My Plain Old Black n’ White E-Book on How

 My Plain Old Black n’ White E-Book on How
to Practice, play Michael Jackson, and
thrash with Metallica
By Matthew King
PlayItloudBlog.com
Written by Matthew King at www.PlayItLoudBlog.com I am a huge fan of many types of music but the band that really
jump started my love of rock music was Metallica. It was their music
that got me interested in Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden,
Deep Purple, and several other classic rock bands, which I cover in
my book.
This E-Book, which also contains a lesson about Michael
Jackson’s music and my ideas about practicing, is a gift from me to
you to help you get started playing some of this band’s most exciting
music.
Kick Some Ass Tonight With
Metallica’s Most Thrilling Riffs
Metallica is the very first band I ever loved and whose music I
felt a deep connection to, and they are probably why I wanted to play
guitar. Naturally it makes sense to make a lesson to help other
people like you who love their music just as much I did.
I can’t remember who told me this or where I heard this from,
but supposedly Metallica’s catalog is not a place for beginners.
I beg to differ.
I learned several of their songs within my first two years even
though I played some a little worse than others.
Written by Matthew King at www.PlayItLoudBlog.com The best attitude to keep when playing their music is to realize
that you won’t get it right at first. Even after playing some of these riffs
for you to give advice I had to realize I wasn’t doing some things right
and think about a good solution. However I hope you do better than
me and avoid my pitfalls.
You’ll notice that there are some pretty big omissions in this
lesson so please understand it’s not meant to be comprehensive. I’m
doing this to help you implement some of the metal guitar tips I
shared in the book.
I also covered a few songs in the book already like Enter
Sandman, Master of Puppets, Creeping Death, and One. I also
avoided songs from the Black Album because they’re easier and my
goal is to help you play the more difficult and faster riffs.
Some great songs to check out at a beginner’s level are Sad
But True, Wherever I May Roam, and Of Wolf And Man (all from that
album).
And yes, I’m a little biased against the Justice album because I
couldn’t recall any fast riffs to discuss besides One. If there’s any you
want me to do, shoot me an email at [email protected]
The last thing to cover before getting into the actual songs is
what you must have practiced by now. These aren’t my rules. They’re
just what you need to play any of these songs:
Written by Matthew King at www.PlayItLoudBlog.com • You’ve got to be comfortable using palm muting, alternate
picking, and heavy down picking at once and in combinations.
• You can play all these on acoustic but if you’re using an electric
you’ll have to tweak your settings to have the right mix of gain
and treble.
• Power chords are a mainstay in metal and there’s no way
around learning to hold the shapes and play them in
succession. Please review the material in the book if you
haven’t done so thoroughly.
Just for review I want to mention a few things that will help you
play these riffs. First be sure your grip on the pick is set to where
there is just enough room to strike the string and let it roll up and
down easily. Holding it at an angle will help you do this but it will take
a little messing around to get the right feel for all of this.
Down strokes are key to getting a metal sound though alternate
picking is heavily used as well. It may take a lot of practice before you
have the endurance to constantly pick down, but don’t give up.
There’s no trick to doing it except just doing it over and over.
Remember my tip about using your nails? Using them on
powerchords will help them sound heavier. All you have to do is pick
down like usual but let your nail graze against the strings you’re
picking as you go down.
Alright now let’s go!
Written by Matthew King at www.PlayItLoudBlog.com Whiplash from Kill Em All
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------7-6-5-----------------------------------------------------7-6-5-0--0-0--0-0-0-0--0-0-0-0--0-0-0-0--0-0-0-0--0-0-0-0-------
This first riff from Metallica is an easy one to get you started.
There are lots of great riffs from Kill Em All but this one’s fast,
requires little left hand movement, and sounds really loud. These are
all perfect qualities for a great riff!
Notice that I spaced out the notes into 4-note phrases of the
open E note. When you’re playing this you want to concentrate on
playing the E in groups of 4 with alternate picking and palm muting.
Otherwise you’ll just be playing an indiscriminate number of E notes
and not caring where to end or begin the thing.
Playing in strict rhythmic timing is a little bit difficult for a
beginner but it will help you tons in the future, especially with the
upcoming riffs.
To play the ending 7-6-5 phrase requires us to use our 1st and
2nd fingers to play the double stop and slide down the neck as the
song requires, and use down strokes for that part.
