Nothing Else Matters - Basic Membership


Metallica have been at the centre of metal for three decades and during that time they have released an incredible amount of material including this classic ballad from their self-titled 1991 album 'Metallica' also known as the Black album. In this lesson I'm only showing you James Hetfield's signature solo which kicks in at around the 5 minute mark in the studio recording. The solo doesn't really last too long but it has it's challenges (especially on an acoustic guitar).


Although the solo is brief it does contain several of Hetfield's signature moves including:

  • Bends 1/4, 1/2, 1
  • Pentatonic minor with the b5
  • Aeolian mode
  • Double stops
  • Legato phrasing
  • Sustain

A lot of people ask me "How do you do those massive bends on an acoustic?" The truth is I play my acoustic guitar at least 18 hours/week. I know this accurately because I perform 6 nights/week for 3 hours (not including breaks). This doesn't include actual practice time on classical and acoustic guitar which probably easily adds another 20 hours/week. So in total I'm probably holding a guitar for around 40 hours/week. That helps!!!

  • It's gonna hurt so just keep working through the pain
  • Play your guitar more
  • Try to use lighter gauge strings (I use 11s for these videos but at work I use 13s)
  • Use your thumb as a fulcrum/leverage point
  • Get the action on your guitar as low as possible
  • Lowering the action won't necessarily make bending easier but it will make playing your guitar in general a bit or a lot easier

Let your fingers fly!