My default image

About Kirk Hammett

To most guitarists Kirk Hammett needs no introduction whatsoever. To everyone else he has been the lead guitarist, songwriter and one of the driving forces behind heavy metal Hall of Famers Metallica since 1983.

Although Hammett is best known for his axe-wielding inferno for Metallica over the past 28 years, it should also be noted that he is an influential and founding member of thrash metal band Exodus, with whom he rocked for three years. In fact, Exodus opened for Metallica in late '82 and '83, making a move to Metallica seem like it was destined to happen for Hammett.

Over the years he has added numerous awards and recognitions to his name, which have included personal awards such as being included in Rolling Stone's 'The Top 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time'.

As far as achievements go with Metallica, Hammett has contributed to 9 studio albums, three live albums, five extended plays and 45 singles. The band can also boast nine Grammy Awards (out of 18 nominations), and has had five consecutive albums debut at number one on the Billboard 200, making Metallica the first band to do so. Adding to all of this, he helped Metallica propel themselves out of the underground scene and into the spotlight of heavy metal. To date, Metallica has sold more than 100 million records featuring classics such as 'Enter Sandman', 'One' and 'Nothing Else Matters'.

Beyond their commercial success, Metallica and Hammett have become an inspiration for countless musicians extending beyond their own heavy/thrash metal genre - for example, the four cellists who make up Apocalyptica. Metallica has been said to be responsible for re-shaping and injecting a much-needed boost of energy to heavy metal.

Hammett has an extensive collection of guitars, but is especially known for his long-time love affair with ESP guitars - a mutual love which has spawned several Kirk Hammett signature models, mostly centered around a super-strat design.

Kirk's been using TC Electronic gear since the old days as well, choosing the precise tonal shaping options of the TC Electronic Dual Parametric Equalizer to achieve his crushing tone. Not only did Hammett use the Dual Parametric Equalizer live during the early days, it was a staple of his tone during the recording of the 1984 classic Ride The Lightning album, shaping the famous lead sounds on the album that cemented Metallica as leaders of the thrash movement.

Kirk Hammett is definitely a musician who uses a wide array of effects although he prefers a rack setup that is controlled sidestage by his guitar tech. This is where we can proudly say that he had the TC Electronic G-Major as part of his rack setup for a number of years. This road-worthy workhorse has since been replaced by the upgraded and refined G-Major 2, released in 2009.

TonePrints by Kirk Hammett

Videos with Kirk Hammett