Seek and Destroy from Kill Em All
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------5-----------------------5--7------7--------7------5---------7--------7----0--0---0-----0--0-----0-------0--0-----0--0-----0---------------------------------------------------
Written by Matthew King at www.PlayItLoudBlog.com -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------4-------------------------------------------------4---------7--------7-\----------3--2-0----------------0--0-----0--0---------3-2-0--------3-0----------------------------------------------------------
This riff comes after the second chorus before going into the
solo, and I chose it because it’s really fun as well, once you know
what to do.
Keep your first finger on the 5th fret when playing the first
phrase and use that same finger when barreing the 55 and 44 double
stops. Going between the open A string and the 5th and 7th frets will
be easier if you concentrate on using up strokes on the fretted notes
and down strokes on the open string.
The very last phrase consisting of 8 notes is tricky if you don’t
know how to approach it. Just like separating the last riff into 4-note
phrase do that with this phrase.
You will only need your 2nd and 1st fingers to play that part.
Battery from Master of Puppets
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------8-(8)-7-----------------5-5-4-5---------------8-(8)-7-----------------7-7-5-7---0-0-0-0-0-0-6-(6)-5-0---0-0-0-0-0-0---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------8-(8)-7-----4--5---5--6-----------------------8-(8)-7-----4--5---5--6-----------0-0-0-0-0-0-6-(6)-5-0---2--3-0-3--4-0---------
Written by Matthew King at www.PlayItLoudBlog.com I’ve gotta tell the truth and say I’ve never been able to play this
riff correctly until now, when I wanted to get it right for you guys. The
thing is that this riff is really fast and it’s a strange rhythm.
Breaking this one into three note phrases will help, like I did
with the song “One” from And Justice For All. The next part will be a
phrase with 4 notes, which in this case consists of 8-8-7-0. That last
open note is important to throw in for the sake of the entire rhythm.
You’ll also notice this pattern when playing the 75 double stop in the
very next phrase.
The very last phrase at F#, G, and G# is a little strange and I
have to stress that you listen to this part a few times in order to get
the feel.
That’s it and we should already know how to handle power
chords if you’re attempting this one. The only funny thing is the 75
and 64 double stops, which you can hold by using the 3rd fret on the
7th fret and 1st finger on the 5th fret.
Sanitarium from Master of Puppets
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------0h1---0h1-------------------------0h1---0h1---0h1---0h2-----------0h1---0h1-------------------------0h1---0h1---0h1---0h2---------------------0-0-0--0-0-0-0--0-0-0-0-----------------------0--0-0-0-0-
This riff appears at the 3:45 second mark in the song, and I
chose it for the same reasons as before. This one’s not as difficult as
the other ones we’ve just covered but the problem is the timing.
Written by Matthew King at www.PlayItLoudBlog.com I spaced out the 4-note groups and left the open notes that
connect to each other, but the notes in bold are where the rhythm
gets a little weird.
The first bold note requires you to play it together with the fret 1
notes and the two open notes right after as a 4-note phrase. The next
one is the same thing but if you listen to the song you’ll hear a quick
rest right before going into the 0h2 note.
This is just one great riff that appears in this song so please
check out the entire thing.
Disposable Heroes from Master of Puppets
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------0-00--0-0-0-0--0000--0-00--0-0-0-0--0000--
I love playing this entire song and it has plenty of fast riffs in it
but I want to talk about this one in particular because the rhythm is
kind of strange.
Listen to the song and you’ll hear that the first two notes I
grouped together (again, in bold) and are played quickly before going
into a normal 4-note phrase like before. The next 4 note phrase in
bold is played just as quickly.
I put them in bold also because they will be played with
alternate picking while the rest of the notes use down strokes.
With this riff I hope you can see why I’m focusing so much on
talking about the particular rhythms and phrases because they all
Written by Matthew King at www.PlayItLoudBlog.com work together to play the song like the original. These are all subtle
nuances but with riffs this fast it will fall apart if you don’t pay attention
to them.
Ride the Lightning from Ride the Lightning
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------9--8--7----5-----4--5--------------------------9--8--7----5-----4--5--------5---------5-------7--6--5----3-----2--3--------5---------5---------------6-----4---------0000---00-0000---00---
I picked this one up right at the 4:22 mark and it’s by far the
most difficult riff in this lesson.
