The Unforgiven Guitar Lesson – Metallica – Acoustic Guitar Parts

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In this guitar lesson I will show you note-for-note how to play “The Unforgiven” by Metallica.

We will tackle all of the acoustic and electric guitar parts in this The Unforgiven guitar lesson series across 3 separate video lessons.

In the first video lesson I will show you James Hetfield’s acoustic fingerpicked intro. The second half of this intro uses the exact same guitar part James Hetfield uses during the chorus.

The intro starts out with a very repetitive and simple fingerpicking pattern based around an A minor chord, but when it gets to the chorus part, the chords move around a lot quicker and recreating James Hetfield’s exact fingerings can seem a little bit unorthodox.

In the second video lesson I will cover all of the electric guitar parts including the clean guitar solo Kirk Hammett plays during the intro and chorus, and his clean guitar solo that leads into the main guitar solo. In addition, we will take a look at the heavy rhythms played during the verse and underneath the main guitar solo.

The main guitar solo for Metallica’s “The Unforgiven” is considered by many to be one of Kirk Hammett’s finest, and in the third video lesson, I will show you how to play it note-for-note!

In this classic guitar solo Kirk Hammett opts to ramp down the technique a bit and focus on melody and letting the solo tell a story of it’s own.

That isn’t to say that this The Unforgiven guitar solo lesson isn’t without it’s challenges, there are plenty of them. It just means that here we seem to have Kirk Hammett thinking more about the song structure that he is playing over instead of playing all over the place with reckless abandon. Even though most Metallica fans love that stuff to. 🙂

The techniques involved in learning this solo include double-stop bends, fast alternate picking sequences and shifts, large bends and so forth. Like I said before, he might of ramped down the speed with this solo, but there is still plenty to learn that will challenge most players.

Depending on what your strengths and weaknesses are as a player you may find the bends the most difficult thing to master, or it may be the quick ascending scale licks. Either way, when you get to a section of the solo that is challenging for you to play, simply slow it down and break that section into smaller pieces that are easier to learn.

That method of tackling a technical issue is far better than simply trying to play through the whole solo over and over again. Concentrate on the things that you can’t play individually instead doing the whole solo which will probably contain many parts that are easy to you.

If none of the parts are easy to you then perhaps you should wait a bit before tackling a guitar solo that is too advanced for you. Your playing will suffer in the long run if you try to do too much to soon. Good Luck!


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