Harvester of Sorrow, Metallica
Album: …And Justice for All (1988)
Bassist: Jason Newsted
Harvester of Sorrow was the first single released from, Metallica’s 1988 album, …And Justice for All. It is a well known fact that Jason Newsted’s bass was completely inaudible in the mix and the album has been subject to many remixes and overdubs by bassists over the year. The lines on the album, while simple, are still great fun to play.
Lets look at three of the main riffs Jason plays in the song. You want to set your metronome to about 84bpm. Once you are confidently playing these three parts you should be able to play most of the way through the song along with the album.
Riff 1 comes in with the drums. It is important to really hit those accents hard. Good solid metal bass playing relies heavily on dynamics. Remember even though you may be playing unison riffs, the layers of guitar only sound as good as the hard hitting bass underneath it. It is important to be aware of how the bass connects the drums to guitars in metal.
Riff 2 is the main riff of the song, used for the chorus and also as a lead in to the first verse. Be aware of the accent feel in the run at the end of the bars, it follows the drums and sounds tight and heavy if you nail the dynamics. Although Jason plays with a pick, these lines when executed with the right amount of power sound great with finger style playing.
Riff 3 is the bass part under Kirk Hammet’s guitar solo, once again be aware of the accents they lock solidly in with the drum feel. The rests in the bar are exactly that, the gaps of silence in this riff is what makes it sound so heavy.
Metallica Harvester of Sorrow album version
Metallica play Harvester of Sorrow live in Russia 1991
Metallica play Harvester of Sorrow live in San Francisco 2001
w\ two bassplayer version. Robert Trujillo & Jason Newsted