The key to throwing in the 6th and 4th frets on the E string is to
use your 2nd finger, which will be free while keeping the power chord
shape on strings A - G. You’ll let all the chords sound out while
keeping these palm muted.
I’ve seen those chords appear as C/G (3355XX) but this makes
it more difficult to transition between the power chords that come
before C5 and B5. Because of this I highly recommend playing those
as normal powerchords as they’ll be easier to throw in.
Hopefully you’re comfortable breaking down the end part by
yourself by now.
Fight Fire With Fire from Ride the Lightning
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------5------------4------------5-----4-----4---000-000-3----000-000-2----000-000-3---002---002--
Written by Matthew King at www.PlayItLoudBlog.com This one isn’t much more difficult than what we’ve done so far
but the way it ends is a little tricky because it throws a curveball into
the rhythm. I look at those last six notes as two triplets, which helps
you stay ready for it at the end of the riff.
And, just as a reminder, I want you to make sure that you’re just
using the very tip of the pick in order to roll up and down off the E
string. This way you’ll hit the string quickly and precisely enough to
sound the riff out as clearly as possible.
Hit The Lights from Kill Em All
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------5---------------5--7-7--0--5----------------------------5---------------5--7-7--0--5---------------7p5---5--------0-0--0-0-0-0---------------0-0--0-0-0-0------7----6-7---------------------------------------------------------
Right here we’ve got the intro riff to this song, which is another
that I haven’t bothered to learn to play correctly until now. The
trickiest part is bridging into the next bar because you want to play
that 00 note and then immediately connect it to the 55. I have
tendency to want to do that so I’m including that here.
Playing those double stops is easier if you use your 1st and 2nd
fingers like in Whiplash.
I separated the open notes again so that you can see the
rhythm a little more clearly.
I really wish I could cover every song and riff because there’s
many more nuances and techniques to discover in their first four
albums if you look for them.
Written by Matthew King at www.PlayItLoudBlog.com Please let me know if this helped you out in any way!
As you can see I like to go into lots of detail in order for you to
see how I go about playing every riff I encounter as well as giving you
plenty of info to make your own decisions in the future.
I’m a great believer in the idea that my methods are not the
best for everyone. I’ll often show how you can use different picking
techniques or left hand fingerings to play the same thing all out of an
individual preference, and not an “absolute” way to play one riff.
Finding what works best for your individual style of playing the
guitar is really important since failing to do so will limit what you can
do with the guitar. And that’s no fun at all.
The Key to Perfect Practice: Stop
Calling It Practice and Realize It’ll
Never Be Perfect
Since I taught myself how to play the guitar I’ve never really
called what I do “practice.” All I was really doing was making music
that I had a fierce determination to play in way or another, and I was
willing to do whatever it took to do so.
In fact the moment I ever thought of what I was doing as
practice the whole experience would unravel and I was no longer
having any fun. Of course I had lots of frustration and there were
Written by Matthew King at www.PlayItLoudBlog.com plenty of times that I realized that the sounds I was making were god
awful.
Ever since the beginning I just didn’t care.
I think I was lucky in that at the beginning I was looking at it as
new songs to play and fascinating music concepts I could use to
create my own music.
I’m also heavily guilty of getting way too enthusiastic about any
new music that I encounter. Once I’ve listened to one song about 10
times I immediately start thinking about how I’d play it on the guitar,
and afterwards I’m looking at a tab, if there is one, and then I’m
figuring out what to do to play it close to the original.
I repeated this process over and over as I discovered tons of
new music at the same time I was learning to play guitar. I was also
lucky in that I was just suddenly listening to lots of guitar music like
Van Halen, Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, and Guns n’ Roses. All
bands that I used to claim were my favorites.
Then the discoveries kept coming one after another as I
explored SRV, Steve Vai, Marty Friedman, and nearly every rock
band that came out of the classic rock era. Hair metal, arena rock,
punk rock, psychedelic rock, blues, you name it.
If there was a guitar in it and there were tabs somewhere, I
found them. My craving for new music to study is never going to end.
So to me, this approach translated to my idea of practice on the
guitar. I’m always looking for new ways to play a chord, mix different
Written by Matthew King at www.PlayItLoudBlog.com notes together, or improve my technique. I just don’t look at it like
Steve Vai does where I must stay locked up in a room and play
scales for 10 hours a day.
