Symphony of Destruction Fretting

So, I decided to learn me some METAL!

\m/ >_< \m/

The opening of the song goes like this:

G |—————————————————————————————————|—————————————————————————————————|
D |—————————————————————————————————|—————————————————————————————————|
A |—————————————————————————————————|—————————————————————————————————|
E |—1———0———0———0———0———0———0———0———|—1———0———0———0———0———1———3———1———|
    1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &     1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &

Of course, I’m playing the F with my first finger, and the G with my pinky. But after a few bars, it goes into this:

G |—————————————————————————————————|—————————————————————————————————|
D |—————————————————————————————————|—————————————————————————————————|
A |—————————————————————————————————|—————————————————————————————3———|
E |—3———3———3———3———3———3———3———3———|—3———3———3———3———3———3———3———————|
    1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &     1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &

The way I’m playing it, I’m still using my pinky on the G and I drop it down for the C. So my hand is still hovering over the first 3 or 4 frets on the fretboard. Then comes this:

G |—————————————————————————————————|—————————————————————————————————|
D |—————————————————————————————————|—————————————————————————————————|
A |—0———0———0———0———0———0———0———5———|(5)——————————————————————————————|
E |—————————————————————————————————|—————6———5———4———3———2———1———0———|
    1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &     1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &

So here’s my question: given my hand position, for that descending chromatic run on the E string, should I hit the A# on the E string with my pinky and then go ring, middle, first, first, first, or just use one finger all the way down (so like… pinky plays D on the A string, then jump to middle finger on A# on E string, and then middle, middle, middle, middle, middle)?

How would you play that?


I would play the first line index on the F. I would also play the G with the index finger. That last set I would play it with middle, ring, middle and then index.

I have a new guitar teacher and insists on one finger per fret.

Working on that.

How do you do with the verse? I have a hard time with it at tempo.

F E(pull off) E(palm mute) E(open) E(palm mute)

That at tempo I struggle with.

1 Like

I would suggest whatever works for you is how you should play it @timsgeekery ,
Other comments suggest different fingering, the only thing I would suggest is the one finger per fret, this takes time to develop.
Cheers Brian

1 Like

You picked the right song for going metal :metal:
Good luck learning the song!

1 Like

I am working on one finger per fret, and the reason is on songs like this with chromatic runs like this to do them at speed will be easier one finger per fret

So I am taking a step back and redoing my foundation. And changing my plucking motion to more of keeping my fingers more or less straight and pressing down .

When it works these two are fast but I sound like a noob for now again

1 Like

Most of the time I do one finger per fret, but I tend to use Simandl around the first four frets or so.

1 Like

I’d do pinky middle index pinky middle index (quick shift from index to pinky on beat 3)

I remember seeing one of the bass players on the BassTheWorld channel do something like that once. He did a long slide and also played some of the notes along the way. It looked and sounded very cool, but I found it quite difficult.

1 Like

I’d insist on a new guitar teacher. :upside_down_face:

@timsgeekery - what I do is try different fingers through passages and see what feels best…wait for it…for me. YMMV. Play around til it’s comfortable and you can play it at speed easily. Don’t constrain your fingers with thinking one way. Try ‘em all on for size and wear the one that feels good and gets results.

Not entirely sure who plays this tune originally, but do you think he sat there and said “hmm, should I use 1-finger per fret here??” My $0.02

1 Like

On guitar? Or on bass?

On guitar it’s easy to OFPF. When it comes to reach, any of us are superhumans compared to guitarists.

Guitarists think the CMaj chord is a stretch to reach. Puny! :rofl:


David Ellefson. Doesn’t seem like the type to ponder such questions too much. Most likely, the way he played it in those days depended on what he was drinking at the time.

1 Like

I just tried this (not at tempo, mind) and I found it fairly comfortable on a skinny jazz neck to play F with my index finger, the G with my ring finger and then to go up to the C with with my pinky. Then it’s super easy to shift down a string and up a fret to the A# for the chromatic run at the end with the pinky. On the P-bass neck it was more difficult.

Funnily enough, for me it’s always more problematic to play up a string and down a fret (say 3rd to 5th on a minor chord) than the other way.

To be fair, after a few weeks working with him, he believes my hands are big enough they just don’t stretch enough. He might be right, so we’ll give it a week or two and decide. He’s not an ogre about it

Awesome song choice.

You could try the A# and A on the A string :sunglasses:

You have 6 notes to fret on the E so you’re going to have move at least once and use 2 fingers at least once… I prefer to economize my motion as much as possible.

I’d play the D on the A string with my index or middle and then I’d either do pinky(6), pinky(5), ring(4), middle(3), index(2), index(1) or pinky(6), middle(5), index(4), pinky(3), middle(2), index(1).

I’be inclined to do the second because although it’s a bigger jump, it’s more comfortable for my short fingers using simandl and I can easily and quickly make the move to first position with my pinky on the 3rd fret.

1 Like

That’s something Django Reinhardt did, play a crazy fast chromatic run up/down the neck which looked like a slide but he’d pick each note.

1 Like