Hardest Metallica Songs to Play

No matter what instrument you play. just choose the one that really makes you sweat.

The Top Ten

1 Dyers Eve -... and Justice for All

The riffs are fast and difficult, but what really makes this song the hardest are all fills and flourishes, plus the fact that it includes tons of time signature changes thrown in all over the place and all the subtle variations on the main riffs throughout the song that have to be timed perfectly due to the speed. Amazing how tight and fluid James and Kirk make it sound...

Not the longest song, but the hardest to play (at least drums wise).
other songs have more challenging guitar/bass solos, but all in all, Dyers eve is the hardest.

So Drums, Guitar, and Bass all are super hard and if you think that battery is harder your insane. I play drums and my buddy plays guitar he said it's the toughest of metallicas song to play and I play drums and the double bass part literally gives me cramps after I'm done.

Even bass is hard on this. - Userguy44

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2 Blackened -...And Justice for All

Solo, drums, bass (yes), riffs and vocals are all very hard to pull off. - Userguy44

Blackened has the most difficult riff. It's timing is very odd and the riff is fast and complicated.

Hard to get the timing right. - Userguy44

The riff is REALLY difficult to pick.

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3 Battery - Master of Puppets

I wonder how James sing and play that crazy riff at the same time. - Userguy44

trust me the triplets are a bitch

Mad song, cannot comprehend how the picking pattern is so quick. When I do it, I feel as though I am relatively quick (coming from someone who's been playing for 1.5 years), yet this just blows me out of the park.

If I told you that you had to play battery or dyers Eve perfectly for 1 million which would you pick? I would pick battery in a heartbeat. I've tried dyers eve at least a thousand times and hit it only twice. Battery hundreds of times.

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4 Master of Puppets - Master of Puppets

Enduring downpicking at this speed is incredibly hard

Just too fast and complex

People keep saying that it's easy, until you try to play it yourself. It's hard to downpick this and the solo is pretty difficult. - Userguy44

This took me 20 minutes to learn and 1 night to play at full speed, should not be on here

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5 Fight Fire with Fire - Ride the Lightning

this song is insane on the bass guitar. All the riffs on there are so amazing that it's scary. I don't imagine how Cliff does it

I heard that a person had a interview with Kirk and he said what is the hardest song for you to do he Fight Fire With Fire it is one of the fastest. Quickest best solos Metallica has done. Then he asked Kirk what is the hardest to remember answer Fight Fire With Fire. Last question which comes out of your heart answer Fade To Black... And Justice For All One Master Of Puppets thank god for Cliff

How did One or Fade To Black get on here? I guess the solos are semi-hard, but seriously. But Master of Puppets is kinda hard, but this is SO much harder.

The main, verse, chorus, and solo backing riffs are all relatively easy. But then there's THAT ONE RIFF. The fast, odd riff after the verse.

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6 Disposable Heroes - Master of Puppets

There are a few parts that just are to fast for my brain to even understand what frets to use (I've only played guitar for maybe a year so it might be easy for other people)

If this song is played right it is hard as hell.

The only tricky part about this song (other than the insanely good solos that could give master of puppets a run for its money) is purely having the stamina to continuously switch between the alternating/galloping riff and the verse riff and any down picking. The riffs themselves aren’t hard, it’s a matter of how long you can last

I don't know why this song isn't on the list, the verse riff on rhythm guitar = hard as hell, battery is really easy compared to this.

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7 Ride the Lightning - Ride the Lightning

Most of it is easy for me but there's a spot where it feels like all hell breaks loose - Conabone

This song is all over the place and the timing gets pretty hard plus this is one of their hardest and best solos of their career in my opinion it is just simply hard especially to play and sing.

The solo is so hard at the end but is so nice

This would be hard to play. - dragon13304

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8 The Frayed Ends of Sanity -...And Justice for All

Just go listen to the riff under the solo. Yeah.. this one is full of riffs with weird rhythms and changes. I can assure you that you will mess up only 30 seconds in, the riff before the verse goes on for longer than you think, the sudden stops, tempo and rhythm changes...easily Metallica's hardest song. Not the hardest solo nor riffs, but the most difficult timing wise.

Progressive song, compass changes, with many and different riffs!

So many different riffs!

The most megadethy Metallica song

9 One -...And Justice for All

Very good I only know the intro but I can not find a slower video for the solo and how old were you when you did this

I can play this riff and for my age, you might thinks this is not real for this age, but I play this riff, one of my favorites but no one that I've met, can touch the solo, maybe not even the rhythm but I can, but when I started a few months ago, I could not do this, this One (pun intended) is one that you need to wait to start, oh, and I'm a beginner so this one takes the cake.

The chugga-chugga-chug at about 4:45 is the least of your problem because there are three difficult solos, none of which sound similar.

Three difficult solos. - Userguy44

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10 All Nightmare Long - Death Magnetic

This would certainly be one of Metallica's fastest songs, I don't know how to play it, but I know that most of the riffs are about as fast as Slayer

Fast and relentless. Is one of the hardest riff wise.

The Contenders

11 Damage, Inc. - Master of Puppets

Not their hardest song (everything before the solo is actually relatively easy for me) but that solo man. It doesn't sound too hard but the timing is actually really weird to get down right!

This song is fast and the rhythms are pretty difficult too in the verse

This song is so fast really hard to play

That one downpicking riff is crazy.

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12 Creeping Death - Ride the Lightning

Dyers Eve is still the hardest however Creeping Death should definitely Ben in the top 10 that's why I voted it

This song is very fun to play but the down picking is no joke. If you want to learn a fun song and spend hours destroying your hand, this song is for you.

Alternate picking is hard for me to be accurate for this song much less downpicking - Conabone

So let it be down-picked. So let it be done. I've tried to down-pick this whole song. So let it be down-picked. So let it be done. To kill your entire entire hand. It's creeping death!