If that’s your goal, then awesome go for it. I’m not knocking on
the brilliant virtuosos like him who love doing that. I’m sure it’s tons of
fun for them to constantly push their technique.
However I want to give some concrete examples of what I
consider “practice”, which can all be summed up as the constant
struggle to play music I like.
It’s Always A Working Process
I’ve always made it a point to research other guitarists to see
how they use a certain technique or play over a progression. At the
beginning I figured it would be the best use of my time to see what
the best players were doing and cut out the middleman.
This led me to getting the tons of tab books I have now. Now I
didn’t buy them all at once. I bought one after another because I was
curious what chords are played in this song, or what some guy was
doing in a solo.
I did this with Marty Friedman, Van Halen, Jimi Hendrix, and I’m
still doing it with Wes Montgomery and Chet Atkins.
Written by Matthew King at www.PlayItLoudBlog.com To me there has never been a substitute for the real thing. Of
course you have to learn a few things about guitar before you can
begin to learn directly from the music, but I did and I’m grateful for it.
So my big point here is to take your time and forget about
learning everything at once.
And You’ll Never Run Out Of Things To Learn
I went to the books because I wanted to immerse myself in
undiscovered techniques and styles. There was a period where I
wanted to see how all the major guitar players used scales, then I
wanted to find any strange chords they were using besides the basic
ones, and then I started skipping between styles.
Again I didn’t do this because I had to, but because I wanted to.
Every new piece of music I studied and learned how to play taught
me something I wasn’t going to learn anywhere else, and I
desperately wanted the knowledge locked inside of the tabs.
There were several more things to learn after the initial stage
from travis picking, to harp harmonics, to chord soloing, and on and
on until I found that I had quite a toolbox to pick and choose from.
The Guitar Is My Radio
Written by Matthew King at www.PlayItLoudBlog.com I spent a lot of time jamming on riffs I already knew and songs I
was currently listening to when I wasn’t playing guitar. For instance I
used to play nearly all of Guns n’ Roses songs from memory because
I listened to Appetite for Destruction almost continuously. So I would
turn on a song from that album and try to play along as best as I
could.
It wasn’t practice to me. I was playing the music I loved and
better yet I was playing with them on the stereo.
When I wasn’t doing that I would simply play by myself and
rehearse the riffs I knew over and over. I enjoyed hearing the same
chords I heard in the songs I liked and being able to play the same
guitar riffs so much that I forgot about “practicing.”
I had lots of fun playing a riff I heard from my own car’s stereo
speakers that I didn’t want to stop and practice. If I got bored with one
riff I would play a new one. The more music I discovered and grew
attached to, the more riffs I had in my repertoire and less of a chance
that I would get bored.
This is still going on as I write this. Before I wrote this I was
looking at Pearl Jam songs and trying to play Nine Inch Nails songs
by ear. I’ve got lessons I want to write where I’ll learn how to play 80s
pop, Daft Punk, and Hans Zimmer, then later teach you how to play
them.
So my advice for you, which I know is painfully obvious, is really
simple and important. Choose a couple of riffs you want to play, learn
Written by Matthew King at www.PlayItLoudBlog.com new ones every couple of days, and always look for something new.
Something you’ve never played before.
I was lucky in that hearing a lot of this music for the first time
and I would turn that enthusiasm of finding a great new song into a
desire to play it in real life. If you think hard enough, or just stop and
listen to your stereo, there will be tons of riffs you’ll want to play for
your self.
Correct Your Mistakes After You Made Them; It
Doesn’t Work The Other Way Around
After playing lots of riffs I started to notice tons of little things I
could work on. In fact it wasn’t till my second year that I noticed that I
couldn’t play anything involving the basic chords really well. I had
spent all my time learning things with powerchords and single note
riffs.
I didn’t tell myself I had to learn this. I wanted to because lots of
Guns n’ Roses’ music used them and I wanted to play it as close to
the original as possible.
This same thing happened when I tried playing lead guitar. At
the beginning I was only concerned about playing the notes so I
ignored all the unwanted noise I was making and how I often ignored
the feel and rhythms of the different phrases.
Written by Matthew King at www.PlayItLoudBlog.com For my first year and a half I was playing everything down
picked, including the solos I had learned! It wasn’t until somebody
told me that I could use a technique called alternate picking that I
finally learned how to conserve some of that heavy energy I was
expelling.
