Metallica - One | Cover (work in progress)

Well, I have been working on this for a while, with the intention of trying to play it for an OM, however tried playing it live for a couple of workmates the other day and it was a bit of a mess to fair! :grimacing: :joy:

So, I’ve decided to abandon that idea for now and just record a progress snapshot. This is a good representation of where I am at, warts and all. I did two full run throughs on separate guitars (took me a few goes with each to get something acceptable) and added an acoustic as backing for the intro (yes you heard that right @DavidP, an ACOUSTIC! I added it just for you :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: :sweat_smile:).

There are many things I am happy about… transitioning between tones whilst maintaining momentum… having stamina to get through the heavy palm muted end section… remembering all the various progressions! :face_with_spiral_eyes: :sweat_smile:

Things I know I need to work on… timing (as always! Made it very difficult for me to properly align the videos :roll_eyes: :joy: )… left/right hand accuracy/sync… hammer ons/pull offs… bends (although there was only one that I attempted in this)… and everything else I haven’t realised is a problem yet?!

But overall I’m happy to be where I’m at and am looking forward to coming back to this down the track to improve on it further.

Thanks for checking this out. Comments/feedback/criticism very welcome :hugs:


Your playing looked and sounded pretty good, Jeff.

I did enjoy the extra texture of the acoustic in the intro. And that final section looked like quite a work-out.

I can imagine staying relaxed without tension in that palm-muted section at the end could be challenging.

I confess I was expecting and hoping for a cover of U2’s One when I saw the title. I know Metallica covered Whiskey in the Jar so thought this may also be a cover. Though maybe one can’t cover WitJ as it is a traditional song? Johnny Cash did a fantastic cover of One (I take Cash’s over U2’s) and was looking forward to hearing a metal intrepretation. No worries, I can handle a little disappointment :joy:

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Hi Jeff, very impressive work - both, playing and production. To hold the speed at every single playthrough that exactly is a huge task of its own. Congratulations on that :clap::+1::star_struck:.

Incorporating an acoustic sounds great. Love this.

And yes, the final section looks like a real work out :smiley:.

I’ve just started experimenting with an electric guitar, so have absolutely no expertise regarding the techniques you’re using. Just wanted to say, that it sounds great :star_struck:.

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Wow, that was awesome! Watching the 3 guitar parts was cool. Sometimes it looked like you were playing the same thing, and other times, clearly different bits. It must have been tough to remember all the parts for one song. I think the only bit you didn’t play was the solo?

I think many would be hard pressed to find fault in this performance if they didn’t know the song. I know the song pretty well - from a listening perspective - and I noticed a few spots in the middle section where I think the riffs weren’t quite programmed into your fingers yet. Really minor stuff but I think that’s why you’d call it a WIP. I think it’s just a case of a bit more practice to get those bits smooth. But the beginning, and especially the end - the super fast section, was great, sounded flawless.

Metallica’s One is a really well known metal song, many would say it’s better than the U2’s One :wink:

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Brilliant. I know it’s a pain double tracking songs like this with all the different parts and rhythmic variations, but to my ears your timing was pretty accurate. Looks like you’ve built up quite a bit of stamina too. Bravo!

Any chance you could add another layer with the harmony section starting at 3:54? I’d love to see that.

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Sorry, Jeff, @jkahn is casting his baited hook with a :wink: so the fish must rise to the bait :rofl:

JK, I’m sure you are right and as equally sure many would say One is one of U2’s best songs and better than all but a few of Metallica’s songs, those being their best songs off that Black Album (which many Metallica fans might say is not a proper Metallica album if I am not much mistaken).

Now how many might prefer Cash’s One to either U2’s original or Metallica’s One is one I couldn’t say, but suspect that group would be in the minority.

