I'm trying to reproduce this Metallica riff (from the song Day that Never Comes):


I noticed that Kirk (lead guitar) isn't picking strings 6 and 4 separately.

So my question is: How can play this riff with one strum? Should I mute the 5th string?

2 Answers 2


I would mute the string thats in between by using my index finger on my left hand. In other words, the same finger that is holding down the 5th fret (index) will also mute the string in between by letting your finger tip touch the neighboring string such that it becomes muted.

The riffs being played are called octaves. See this youtube video around 2:30 where he shows you what I was explaining.


That's exactly how I do this: I mute the 5th string with my left hand.

  • So for the first note: index finger on the fifth string fifth fret, middle finger to mute the fourth string and ring finger for the third string seventh fret. That is right?
    – Anonymous
    Mar 23, 2011 at 14:39
  • I would use index finger on the 5th string 5th fret and also let it mute the next string. it's very easy to do quickly as you just let your finger slump a little.
    – Doktor Mayhem
    Mar 23, 2011 at 15:40
  • I never noticed how I did it, but after closer inspection it's like DrMayhem explained.
    – Anonymous
    Mar 23, 2011 at 17:13
  • just to add to the echo chamber, that's what i tend to do, although in some cases you could also finger pick the notes so the thumb could grab the bottom note and the 1st or middle finger the top.
    – Anonymous
    Mar 25, 2011 at 15:58

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