This guy I knew said nothing more than that and I decided to
just immerse myself in alternate picking. I learned how to play
everything I already knew with this, and soon enough I was using it
well enough to where I could use it for new songs.
The results were that I was picking up new songs even more
rapidly. Then I started seeing how you could sometimes use just
down strokes and then a little bit of alternate picking to control the
sound.
I’m telling you all of this to let you know that I never stopped
and said “Okay Matt, NOW is the time to start practicing and kick
ass!” I just figured that something like this would come up eventually
since I was teaching myself.
This attitude helped me later when I started learning theory,
which I’m sure you know is a study that can get really complex and
confusing almost immediately once you start on it. I made myself
ready for this challenge by telling myself that I can’t avoid a little
frustration to learn it.
I think I really got this attitude from all the studying I did in
school and my brief period of time where I invented my own extreme
sport, extreme scootering!!!! In both things I experienced lots of
Written by Matthew King at www.PlayItLoudBlog.com setbacks and occasional bruises but I learned to get back up and try
again.
That’s really all you can do after experiencing such things. Just
try not to fall on the next try and give it a good try.
That’s all I will say about my razor scooter. We’ve all done
dumb stuff....
It’s A Challenging Game That I Want To Win
One thing I did once I got heavily into lead guitar was that I
would jam on a scale for a while and see what phrases I came up
with. This is what really got me started on studying theory since I
wanted to know what else I could do with this pentatonic scale.
I learned solo after solo, and began learning tons of theory
concepts I could apply to my improvising. But then I got really bored
with improvising since there’s only so many things you can do with a
scale so I got a little more involved in that study.
I started putting chords together with scales, improvising upon
sung melodies, and throwing in chords that didn’t appear in the
original song.
This is all just a game to me. It’s a game that’s been a whole lot
of fun and seems to contain and endless amount of cheats and
stories to return to. You see the guitar became my big thing after
playing video games for a long time. I always need new games and I
Written by Matthew King at www.PlayItLoudBlog.com wanted the cheats and the other easter eggs that were hidden
throughout the song.
I guess the guitar took over that basic need in my life.
To get back to my point, playing scales, learning new chords, or
immersing myself in the study of composition and theory gave me a
world of endless possibilities. Better yet, I could create a world where
I was in control and where things were thrilling or happy or sad or
hopeful or whatever I was feeling at the time.
And it all started out of what I could do with one scale.
Just Don’t Get Lost In The Game You Play
It was my great love for music that kept me curious. But it
wasn’t a pursuit that I pursued at the cost of everything else in my life.
I was a full time student for the first 6 years of playing so I had
to get everything else done before I could go back to my main study,
music. Although it had gotten to the point where if I had a project due
I used it as an opportunity to study about music. For instance I did a
huge project on Richard Wagner where I read several books about
him, I did a 25 page paper on the Russian Composer Dmitri
Shostakovich, and did several smaller papers on topics like how
people fought the popularity of Rock n’ Roll in the 50s by wearing “I
Like Beethoven” buttons or why letting Wal-Mart change Nirvana’s
song “Rape Me” to “Waif Me” is flat out dumb.
Written by Matthew King at www.PlayItLoudBlog.com These are all extreme examples and I’m in fact betraying the
fact that music is a constant daily pursuit of mine, and has been for a
long time.
However I’ll repeat that I never felt outside pressure to do so. I
did all the things I just talked about all throughout a day or week or
even longer, and rarely within a set period of time because I felt like it
was a sworn duty of mine to fulfill.
Ironically, it was when I took one intense music class in college
that my interest in music died down, a little. I had to go to this class
every day and sight sing melodies I had never heard before.
I got lots of benefits from that class and I’m glad I took it, but it
was the first time I saw the danger in making music or anything you
do a “thing” you’ve got to “practice.”
For those of you who might not know, sight singing involves
using those do-re-mi syllables to look at a piece of music and simply
sing it. I found it really weird because I could sing just about anything
within my vocal range I heard on my iPod but I couldn’t stand singing
these sterile melodies.
I’ve detracted again so I’ll get to my point. Study whatever you
want to study because it thrills you and only when you want to take
the time to do it.
Written by Matthew King at www.PlayItLoudBlog.com Why We Don’t Read A Book Or Watch A Movie If
We Know The Ending
As you can imagine, this process will never end and quite
frankly I don’t want it to. In 2008 I was actually in a slump because it
was my most demanding academic year and I was writing things like
that 25 page paper.