Of course, all depends on the extent to which one is a metalhead. And by now I am sure you’ve figured out that I am no metalhead. I know some say Purple, Zeppelin, and Sabbath are all metal bands, but I don’t buy into that. Proto-metal maybe, with elements from all three evolving into metal as characterised by Metallica. I list them in my order of preference, though would generally prefer their albums over Metallica’s (though I do enjoy that Black album :wink:)

But I am straying far from the topic and onto shakly musicology ground now, so I shall spit the hook and be swimming off.


Great work, Jeff :clap: already sounding good and I’m sure you’ll have this perfected in no time at all, the last half of this was pure heavenly heavy-ness. Long live the metal :metal:


Thanks so much @DavidP, @NicoleKKB, @jkahn, @Jeff & @Chazzo78 for checking this out and taking time to comment, really appreciate it! :smiley:

:rofl: The idea of this being a U2 cover had never occurred to me and gave me a good laugh when I read your comment, David! :joy: I guess it’s possible although at they time they put this out they probably considered themselves a considerable distance away from U2 on the rock & roll spectrum :wink:
As JK mentioned this is one of the most well known Metallica tracks and was their first to become a music video (and quite iconic in MTV history). It is a commentary on the horrors of war, specifically WW1 in this case and the theme aligns with the book/movie Johnny Got His Gun which was a big part of the inspiration and was used in the video, worth a watch if you have a moment, quite powerful I reckon:

Thanks so much for your kind words @NicoleKKB :hugs:

Can’t wait to see what comes from this down the track! :sunglasses:

Thanks @jkahn! I know you’ve worked on this at times too, so your praise really means a lot. :metal:

Thanks mate, yeah spot on, I am still struggling to get those fiddly bits sorted and some of the other solo sections which I skipped in this cover. Fun to play though so looking forward to getting it sorted down the track :slight_smile:

Thanks so much @Jeff!! :smiley: :+1:

Yeah that’s totally on my radar, sounds so cool on the original! :metal: Also want to add the solo that comes in around the 3:15 mark. However as I hadn’t got the other bits sorted, I’d held off working on those, however I’m keen to pull it all together when I revisit it down the track. Thanks again for checking this out :sunglasses:

Careful what you reel in there JK! :scream: Although looks like this fish got away :fishing_pole_and_fish: :wink: :sweat_smile:

Yep, some elements of what they did was definitely proto-metal (especially Sabbath) and were hugely influential on the scene, but mostly they were rock and blues. I’m with you that these weren’t metal bands (although still super heavy at times!) and I’m sure all of them agree with that too :slight_smile:

Thanks @Chazzo78!! Amen brother!! :metal::confounded:


Jeff that was outstanding, such a difficult song to play and you did it justice especially if it’s still work in progress! Amazing tones, killer finish, great play overall. Can’t wait to see how you develop it further and will bring all the solos in too :smile: all the best

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I love a bit of fishing. Well really I don’t, I find real fishing insanely boring, except for the drinking part, but they why spoil a good craft beer with fishing? Hmm.

Oh yeah, forum fishing is a lot more fun! And catching @DavidP especially :rofl:

What a wordsmith, conceding and disagreeing in the same sentence! :rofl: Really, Metallica’s One is great, and U2’s One is great. I would say U2’s one is a song with more classic structure, Metallica’s is really more of an orchestral piece of music that goes on a journey, just in the style of metal. Both great. Personally I like them both. Sometimes picking music is a bit like picking a favourite colour. Works fine for kids but really - I like pink and red! And also green! And blue!

The Black album is one of my favourite of Metallica’s as well.


Oh, just to be clear so I’m not some kind of fraud, I worked on the intro section riff after transcribing it in grade 3, and that is tricky enough and definitely not properly under my fingers, the rest of this song looks waaaaay, way harder and I can’t do it! I just have listened to it quite a few times. So massive kudos to you.

