Looking for an excuse to rock out on your ukulele? Hoping to show your friends how rock and roll the ukulele can be? Trying to create a diversion to help clear out a bunch of demon bats from a decrepit old house so your friends can try and sneak in and defeat a being of pure evil? Relatable! Whatever your reason for being here, you’ve come to the right place – because today I’m going to teach you how to rock out to Metallica’s Master of Puppets on your ukulele!
So grab your uke, your bat with nails in it, and your trusty old garbage-can-lid-shield, and let’s get rockin’!
How to Play Master of Puppets on Your Ukulele
Power chords, while extremely common on the electric guitar, are not something you come across very often when playing the ukulele. While normal chords are made up of 3 notes, the root, the third, and the fifth – a power chord is made up of only two, the root and the fifth. On a guitar, these are generally played with 3 fingers, with the third finger playing the root note an octave higher.
To play a power chord on a ukulele, you’ll need only two fingers, your 1st finger and your 4th finger. Your first finger will bar notes on the G and C string, while your 4th finger will bar notes 3 frets further up on the E and A string.
For example, the first power chord we need to play Master of Puppets is E. To play the E power chord, place your 1st finger on the fourth fret of the G and C strings, and your 4th finger on the seventh fret of the E and A string.
Now for the rest of the intro we are simply going to move that shape down the fretboard a few times to play D, Db and C power chords.
To play the intro, Play the E power chord, followed by a pause, and then in quick succession play the D, Db and C power chords. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?!
Having drawn the attention of those demon bats with our raucous power chords, let’s quickly move onto the next part and keep them occupied. To play this next part, we are going to use our pointer finger like a pick.. Most of this section will be played on the E string, with just a few notes on the C string.
Here’s what it looks like:
Read more: Which Ukulele String Is The Thickest?
This part is pretty fast, and it is going to take some time to get up to speed here, so take your time. One key to playing this section is to practice picking the E string repetitively down and up with your pointer finger. Really get good at keeping that steady down up down up down up rhythm going. I also recommend you ignore the C string part at first.
When you are ready to add the notes on the C string, I recommend moving your pointer finger up to the C string, using your middle finger on the A string, and plucking up with both at the same time for those three notes. As for your left hand, use your middle finger to fret the notes all the way down, all the way until the second fret, then use your pointer for the first fret. For the notes on the C string, use your pointer finger to play the 9-8-7 run.
Keep in mind, while the most of the melody is played with the rapid down up down up picking style, the 3 notes that are doubled up are played slower, with each one occupying the same space that a normal down and up would go. It should sound very similar to the last 3 power chords from up above (that’s because it is the same chords!)
That’s all for now. Keep practicing and you’ll be rocking in no time. Then you just need a jean jacket and some wild hair!
For more lessons on chords, techniques, and songs to help you along on your own uke journey, make sure to check out our site www.ukelikethepros.com. We offer you a bunch of great ukulele content that comes hand-in-hand with an awesome ukulele community that will support you in this journey.