Orion, Metallica

Orion, Metallica
Master of Puppets (1986)
Bassist: Cliff Burton

Orion is an instrumental track from, Metallica’s 1986 album, Master of Puppets.

Lets look at three of the main riffs Cliff plays in the song.

Riff 1 This is the intro riff, although simple, plays an enormous role in supporting the walls of guitars. When pedaling in unison with guitars it is important to remember your low open E notes are the foundation for the palm muting to sit on. Even and consistent open notes, locked in with guitars and drums, are essential. The notes on the A string aren’t so much accents but laying them with a  little more emphasis on them will make it lock in a little tighter with the drums. Metronome should be set around 128bpm.


Riff 2 This second riff it is important to get this nice and even, work with the metronome and get it sounding solid before playing with the backing track or a drummer. Pay careful attention to the staccato notes in bars 3 and 4.These notes give the riff the bounce. All fretted notes should be emphasized to push with the guitars and drums.


Riff 2 As the heaviness winds down the bridge begins and the song decends into every bassists favorite part of Master of Puppets. This is the classic Cliff Burton “mellow” bass riff, it is played at 54bpm and is in 6/8 time.

Orion 3.png

Metallica Orion studio version

Metallica Orion Isolated Bass track studio version


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