingrained in muscle memory correctly. Give it time and you'll get it eventually
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#4
all of this is easier said than done (and i certainly felt like you when i was just starting, and even for some time after that)

- try to relax. it's counterintuitive, but the harder you try the more you tense up which makes it even worse

- don't worry too much. you're only a beginner. you'll get there eventually.

- don't spend hours upon hours practising one thing if it feels like you're not getting anywhere. maybe it's beyond you now and in a few months/years it'll seem easy- you might be better practising something which would have more immediate benefits and which will be less frustrating.

(that's not to say you shouldn't practise stuff you can't do, because that's how you get better- but spending hours upon hours obsessing over it will just frustrate you.)
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#5
Thank you very much for all answers. I will try to be patient and slow it down as you said and then increase the speed when it feels comfortable. I will also think more about what Dave_Mc said about playing easier parts that are less frustrating and more fun.
#6
I don't know how you're playing it but I've dabbled in that song and that part for me is easier to play alternate picked than sweep picked (plus, I suck at sweep picking). That's hardly a long enough part to bother with sweeping anyway, in my opinion.

And when you get it by alternate picking, it sounds close enough to the original that I doubt too many people could tell. I'm pretty sure Kirk originally played it with a sweep though. Whenever I've played it, I always set my loop pedal and do James's part first (the clean arpeggios in the background). If you have a loop pedal, I'd suggest doing the same -- play Jame's part and record it (but slower than the original tempo) then play the intro solo over the top of it. It'll really help you get into the feel of the song and sounds a lot better than a metronome, lol. Then, as you master that part, speed up the tempo on your next practice runs.

As others have said, you really have to break it down until you're playing something PERFECTLY at slower tempos before you try it at speed.


*Edit: One more thing: While there are certainly much harder solos to learn, Fade to Black is NOT a beginner song. Don't feel bad.
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Last edited by KailM at Oct 10, 2014,
#7
Quote by KailM

*Edit: One more thing: While there are certainly much harder solos to learn, Fade to Black is NOT a beginner song. Don't feel bad.


Agreed
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#8
^ This is important to realise, you have a lot of people here who think that anything below a Steve Vai song is a beginners song. These people are wrong and usually greatly overestimate their own skills.

I tried to learn this song when I was maybe 6 months into guitar, and I had a lot of trouble with this part too. I actually never really got it down until a year later or so when I revisited the song, and by then it was very easy. So if after a few weeks of practicing the lick you still can't get it, maybe try learning some other things and come back when you've had more experience. It can be frustrating when you really want to learn the song but it'll be worth it.

Also, try not to practice one lick for more than 20-30 minutes a day. Unless you have incredible concentration and patience you will probably be doing more harm than good at that point; you will get sick of playing the lick slowly over and over again.
#9
Either that or they have poor memories and have forgotten just how difficult learning to play the guitar is in the early stages.
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#10
I'm actually working on this song too and working on the beginning solo. what helps is to break the solo down in to groups of 4 notes until you can play each part smoothly. I use a app called Guitar Pro, so I can just loop that section over and over until my fingers fall off. Atm, I'm playing that part at 45% of the full tempo. When I started playing the solo, I was only down picking, and have now switched to alternate picking. I find it much smoother doing it this way. I've been working on the solo for little over a week now.

I feel your frustration. I believe that you will get it down, as I believe in myself to get it down as well. It will just take time, and as everyone says., with accuracy and practicing comes speed.
#11
I feel ya man. This was the first solo that I learned and it took forever as well. The problem was that this isnt a novice solo to learn yet at the time Ive only been playing barely 6 months. I was amazed at the speed and flow in which Kirk Hammett executed it. Point is, start slow and make sure you get it so it sounds spot on. You got this man. Remember, at one point greats like Hendrix,SRV, EVH were all beginners. Good luck
#12
I can play it better today than I could yesterday when I posted this thread .
I do it with alternate picking and not sweep picking. I guess I needed a break from that part and the guitar. But I have thought about all your tips and answers when practicing it and playing it further and it has helped very much. I can play the fast part now with the right speed and hit all notes almost every time now. I am so proud and happy now. Thanks for all answers and for your support it means a lot. You are awesome!
Last edited by Zerpent93 at Oct 10, 2014,
#13
Quote by Anon17
^ This is important to realise, you have a lot of people here who think that anything below a Steve Vai song is a beginners song. These people are wrong and usually greatly overestimate their own skills.

