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Michael Johnson >> Sounds of Metallica >>
Lesson Subject: Metallica Style
What you learn: Runs - Part 2
Teacher: Michael Johnson

This is our first lesson in our series on learning how to play runs used by Kirk Hemmitt of Metallica. These runs are crucial to helping you learn how to play fast Metallica leads and will help you with basics to developing a sound of your own. Sample some of the runs you'll learn in this lesson:

Michael: Tonight we're going to cover more Metallica type runs here's what you're going to learn:
1. E Minor Scale
2. Single String scales
3, Run Variations
4. Double Picking

viper53: Teach, the E minor scale is E-G A B and D right?

Michael: Close that's the E Minor Pentatonic, it has.... E, F#, G, A, B, C, D. You drop the 2nd and the 6th note of that scale pattern to make the minor pentatonic scale. I'll give you the E Minor Scale on the single E string.

Michael: We'll use that pattern for the runs I'll send you. Here's a jam track to practice over:

viper53: Teach, what notes are there in the blues scale I know that there is the root - minor 3rd - 4th - flat 5th - 5th -minor 7th, but what notes are these, say in the key of Bb.

Michael: Bb has: 
Bb Major: Bb, C, D, Eb, F, G, A in it, 
Bb Minor: Bb, C, Db, Eb, F, Gb, Ab,
<You flat the 3, 6 & 7 notes>
Bb Min Pentatonic: Bb, Db, Eb, F, Ab
<drop the 2nd & 6th notes in the minor scale>
Bb Min Blues: Bb, Db, Eb, Fb (E), F, Ab
<add the b5 note to the min pentatonic pattern>
Let's try our first run:

Michael: This run uses the same notes of the E minor scale pattern, but descending down the scale.

viper53: Teach, I don't know if the Bb is a minor

Michael: It's actually relative to D major, I was just explaining how you can use the Bb minor pattern to manipulate that scale to find the minor quickly. The Db Major are relative the first sound clip shows how the run will sound at full speed. Here's the tab for the rhythm:

darntootin: When refer to runs, do you mean sequences?

Michael: Yes, same thing, it's a slang term for "sequences." However you prefer to name it works in sets of threes moving down the scale pattern in this example or you can descend down the scale pattern in sets of 4s, or skip every other note etc. Notice also the alternate picking technique:

Michael: This next pattern is basically the same as the first but this time I pull-off each note open. Notice how it increases the speed. Here's the tab, the run I just described in the E minor scale pattern.

Michael: These are all in the scale pattern I sent earlier, it's just another variation these are all runs like Metallica uses. These are great exercises for any style. Notice how I use the first finger to pull off for most of the run (sequence), Let's try run 3 this run jumps every other note in the E Minor scale pattern, here's the tab:

Michael: Notice how you still pull-off notes open like run 2. Only the sequence of notes change. I mostly used the 1st and 3rd fingers or sometimes the 1st & 2nd whenever the notes are a half step apart. Here's another jam track you can try.

Ed: I have a hard time memorizing this scale on one string

Michael: I think that is key to really getting the runs down.

alex: I was thinking that it is a good way to learn horizontal -single string scales.

Michael: Alex, yes, it gives you a better visual pattern of the whole-step, half-step patterns of the scales. If you have the pattern down in your mind that is part of the battle. The pull-offs really increases your speed, let's try another run.

Michael: Now this is a perfect example of descending in sets of threes using the scale pattern. Spend a lot of time on these runs, this will make all the difference in your playing, believe me, the rewards are well worth it! See you next lesson!


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