There's so much guitar in this song we'll be breaking it down into different ActionTabs. Here we look at the main rhythm guitar riffs - from the Intro to the Interlude (middle). This part contains many of the main song riffs.
Most of the riffs in Master of Puppets involve picking with downstrokes very fast. Also, you need to mix palm muting with normal picking. We've slowed things down a lot to help you follow it. Constant downpicking is easier than alternate picking, but building the speed still takes practice. Break the song down into the basic riffs (outlined below), and work at them slowly. As always, get them right first, then build speed last!
Intro 1 - Start with stabbing the E5 - D5 - Db5 - C5 powerchords. Then start palm muting the Low E (and normal pick the descending fretted notes) as the intro riff kicks off. This intro riff repeats a few times.
Intro 2 - A fast repeating riff, all downpicked. Use palm muting for any notes on the Low E string, and pick notes normally (but fast) on the A string. Use your ears & watch the picking hand dots to determine when to palm mute and when to normal pick.
Kirk's Ditty (end intro) - This little ditty signals the end of the intro and the beginning of the verses.
Verse Riff - At the end of Kirk's ditty James Hetfield comes in chugging the low E. We pick up at the end of the first bar in order to see all of Kirk's ditty. But you're not missing anything, the same riff is just repeated over and over again from this point onwards.
Notice that at the end of the verse the guitar shifts to playing the Pre-Chorus Riff, which is similar in style to the previous verse riff, but positioned around the second fret.
Chorus Riff 1 - This is a little easier on the fingers than the previous riffs. It's worth pointing out that instead of sliding here you can use a hammer on (with your little finger). Sliding leaves you in a better position for the next notes, but either technique works well.
Keep repeating the same riff, and towards the end of the chorus, change to Chorus Riff 2. This is the easiest part of the song.
Everything else afterwards is just repetitions of the same riffs outlined above.