I tried to learn this song when I was maybe 6 months into guitar, and I had a lot of trouble with this part too. I actually never really got it down until a year later or so when I revisited the song, and by then it was very easy. So if after a few weeks of practicing the lick you still can't get it, maybe try learning some other things and come back when you've had more experience. It can be frustrating when you really want to learn the song but it'll be worth it.

Also, try not to practice one lick for more than 20-30 minutes a day. Unless you have incredible concentration and patience you will probably be doing more harm than good at that point; you will get sick of playing the lick slowly over and over again.


yeah

Quote by steven seagull
Either that or they have poor memories and have forgotten just how difficult learning to play the guitar is in the early stages.


yeah it's possible. you often see that in guides written for beginners (not even just for guitar, for anything really)- they're often written pretty well and give good info... if you already know what you're doing.

i have to say though that there does seem to be some correlation between people saying genuinely-difficult stuff is "easy" and the overestimating thing anon17 said...
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#14
Quote by Dave_Mc

yeah it's possible. you often see that in guides written for beginners (not even just for guitar, for anything really)- they're often written pretty well and give good info... if you already know what you're doing.


It's a threshold problem. The higher one's level of expertise becomes, the higher the corresponding threshold of "beginner" gets to be to that person.

When I'm consulting on training development, it's the one thing that I have to constantly fight against, because I'm working with SME's (Subject Matter Experts) and they assume "everyone knows that" when the truth is usually quite the opposite.

It's not that these folks are assholes, or even trying to show off, it's that they quite literally can no longer remember what it was like to NOT know what they now know.
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#15
I think a lot of the problem is that when you're "new" to the guitar (experience wise), you won't hear most the mistakes you make. So you get people learning master of puppets after 6 months of playing with full distortion and tons of excess noise/missed notes, who believe they have learnt the song perfectly because they genuinely can't hear much wrong with their performance.

They then go to these forums and post about how a) it's an easy song or b) they are already a sik shredder

This usually goes away after the day you discover muting and/or when you develop your ears more. I was certainly guilty of this myself when I was a year or so into playing seriously.
#16
^ Yeah that too. You need a certain level of competence to fully appreciate how difficult some things are, a lot of the time at least.

Quote by Arby911
It's a threshold problem. The higher one's level of expertise becomes, the higher the corresponding threshold of "beginner" gets to be to that person.

When I'm consulting on training development, it's the one thing that I have to constantly fight against, because I'm working with SME's (Subject Matter Experts) and they assume "everyone knows that" when the truth is usually quite the opposite.

It's not that these folks are assholes, or even trying to show off, it's that they quite literally can no longer remember what it was like to NOT know what they now know.


Yeah, definitely.

I think I notice it a lot because both my parents (and one of my aunts) were teachers, so I've been brought up by people who were trained how to teach, who were trained *not* to forget what it was like before they knew how to do stuff.

Then I come across everyone else and I'm like "WTF?! You call that a tutorial?!?!"


It also gives me the confidence to realise that if I don't understand a tutorial/guide, there's a fair chance the problem is with the tutorial/guide and not me, whereas other people might second-guess themselves and think they're stupid or whatever or should understand it better.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Oct 10, 2014,
#17
Meh I agree with the previous posters the better you get the easier crap seems. To me this solo seems really basic since it has a lot of repeating licks that are played fast nothing really hard in my eyes.. In another persons eyes that just started it might be the hardest thing ever!


Sometimes I just look back at how I used to struggle with twinkle twinkle little star, and smoke on water when I was a beginner. Now since i'm on a very advanced level it feels like you just got here over night like you were a natural, but it didn't happen over night. It gives me a headache thinking about how hard I had to practice to get to the level i'm currently at now.

