What technique did Cliff Burton use on the song, "Fight Fire with Fire?"

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by electricdemon3, Jul 14, 2003.

  1. electricdemon3

    electricdemon3 Guest

    Jul 28, 2000
    I am having trouble hearing exactly what he did on that song because the bass is burried in the mix. Did he play it fingerstyle or with a pick? If he played it fingerstyle, did he play exact same thing as the guitar in the verses? Also, did he use 2 fingers or more?

    I can play the song pretty easily with a pick, but I can't imagine playing at that speed with only 2 fingers!
  2. deadweeds

    deadweeds Guest

    Oct 28, 2002
    Harbor Beach,MI
    I'm not sure what Cliff plays in the song...I'm pretty sure he always played fingerstyle and seeing video of him he seemed to play with 3 fingers and sometimes a fourth...Metallicas video Cliff Em' All shows some great footage of Cliff playing
  3. electricdemon3

    electricdemon3 Guest

    Jul 28, 2000
    Yeah, Cliff Em All is awsome, but it was always hard for me to tell exactly what his right hand was doing because his fingers flailed around alot. Also, the way he holded his hand was pretty unorthadox. It was hard for me to tell if he was actually using more than 2 fingers. I bet he probably was using at least 3 fingers for the fast stuff though.

    Cliff was the MAN! :bassist:
  4. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    he used his fingers.
  5. electricdemon3

    electricdemon3 Guest

    Jul 28, 2000
    But now the question is... how many?
  6. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    And now the question is, "Does it really matter?".
  7. electricdemon3

    electricdemon3 Guest

    Jul 28, 2000
    Well, if you wanna get philisophical on me, does anything really matter? :D

    But seriously. I am just curious, thats all. I like to learn about different techniques different bass players use. It is interesting, and I find it to be educational. It sparks my interest to try new things I never thought of before that I might be able to incorporate into my own arsenal of techniques.
  8. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    Then he used 15 fingers, if it helps you with your creativity.;)

    2, 3 sometimes.

    How could you not play with 3 fingers if you played what he did!
  9. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Nothing he played fingerstyle requires more than 2 fingers.
  10. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA

    (Come on JMX,,, people are EASSSSYYYYYY, gotta lay low,,,,, stay out of Tech fourm for a while,,,,keep things fresh,,,, peace out, lata, keep it real)


    Thanks, I was hoping someone would say that right after my post, but I want the guy to go,,"Wow, he's right,," then look at JMX's post and go "***?"..."AWESOME".

    Indeed, cliff was the man.
  11. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I'm just watching Cliff 'em all right now because of the Cliff threads lately.

    I used to love the guy and Metallica (I even wore a black band when he died!).
    But legend makes him larger than he was alive.
  12. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    What? Jaco? Huh?
  13. electricdemon3

    electricdemon3 Guest

    Jul 28, 2000
    Maybe I am not understanding what you are saying, but I said I used a pick. Anyway, even with 3 fingers, I am still not fast enough yet to play that song.
  14. CBAnaesthesia


    Jun 2, 2005
    you could play what cliff did with 2 fingers, but it's more strain and work for those 2 than if you used 3,4, or 15.
  15. conk97

    conk97 Guest

    May 2, 2005
    redditch, uk
    cliff used fingers in all his songs. mainly 2,3 but i swear in cliff em all he uses 4
  16. Joe Garage

    Joe Garage Guest

    Mar 13, 2005
    It would be interesting to hear the bass line from that song without the other instruments. I always been curious to hear how fast he really plays it.
  17. Andy3825

    Andy3825 Guest

    Jul 31, 2005
    Meriden, CT
    I'm pretty sure he only uses 2 fingers for all of his songs.
  18. bassuser35

    bassuser35 Guest

    Mar 25, 2004
    what looks like him using 4 is really his ring and pinky finger muting the strings as well as them moving while he uses his index and middle.

    for fight fire with fire, you should match the guitars. you can play it with two but the riff pattern makes it super easy to use three.
  19. I don't know if it is just me, but when I play that song, it sounds different depending on if I use 2 or 3 fingers. I actually ended up developing a certain style for that song and some others.

    The only 'hard' part of the song that I see would be a problem for anyone, is the main riff. So what I do is :
    -During the open notes on the E, I use 2 fingers and for every note thrown in that mix(I think its G, F# and F) I use a third finger(in this case ring).

    As for a recording of just the bass, I'll see what I can do :)

    EDIT: When I think about it.. with some of this Metallica songs, the bass is a bit buried, especially with the distortion. So honestly, when everybody wants to play at 16th notes on some of those riffs, you can play 8th notes and no one would be the wiser, might even be able to pick out the bass more in the song.
  20. Petary791

    Petary791 Guest

    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    He uses 3 and 4 fingers in that song. I can use 3 and do it fine. Try 3.