Metallica - Fade To Black (repost)

Hi guys,

A repost from me with the classic Metallica track “Fade To Black”, with both a ‘full mix’ version and a ‘guitar only’ version, so people can really hear what’s going on in the track. Love this tune!

Here is the full mix version:

Here is the version with just the guitars I recorded:

One fun thing is how cheap the nylon string guitar I used is - I bought that for $50, and had to tune it for every recording take… but I think it sounds fine in the mix…


Revisiting the full version first. Man its better than I remember from a what, year back ? Still absolutely stunning, with so many layers. Time to strip out Ullrich etc and just hear you !

Hi Casper,
Awesome, beautiful and nice that you also only added that guitar part… This is my favorite Metallica song, I had written the lyrics on my bedroom door when I was a teenager…

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Hearing the guitars in isolation, amplifies that layering to the utmost degree and its amazing how each one cuts through. Actually makes it more impressive than listening to it as a full track bar the missing vocals. You really are a Tone Maestro, they all sound so authentic, you could have stripped the original stems and claimed as your own. But that is just the machinations of my devious mind and I am sure you don’t have access to the masters :wink:

I think the key thing folks can take from this when working on their own projects, is that key ingredient of layering. You’ll never get close to the album sound of your favourites unless you take this route. And my biggest frustration with groups like Skynyrd, where one man one guitar will never cut the mustard. And not only 3 guitar tracks as that would just lay the foundation.

A great share Kasper which I hope folks study and learn from.




I agree with Toby, I listened to the isolated tracks. The song has such a great arrangement, it doesn’t need anything but a single voice to make it’s statement.

Thanks for sharing, that was awesome.

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Clever playing, cool sounding. You da man Kasper :smiling_face:

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Superb stuff Kasper, that is some awesome playing and I can’t believe that nylon was only $50, how can you even make a guitar for that kind of money? It sounded good though.

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Sounds great . I only listened on my phone and so had a hard time believing that wasn’t the original opening solo (I mean this as a compliment) . You got everything right on here, really superb playing.

And yeah I agree crappy guitars sound just fine once you’re recording and layering stuff like that. I suspect on ride the lightning they’ll have just used whatever was lying around the studio, I think it is a nylon string on the record isn’t it. Doubt Hetfield owned one at the time.

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Amazing work Kasper, also a huge fan of Fade to Black (and Metallica in general). You more than did it justice! :clap:

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Hi Kasper,
Nicely done and played! I enjoyed the guitar works!

What’s up, or what are you working on now?

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Awesome job on this Kasper! Those solos and harmonies are spot on. I have been practicing the first solo in order to work up to recording the song one day…but I’ve never even attempted the solo at the end of the song. You pulled it off so perfectly. Seriously, kudos man that was some phenomenal playing. You should be very proud of the recording. Well done. Where do you even start with learning that end solo and getting it down so perfectly!?

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I really like this song! Kasper, your cover is amazing and the guitar parts and the sound of the guitars are fantastic. My applause to you!! I hope to hear something else from Metallica in your performance.


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Divide and conquer.

These types of long solos initially appears to be almost impossible to learn, but I like to start by marking up all the bars in Transcribe (super useful software). Then I’ll label the various “logical” sections of the solo. Like; “Intro lick”, “Melody line 1”, “Descending pentatonic run”, “Fast 2-string arpeggios lick” etc etc…
Each section, by itself, will then usually be just between 1 and 4 bars long - and it becomes a lot more manageable to learn. Then eventually you’ll be able to string it all together.

For this particular solo I quickly realized something funny - not long before I had worked HARD to learn the track “Ride the Lightning”, and Kirk uses the (almost) exact same 2-string arpeggio idea in both solos… only they are a lot faster in the “RTL” solo. So that part actually came incredibly easy for me in “Fade” :wink:

When you break down a lot of Kirks solos you’ll see he re-uses the same ideas over and over again… (like the rest of us)


Thanks, I’ve not used the Transcribe software before but will check it out…is that the one from Did you figure the end solo out note by note or do you have tabs of the solo to enter them into the software for arrangement? Maybe I’ll try to start tackling learning it as well…I like the sound of separating it out into several different parts to get your head around them piece by piece.

That’s interesting that the solos are very similar in the 2 songs. I guess Kirk Hammett has his bag of tricks and often re-uses them in different songs, I guess that’s his particular style. I’ve been a Metallica fan since the late 80’s but I’ve never really tried to tackle any of Kirk’s fast solos. Maybe it’s time to work up to them! …you have inspired me. Cheers!

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Yes, that’s the one. I believe there is a free trial, but otherwise the license it very cheap and basically never runs out. I bought mine in 2007 and still receive all updates for free :slight_smile:

Transcribe can also slow down audio, without changing pitch, so it’s super useful in figuring out solos (and practicing them). I have quite a lot of experience doing this, and after a while it gets quite easy. I’m not religious about absolutely having to learn things on my own though, so for complex things (like these solos) I usually also browse around on YouTube to see if I can learn at least some of it that way. Only thing - if you do that… remain critical, and trust your own ears and preferred way of playing. There are almost always mistakes in those transcriptions, and it might very well be that one teacher - even when showing the right notes - has a way of picking them that does not match how it feels best for you…

Great I will get a copy of the software and try it out. Sounds like a really useful tool, thanks. Does it give you a way of writing it out in tab format or do you usually do that by hand?

If you have any useful transcriptions or recommended YouTube vids of that solo that you might share that would be awesome. I’ll have a look and see what I can find. I used to have a guitar book of a different album (Master of Puppets) decades ago…not sure how accurate even those were but they helped learn riffs etc. These days I find watching guitar parts played on YouTube videos generally easier to visualise what’s going on versus tab. I guess a combination of both is ideal. I agree most have mistakes or just don’t quite capture it properly.

I notice that you managed to get all the little accents and ‘feel’ of the solo down perfectly…must have taken a lot of work and listening to nail it so well. I think that would take me years!

Hi Rick,

Sorry - can’t remember exactly which sources I used for the “Fade” solo. But I can recommend this video, which was a huge help for me to learn the overall concept of playing those two-string arpeggios, with a “circular” picking pattern/motion. That really was the key for me to learn both those Metallica solos, and as I said… after having learned RTL the Fade solo was easy in comparison :slight_smile:

I will add that I’m 95% sure this is NOT how Kirk is playing them. From videos and newer live performances it looks like he is alternate picking them… which is a bit more “brute force”, and I could not get that up to speed. TBH I also don’t think Kirk is playing this passage very cleanly live for the last many years…

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Thanks Kasper, much appreciated. I’ve checked out the link you sent and it looks like a great place to start for learning those 2 string arpeggios. I will start mapping it out now! :slight_smile: Some of the solos from the earlier albums are really fast so I guess he just goes on autopilot to rip through them from muscle memory. I saw them in 1991 and they were tight…but yeah a bit more scrappy these days. But it amazing they can still rock that hard after all these years, I gotta take my hat off to them. I saw them in London a few years ago and they put on a great show.

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Hi Kasper good job. Thank you for showing us that with hard word and dedication pieces like this are achievable.

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