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:rofl: Agreed! :beers: :sweat_smile:

Agreed again :smile: :+1:

Also agreed and good analogy. I remember someone saying once that they don’t dislike any music they just haven’t figured out how to understand it yet. I really like that idea, although some music may take longer than others to understand and there may be some that I never will. But for the most part I enjoy figuring out the puzzle and often the results of that are well worthwhile. Much like understanding the intricacies of different styles of painting, I guess, and the more you learn to appreciate, the greater the wealth of discoveries there is to find :sunglasses:

Never a fraud, sir! And thank you again for the kudos :wink: :+1: although I would say the rest of the song is well within your capabilities, it is just a bit of a time commitment to get under your fingers as you say, and I would imagine you have bigger fish to fry at the moment (to continue the fishing metaphors :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:). If/when you feel like tackling this, it will yours for the taking mate :metal:

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Thanks so much, Adi!! :smiley: :+1: Really appreciate you checking it out mate :sunglasses:

There are a couple of solo sections that seem within reach for me so they will certainly be on my list to tackle and it would be fun to create an even more mutli-layered version down the track… Sounds like a good project for a cold, rainy weekend me thinks :wink:


Love it. Great cover And really clever in the recording.

As for U2 versus Metallica. According to the Best Selling Albums website , Justice for All is the 220th highest selling of all time while Achtung Baby is the 98th highest selling album so I think its fair to say that both versions of One have been heard a lot and have genuine mainstream appeal.


Thanks so much for your kind words and taking the time to check this out! :smiley::+1:

Wow, interesting! Great stat! I actually didn’t realise Justice was as high as that?! Very cool! :metal:

Hi Jeff, I had a second listen this morning and, as already mentioned by others, it’s a great production. The technical aspect on it’s own is remarkable. Wow, great how you managed to get the various tracks perfectely matched! I already told you, that this genre normally isn’t so much my cup of tea, mostly (with few exceptions), I considered metal as different way to create noise (sorry for that), but thanks to you and some other guys here, I start to really change my point of view.

Hope dies last, at least for me and I agree to this statement. It still isn’t music I have on my playlist, but I start to recognize the technical requirements to be able to play it and I admire the ability to do this in the way you did it here. :clap: :clap: :clap:
I’m just revisiting Power Chords during my consolidation for Grade 2 and I’m exploring the dirtier range of my amp and I have to admit, that making some noise is really fun! So I learned, that music I normally wouldn’t listen to, can be so much fun to play.
So, again, I really liked your performance, a lot to learn from, a cool inspiration. Thanks for that!


Thank you, Andrea, what a great way to start my day by reading your wonderful post! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:
Really appreciate your kind words and for listening through it a second time, especially when not typically your thing! Reading your comments has brought a wide smile to my face :hugs:

I totally get that! :joy: And there are definitely bands/subgenres in metal where that is one of the main driving forces! :hear_no_evil: :sweat_smile:

That’s awesome to hear! :smiley: Metal is a diverse genre and I honestly feel there is something under its wing for everyone.

Love this! :guitar: :loud_sound: I am hoping so so much that maybe, just maybe, you’ll let us hear some of that one day?? :crossed_fingers::wink: :+1:

This has certainly made my day, Andrea, thank you for sharing this and I’m rapt that it has maybe shone a little light on an aspect of music that was perhaps somewhat shrouded in the dark… :metal::sunglasses:

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What a production. Can you play drums too. That is a lot to learn. (I’ve tried).

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Thanks Jason! Really appreciate your checking it out! :smiley: Great to hear you’ve had a go at this yourself too :metal: :sunglasses:

No, not something I have ever attempted, have always just used backing tracks with my recordings for here, although I’m keen to delve into programming my own drums for future covers or, hopefully, some originals down the track. A lot to learn to do that but probably a lot of fun too! :metal:

Thanks again :slightly_smiling_face:

Jeff, that was amazing! :guitar: :clap:

I really enjoyed that, and I loved being able to see you play multiple parts together. That song appears to be quite the workout! What I love about songs like this is that there is just so much you can dive in to. The more you get into it the more you can learn. I can tell that it is coming along nicely and I would love to see it once you add solos in! Every time you play Metallica, it makes me realize that I need to learn more of their stuff. Well done!

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