I had read all the books about theory I accumulated, even the
textbooks, and I had quite literally run of guitar players I wanted to
learn from. It was then that I got bored playing the same scales,
improvising in the same keys, and playing the music of people I no
longer listened to, like Guns n’ Roses.
The guitar was no longer fun to play for a long time, and it was
then that I got stuck in this pattern of practicing for practicing’s sake. I
did exercises not so that I could play a solo I wasn’t able to play
before but so that I would have something to do.
It was then that I decided that this was no good and that I’ve got
to find something new to play. I needed an entirely new direction to
take my guitar playing abilities.
Somehow I found the music of Chet Atkins and I was floored by
it. Nobody I had encountered before sounded anything like him, or
even played like him. Why wasn’t he mentioned in any of my dozens
of guitar magazines I had?
Written by Matthew King at www.PlayItLoudBlog.com It turned out that he’s a hugely influential player on many others
like George Harrison, and with the Beatles being my favorite band I
had to see what George saw in him.
I often did this a lot. If one of my favorite players mentioned
someone else they learned from I went and checked out their stuff,
even though the players they all liked started becoming predictable.
I’m still struggling to play Chet but I’ve learned how to do lots of
new things with fingerpicking and with chords that I can now apply to
what I’ve already learned. It’s just recently that I learned I could use
his techniques to play lots of music I couldn’t before.
And now I’m curious about what Hip-Hop songs are playable on
guitar, what 80s synth riffs I could learn, and what harmonies all the
techno and trance music I listen to uses.
All it took was one more guitar player to change the direction of
my guitar playing. And it was all because I had found a new world to
explore and play in.
So maybe I’m a little obsessed about music, and I have an
unhealthy desire for novelty. I know lots of players who would have
stopped earlier, but I just couldn’t think of it. There are riffs out there
that I haven’t played yet.
None of this has been “practice.” It was all curiosity and a
desire for something new to keep my mind occupied. Every tab
Written by Matthew King at www.PlayItLoudBlog.com revealed a new part of this world I didn’t know about before, and I’m
sure I’m never going to have all the pieces.
What would I do if I did have them all? Go back to the scooter?
Here’s Where You Can Find Those
Michael Jackson Songs Nobody Has
Tabs For
One of my favorite things to do is take a riff that belongs to
another instrument and try to figure it out for guitar, and today I want
to show you how to do that with Michael Jackson. As of this writing
there is only one tab book from Alfred Publishing that covers his stuff,
which I don’t have. All that I have is the Number Ones PVG (PianoVocal-Guitar) book, which has chord diagrams above the sheet music
and leads.
I’m going to be using that to show you how to play some of his
most popular stuff on guitar. Now to do this yourself you’ve gotta
know how to read music which will also mean that you will need to
know basic theory. Knowing your way around the fretboard is a big
help as well.
So first I’m going to do Billie Jean. The Chords are F#m,
G#/F#, and F#m7 for the verse, then Bm7 before returning to the
verse chords, and then using D and F#m to lead into the chorus. Play
Written by Matthew King at www.PlayItLoudBlog.com around with these chords until you can hear for yourself where they
belong in the song.
The tab would look something like this.
---2----4-----5---4--------2----4-----5---4--------2----4-----6---4-------------4-----4---4----------------------------------------------------- Now to play a song like this you must identify how the chords
match up with the melody, which in this case consists of the notes F#,
G#, and A. Play these to get the melody in your head. The other
chords (D and Bm7) aren’t strummed but could work nicely if
arpeggiated.
The funk guitar line later in the song consists of left hand mutes
and the notes A, B, and C# which all lie within the key of F# minor.
Playing them on the G string sound the best to me.
G--X-X--2h4-2-x-4s6--X-XX--2h4-2-X-XX--2h4-2-- This is a little extra where I synced the bass line with the
chords. Give it a shot if you want a challenge.
--2------4----------5-----4-----------2------4----------5-----4-----------2------4----------6-----4-----------4----2-4-2--------4---2-4-2---------4--4-------4-2-4----4-------4-2-4---2--------------------------------- Another great funk line is from Don’t Stop Till You Get
Enough which consists of the notes E – F# - A – B that can be
played in the B minor pentatonic box.
