Guitar Tutorial: Learn to Play Metallica’s “Call of Ktulu” as Solo Finger Style Piece

For this article we will have a look at Metallica’s song: “The Call of Ktulu” Most of you reading this may already play this piece. I have adapted the piece for playing it as a solo piece, including the basslines to give the sound of the arpeggiated chords more depth.

My version starts after the first intro chords, it is the part which kicks in where the distorted rhythm guitar appears in the piece.

All the notes should be played as straight eights apart from the note on the 2nd fret on the D string in second bar: This note receives two full beats!! You may also have to refinger the fingers of your left hand after you have played this note.
The low notes for the Dm/E   Dm/F   Dm/A part can be held down for 2 beats as well, all depending on your ability. By doing so you will add more depth to the overall sound of the chords.
You can play the piece using a plectrum or using your fingers, all depending on what you are comfortable with at the moment.


E  ——————-0————-            ———————-0——-

B  ———-1——————0—–           ——————1————

G  ——-2—–2———2————        —————2—————         repeat these two bars several times

D  ————————————-        —2—1————————

A  -0——————————–0—    ———————————

E  —————————————-   ———————————-

Dm                      Dm/E                          Dm/F                   Dm/A
E  ————————————–      ———————————–10–

B  ————6——————-6—–      ———-6——————-10—–

G  ——–7———7———7——-7-     ——7——–7———- 10———

D  —0———————————–       —————————————

A  ———————-7—————–     -8—————–12——————

E  —————————————–    —————————————-
repeat the above two bars several times before progressing to the final two bars of the piece:

Dm                       Dm/E                           Dm/F
E  —————————————–     —————————————–

B  ————-6———————6—       ———-6——————————

G  ——–7——–7———–7——–7—  ——-7——7—————————

D  –0—————————————     ——————————————

A  ————————-7—————–     -8—————–8—7—5—3———

E  ——————————————    ———————————————

Observe how last two bars are very similar as the previous two bars above, apart from the end where the piece just rolls back to the beginning again with those descending notes. When I play this piece I even finish on a Dmajor chord just for fun, but I have not included that one here.

Once you can play a piece of music, experiment with what you can do to make it fit your style or what you want to do with the piece for your own playing.

Most people will probably play the piece like how Metallica does it. When you play on your own you may want to add some more notes to the piece to add more depth and colour. Once you understand the harmony of the music it will become easier to adapt it to your own style.

Many intros of Metal and Heavy Rock songs can be treated like this without losing their identity in sound. Try to add something new to them to amuse and surprise your friends.

Hope you like my adaption and looking forward to see you again soon.