Hey friend! Welcome to Total Cliff – the biggest fan tribute to Cliff Burton. We’ve recently celebrated anniversary of ‘Master of Puppets‘ – one of the most outstanding metal albums of all time. And probably one of your favorite. Today we’re reviewing title track from the album. So here’s my vision of ‘Master of Puppets’ bass. Tab to download – in the end of the article and in respective category. But the way, so turns out that I’m publishing ‘Master’ before ‘Sanitarium’, sorry for violating the Total Cliff order=)
‘Master of Puppets’. Cliff Burton loved this song the most on the album. He thought that was highest point of Metallica’s songwriting. Was it?
James said once, they always wanted to write a long song that wouldn’t seem so long. And here’s ‘Master of Puppets’. This is a perfect example of signature song structure by Metallica – pulsing, breathing, you never getting bored:
intro – main riff – verse/pre-chorus/chorus – main riff – verse/pre-chorus/chorus – melodic interlude – solo – extra riffs – verse/pre-chorus/chorus – outro
All riffs have 5 stars (accordingly to band’s rating scheme, Lars told about). Cliff mainly doubled guitar with some deviations and improvisations – his signature style. Also Burton is a co-writer of ‘Master of Puppets’, but we don’t know which part exactly was written by him. My supposition – a riff right before last verse. The hardest one for me to play. I even made few close-ups in videos to show you how I move there. Here’s bass tab of the riff:
And what do you think? Which part of song could be written by Cliff?
Master of Puppets. Bass on main riff
You can distinctly hear that Cliff didn’t double guitar part there, he simplified it. Nevertheless, on live performances Burton probably played a full version of riff (I tried to catch it on ‘Cliff ‘Em All’). I used to think that it’s impossible to get note for note: too fast. But practice set all on its places. So, here are both versions of the main riff from ‘Master of Puppets’ in bass tab:Master of Puppets. Bass on interlude
Interlude. One of the most beautiful lines in Metallica at all. That arpeggio, those harmonies, James’ solo… And the bass line – easy and nice. Cliff would play something more complex, but the part needed a room for guitar soloing. Wise decision.
For me, ‘Master of Puppets’ bass line was not harder (and maybe even easier) to play than ‘The Four Horsemen’, for instance. ‘Master’ requires stamina (and which classic song of Metallica doesn’t, ha?). It’s a challenge and nice exercise for you as bass player. I had fun, a lot of fun recording and playing the tune. Wish you that too!
Mission complete 17 of 32. Next – ‘To Live Is To Die’ (after publishing delayed ‘Sanitarium’). Thank you for standing for me and our idea! R.I.P. Cliff Burton \m/