Written by Matthew King at www.PlayItLoudBlog.com -------------------------------------------------------------------9-X-9------7-9-9------------7h9---------------------------- While we’re on that song here’s two more riffs: the first is the
main chord sequence (A/B and B) then the short riff around the 2:41
mark. The chords for the second one are B - D/E - E/F# - B - A - B.
------------------------------------------------------5-5-5-5--55-55---5-5-5-5--55-55--7-7-7-7--77-77----6-6-6-6--66-66---6-6-6-6--66-66--8-8-8-8--88-88----7-7-7-7--77-77---7-7-7-7--77-77--9-9-9-9--99-99----X-X-X-X--XX-XX---X-X-X-X--XX-XX--X-X-X-X--XX-XX----7-7-7-7--77-77---7-7-7-7--77-77--7-7-7-7--77-77- The chords aren’t played this much in the song but these
chords sound a lot like something Pete Townshend would do so I put
that up instead.
--7-7--5--5-5--4--4-4--2---2-0-2--4-5----7-7--7--7-7--5--5-5--4---4-2-4---------8-8--7--7-7--4--4-4--4---4-2-4---------9-9--7--7-7--4--4-4--4---4-2-4--------------0--0-0----------2---2-0-2---------------------------------------------- What I’ve been doing is using a chord melody style of playing to
give the guitar more of a synth or piano vibe. You can do this with not
just Michael’s songs but lots of pop songs from just about anybody.
Songs like Bad, Smooth Criminal, and Dirty Diana are
dominated by bassline riffs that accent the drums. Once you know the
notes it’s quite easy to apply octaves or power chords to it in order to
play it in more of a rock n’ roll way.
Written by Matthew King at www.PlayItLoudBlog.com The bass line of Bad for instance consists of the notes A – C –
D – D# - E and repeats. I put power chords on it to thicken it up.
Other than being really easy to throw in with just about any melody,
power chords are great when you need something other than a full
chord.
--------------------------------------------------------------2--5--7--8-9---2-5--7--8-9----2--5--7--8-9---2-5--7--8-9----0--3--5--6-7---0-3--5--6-7---------------------3--5--6-7-- Dirty Diana consists of the chord progression Gm – Eb – F,
which can be played with a power chord at G, and then this shape
(653), consisting of part of an Eb arpeggio, moving to F at fret 8 on
the A string. You can play the following tab or just the chords.
--3--------------------------------3-------------4------6-----------3----3---3----3------5-------------5----5------5------7----3h5----------------6------8---8-----------------------------------------
Smooth Criminal’s bass part goes like this on the 6th string:
E--5-5-5-5-3-5-7--7-----5-7-8--8----7-8-7--3----5- One more really cool riff that I’m very glad worked out so well is
You Rock My World. They’re R&B chords so use your thumb and pay
attention to those top notes.
---------------------------8-7-5--5-5--5-7-8--8-8---7-7-5--5-5--5-7-7--7-7---9-7-5--5-5--5-7-9--9-9-----------------5-7--7-7---8-7-5--5-5--5-----------
Written by Matthew King at www.PlayItLoudBlog.com The last song I’m going to talk about is one written especially
for the guitar, Black or White. I’m struggling to figure out the logic that
made the publisher decide to put a guitar-oriented song in PVG since
it would mostly appeal to us anyway, but I’ll rest my case.
Here’s the tab for my version the main riff:
--5-5-5-5-5-4---2-2-2-2-2-2--4-----5-5-5-5-5-5---5-5-5-5-5-5--5-----4-4-4-4-4-4---4-4-4-4-4-4--4------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Keep the 3rd finger anchored to the 5 (E) while using your other
fingers to play the melody and other chord tones.
One more really cool riff from this song I want to share is the
one played during the “I am tired of this devil” section:
----------------X-3-3-3---------------X-5-5-5----------------------X-3-3-3---------------X-5-5-5----------------------X-1-1-1---------------X-2-2-2--------------------------------------------X-2-2-2-----------------------------------------------------------0-3p0-5p0-3p0---------0-3p0-5p0-3p0---------------
Well I hope you were able to cope with my unconventional style
of sharing tabs and chords, and learned a couple of Michael’s songs
that you wanted to learn. If you’ve got any questions about any of this
I’ll be glad to help out.
Written by Matthew King at www.PlayItLoudBlog.com