Difficulty: Level IIILevel IIILevel III
Length: 12:14
Enter Sandman Wikipedia pageWikipedia page
Enter Sandman music videoArtist website
Enter Sandman music videoMusic video
With our guitar tutorial on Enter Sandman, you will learn these guitar skills:
  • Alternate picking
  • Multiple string slides
  • Palm muting
  • Power chords
  • Slides

The music theory of this song is pretty complex. I will describe it briefly, but concentrate more on the techniques you will learn while you watch the guitar lesson on Enter Sandman.

The song is played at 123 BPM. It starts with a clean, undistorted guitar intro riff (signature riff).

After the intro riff, you’ll blast on your distortion and learn the parts of the song that build-up to the main riff. These build-up parts are actually still part of the intro, and utilize slides and muted single-string plucking. The really interesting thing about this part of the song is the timing and rhythm, as well as the interchanging sequence of muted and clear plucks, all of which you will learn in the lesson.

After this, you’ll learn the main riff to Enter Sandman, which is a nice combination of guitar techniques used in the heavy metal genre. You’ll also learn the pre-chorus and chorus, which are similar in style. It’s a long guitar lesson, don’t expect to be playing it in a day.

To sum it up, if you like Metallica and heavy metal guitar songs, you’ll love learning this song, as it sounds great and you’ll be practicing many techniques. If you don’t like Metallica, you could move on to another one of our beginner guitar lessons, but you should still learn this song, perhaps with a little less distortion, since the guitar techniques and rhythmic timing you’ll learn are really valuable.

Enter Sandman song details

Enter Sandman was released as the opening track and lead single Metallica on their self-titled 1991 album, Metallica. James Hetfield wrote the lyrics himself, which deal with nightmares. The music really conveys this emotional state, some people call the intro guitar riff “sinister”.

This was the song and album that really put Metallica onto the chart, selling more than 15 million copies.

Enter Sandman has been featured on all of Metallica’s live albums and DVDs.

Enter Sandman awards and chart rankings

  • U.S. Billboard Hot 100: # 16
  • U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks: # 10
  • UK Singles Chart: #5
  • Australian ARIA Singles Chart: # 10
  • Norwegian Singles Chart: # 1
  • Swiss Singles Chart: # 11
  • Swedish Singles Chart: # 14

If you want to refine the skills you learned in Enter Sandman, check out these lessons on songs by clicking these links:
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Download tabs for Enter Sandman

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