#18
Quote by Zerpent93
I am a self-taught beginner and I am trying to learn the Fade To Black solo intro by Metallica. I am having problems with that faster fancy part of the solo and I am getting really frustrated now. It feels like I am never going to learn how to play that fast part. I feel like this because I have played that part a lot today but it seems like I can't play it better now than what I could when I started practicing it earlier today when I picked up the guitar.

I can almost play it as fast as it is supposed to be played. But when I play it faster it feels like my picking hand starts panicking and goes all over the place and I can't play fast and accurately enough on the right string. It's like I don't have enough control over my picking hand when playing fast and it feels uncomfortable as if it has a mind of it's own.

Why is this? How can i solve this problem? How should I practice? Is it because I haven't used the metronome when practicing? Is it normal as a beginner to spend hours upon hours for days to just get one part of a solo down?

As people above me have suggested, slow it down, also if you need to dissect the riff into it's core components, i believe that fast bit you're on about is the arpeggio run around the 17th fret so maybe find out which arpeggios are being played and then practise those arpeggios seperately, failing that try to learn it is small sections it's not un-heard of to take a few days two learn 5 seconds of a solo
#19
I didn't read all the answers so maybe someone said this befor... To play the quick part of the Fade To Black solo you need to learn how to sweep. if you try to play this part with alternate picking you will have a hard time being quick enough and it will not sound the same. This little part is pretty tricky if you don't have anybody to show you how to play it right sice you have to change between sweeping and alternate picking very quickely and withing the same lick.
#20
^^No, you don't NEED to use sweeping on that lick. I play it just fine with alternate picking, and it sounds so close I doubt most people could tell the difference. I can play it sweeping too, but I find that more difficult -- the reason being, as you said, you're only sweeping for a tiny part of the riff and then switching back to alternate picking.

Sweeping is a more advanced skill, feels unnatural, and frankly, is overrated/overused by some people.
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#21
It's not a beginners song. It's is not a complex song but it is difficult. You do need to have alternate picking down before attempting to play it at full speed. I know everyone gives the same advice but it really does boil down to playing it slowly, identifying the harder parts and focusing your practice on those harder licks.

When I was learning the final solo I got so frustrated because after days and days of practising it I could never play it up to full speed. I left it and learnt other songs. Then I came back to it after a few weeks I could suddenly play it at full speed! So when you hit a brick wall, try and leave it, then return after some time.

Many people play the intro differently. Experiment and try to find what feels natural to you. Personally I start the lick with a downstroke and pull off to the next note, then 'sweep' the next two notes. This way you're not sweeping three strings, you're only sweeping two strings.

Anyway, don't feel frustrated when you begin to learn the final solo. That bending part at 5:33 here still troubles me: http://youtu.be/8sG3jFuzjWM?t=5m33s
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Last edited by BlueIceBox at Oct 13, 2014,
#22
Quote by KailM
^^No, you don't NEED to use sweeping on that lick. I play it just fine with alternate picking, and it sounds so close I doubt most people could tell the difference. I can play it sweeping too, but I find that more difficult -- the reason being, as you said, you're only sweeping for a tiny part of the riff and then switching back to alternate picking.
Sweeping is a more advanced skill, feels unnatural, and frankly, is overrated/overused by some people.

You CAN play it however you want to. I bet if you'd practice long enough you can nail it with only up-strokes. That's the beauty of playing an instrument. People play the same thing differently and everybody has his own sound.
But if you want to do it Kirk style you have to sweep this part. I really don't think sweeping is a overrated technique. I use it often and I like it, without being much of a shredder.
#23
Quote by HellToKitty
You CAN play it however you want to. I bet if you'd practice long enough you can nail it with only up-strokes. That's the beauty of playing an instrument. People play the same thing differently and everybody has his own sound.
But if you want to do it Kirk style you have to sweep this part. I really don't think sweeping is a overrated technique. I use it often and I like it, without being much of a shredder.


I can almost play it now. I think I will be able to nail it soon. I use alternate picking only. I haven't played for that long so I haven't learnt or even tried sweep picking yet.
Is sweep picking hard to learn well?