#15 Metallica – The Four Horsemen (bass review with tab)

First full Total Cliff review in 2016. Now goes Metallica ‘The Four Horsemen’. Bass tab to download – in the end of article.

“The Four Horsemen” is second track from debut Metallica album ‘Kill ‘Em All’. Music’s mostly written by Dave Mustaine, and there’s an original version of the song called “The Mechanix” by Megadeth (by the way, here’s my review of ‘Dystopia’). ‘The Four Horsemen’ is slower and contains few more riff/solo sections (all of them in my bass tab) Bass line’s pretty fast though.

As you could notice, I cut ‘The Four Horsemen’ a bit, did it for couple of reasons. First of all, to avoid Youtube copyright thing (where riffs and solos sound too much distinct). I take my bass few times a month, and this song forced me to sweat. Honestly, the last solo section was cut because of me got exhausted=)

Endurance!!! Technique remains, but stamina’s getting less if you don’t practice enough. I’ve already mentioned that Total Cliff is my opportunity to keep my skills, because I’m too busy besides. Anyway, I’ve coped with this Metallica tune.

Cliff Burton’s bass line is very saturated in ‘The Four Horsemen'”. You’ve got no time to relax! The bass line mostly doubling guitar with all finger-style adaptations. Main riff goes with kind of swing feeling: Metallica wrote a lot of triplet riffs back to then (check it out in ‘No Remorse’ and ‘Motorbreath’ reviews). Cliff was trying to keep the feeling, but it turned out closer to straight 8th. So the main riff could be played by him this way:

metallica the four horsemen bass tab main riff

About-triplet pulse appears also in verse and chorus riffs:

metallica the four horsemen bass tab chorus

And, finally, triplet riff from 1st interlude and last solo. One of the hardest to play in Burton’s stuff. Tempo is about 200, and he performed the riff by 2 fingers (this fact is mentioned in “The life and death of Cliff Burton” book). My fingers was burning, another level reached.

metallica the four horsemen bass tab interlude 2

Second interlude. Metallica performed it only once (Dehaan set, 2013), but a lot of fans love this section. There’s kind of leading bass there: Cliff plays bass fills while Kirk’s performing his first solo written in Metallica. I couldn’t pick all the fills, so I replaced some of them by my own improvisations (hope you don’t mind). Check it out in bass tab files to download below.

There’s a piece (one I’m ending my video with) which reminds me a dark bass fill from ‘The Call of Ktulu’. But now it’s done by bending bass neck to get lower tone than open E. But be careful doing this: bass might fracture.

Metallica ‘The Four Horsemen’ bass tab to download for AVanguard members – you can find the tab on this page.

And here’re three videos to compare how Cliff, Jason, and Rob performed ‘The Four Horsemen’ live. Enjoy!

Mission complete 15 of 32. Next – ‘Welcome Home (Sanitarium)’. After that – ‘To Live Is To Die’.

Thank you for support! Write me, if you have any adequate reason for that. R.I.P. Cliff Burton \m/


Tags: Metallica, The Four Horsemen, bass tab, bass cover, Cliff Burton, Kill ‘Em All, Total Cliff
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  • River

    Awesome! One of my favorites, best cover I’ve seen. Do you have longer fingernails on the right hand, or do you play with the fingertips? I have a little trouble with this style so if that helps I’m willing to try it. Thanks man!

    • av

      Thank you! \m/ Yes, I play with ~2-millimeter nails on index, middle, and ring fingers. I can’t imagine me playing just by tips. Nails do attack and I can better control performance. I so got used to play with nails, and once cut them – my fingers couldn’t hit strings, kind of overshot))

      • River Vincent

        Oh right on, I’ll have to try that cause you have much more control with that kind of stuff than I do. Keep it up man these covers rock!

        • av

          Man I’ve posted a new video. You can watch me there struggling with pick) I keep on learning, and my next step – picking.

    • Richard

      If you want the cliff sound though it’s not fingernails — hit the string hard downward into the final fret on the guitar and distort that initial attack a lot — sort of like slap bass but with a lot more of the fundamental sound from the soft finger attack.

  • Liquid Köre

    Hi, my friend ! First thing first, sorry to not commenting as often as I used to, but thank to you I take more time on my practice than in front of my comptuter. Anyway, I come here to say “Horsemen” is my next song to learn (I need to work on triplets). Cliff was the reason I wanted to play bass, so now learning his stuffs by your teaching is so motivating. So keep doing the Total Cliff Tribute and thanx again for your work !!! Cheers !!! \m/Oo\m/

    • av

      Hey bro!) Glad to see you here and know that you keep on practice. Now I’m going to finally publish Sanitarium and To Live is To Die. Horsemen could be very hard for you, so be ready for that and don’t disappoint if the point comes) \m/ Greetings!

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