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13 Seek & Destroy - Kill 'Em All

Riffs confuse me sometimes..

Why is this not number one? The solo is nearly impossible and the riff just before it is LUDICROUSLY difficult, Dyers Eve solo still isn't harder than this one.

this song is pretty hard and when it gets to the solo its deathly difficult... and btw the one solo really isn't that difficult all it is is a line of hammer ons and pulls offs - Okami

Took me a while to get the rhythm, its funny, once you learn the picking pattern, the song gets considerably easier.

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14 Fade to Black - Ride the Lightning

The solo's so tough!

This was the first song I learned on a guitar, great song to practice, but the solo's are so hard en you need to play them super fast to let it sound like kirk does it and yeah that's a tough job

It sounds really easy, but I can't get the verse right for some reason. It's not their hardest song, though.

15 ...And Justice for All -...And Justice for All

I think this should be at least for the top ten for the sheer size of the song alone, some of the riffs are easy but it's still a difficult song for an expert player to master.

Main reason. It's A LONG SONg

If not for its difficulty, then for its LENGTH! 9 minutes of sheer strain... And the solos pretty tough too.

16 Metal Militia - Kill 'Em All

Very hard to downpick this song

17 Nothing Else Matters - Metallica

Come on, this is by far the easiest song of metallica, this shouldn't be even in this top

This is the hardest riff I have ever played in my life. Battery, Dyers Eve, Fight Fire, and Damage Inc. have nothing on this song! Too fast, too complex, not musical enough, way too technical... Nothing Else Matters should totally be number one

18 That Was Just Your Life - Death Magnetic

Its hard to play and even harder to sing while playing it. If you are trying to down pick the whole song get ready to have cramps for the rest of your life.

Seriously seven minutes of riff variation and wah. Not for the faint of heart.

19 The Call of Ktulu - Ride the Lightning

Really hard

Well well well, don't you dare call me a prodigy, but I am 5 months in to my guitar playing journey, I got me a bass the other day and I just looked at thr bass tab and I can play all the hard bass parts but the thing is I play with a pick maybe its hard to play with fingers

Solo seems pretty hard. Also hard to play on bass. - Userguy44

To get this thing right with your bass guitar you must be a master not only with your playing skills but also with distortion and wah, Cliff Burton's stuff isn't a joke

20 Motorbreath - Kill 'Em All
21 The Four Horsemen - Kill 'Em All

Very had song on guitar, not to mention bass.

The bass is mad

To the person who said the solo makes you want to die, which one? - edward-beil

Dude, the solo... it makes me want to die

22 Enter Sandman - Metallica

Harder to play than Battery ;P - Conabone

Hardest metal song ever in my opinion

Absolutely, it's the hardest song I've ever seen

Yeah this is BY FAR the hardest Metallica song to play

23 Trapped Under Ice - Ride the Lightning

Why is Trapped Under Ice so far back? Sure the rhythms might not be too difficult but the solos are blazing fast!

24 Hangar 18 - Megadeth

I don't know how Kerry King can play this. Hands down hardest Anthrax song

25 Hit the Light - Metallica

That riff is very hard

I can not beat this song. I can do every GHM song on expert except this one. It's the SOLO. I am at 10 years old and I've compete in several Semi-Finals Guitar Hero tournaments

26 To Live is to Die - ...And Justice for All

A pretty long song with lots of riffs. - Userguy44

The beginning part that sounds like it's on acoustic guitar is pretty difficult but then again, I'm not that good at guitar so What do I know haha

27 Suicide & Redemption - Death Magnetic

Metallica has only played this song live twice. If it's hard for the creators to play, then it's hard for everyone to play.

28 St. Anger - St. Anger

Apart from being a grossly underrated song, it is insanely tough to play. Definitely tougher than seek and destroy and master of puppets.

The riffs are all difficult

29 Jump in the Fire - Kill 'em All

Easy to forget some details in the song

30 Orion - Master of Puppets

The bass solo...

31 Mercyful Fate - Metallica

Longest metallica song, 11 minutes, it's a marathon song of riffs and solos

32 Eye of the Beholder - ...And Justice for All
33 Through the Never - Metallica

Down picking is a bitch, think the riff from master of puppets that comes right after James' intro, except you're doing it over and over again

34 Welcome Home (Sanitarium) - Metallica
35 Spit Out the Bone - Hardwired to Self Destruct

The drumming

36 Whiplash - Kill 'Em All
37 Moth Into Flame - Hardwired... to Self-Destruct
38 The Shortest Straw - ...And Justice for All

Right now got and YouTube this song just listen to the solo. By the way there is no hammer or pulls in the shredding parts!

39 My Apocalypse - Death Magnetic

The hardest part of this song for me has to be the riff in the middle of the song where it's just kirk playing it because it is being Palm Muted then he plays it with pinch harmonics. your finger positioning and down picking has to be perfect to get to sound nice and clean.

40 Hit the Lights - Kill 'Em All

I can play every other Metallica riff, but for some reason the timing on this one is difficult for me. Especially the main riff...

41 Hardwired - Hardwired... to Self Destruct

It's a fast bop

42 Leper Messiah - Master of Puppets

The sweeping in the solo makes me nut

43 Disposable Heroes - Metallica
44 The Day that Never Comes - Metallica

Impossible solo!

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List Stats

1,000 votes
44 listings
9 years, 308 days old

Top Remixes

1. The Frayed Ends of Sanity -...And Justice for All
2. Blackened -...And Justice for All
3. Disposable Heroes - Master of Puppets
1. Dyers Eve -... and Justice for All
2. Blackened -...And Justice for All
3. Battery - Master of Puppets


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