Kirk Hammett

Discuss playing styles and techniques, or share your own here.
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arpeggio_owen
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What do you guys think of Kirk Hammett's playing style?
barhouston
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He's got speed obviously, and seems to be able to cope with time signature changes and all that, but to tell you truth, some of his soloing (not all) seems a bit musically dry. Transitions into, out of, and within solos aren't really there, and you can't really feel an idea progress. (Although the idea is often just to go like hell in early-Met style!) I'm much more fond of Metallica rhythm riffs and stuff -- and they didn't know what anything really was in the theoretical sense. James says in the S&M documentary, something about how they didn't know time signatures and stuff, they just chopped off the end of a riff once in awhile to "freak people out."

So yeah, I sorta got off-track, but the idea is that if I take anything from Kirk Hammett's playing, it'd be his speed technique (there are many others to study here), and not musicality. (This is coming from a big Metallica fan.)
mi2tom
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I've never like his playing.... his playing and feel like barhouston says "dry" I've got a friend which sees kirk as god... But after letting him listen to Mr Vai he now says "kirk can't play the guitar"
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burnt out
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I ain't got no problem with it.
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RAI
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I've always felt that KH sounds like someone that has learned the technique, but never picked up the soul. He's "got the moves", but it doesn't really flow very well. Very stiff and clinical. Maybe he learned "too fast" from Satriani, and never had the time to really develop his sense of "groove"...
But that's just my humble opinion.
:)
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burnt out
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Naw man,he plays metal you guys.That's why it's stiff sounding.Because metal is stiff.I got no problem with Kirk's playing.
barhouston
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Like I said, with early Metallica stuff you really would just go like hell pretty often . . . but what about (for something that we can all relate to) something like Bad Horsie? I'd call that metal. (So did Steve on the Astoria DVD, actually.) And if you wanna write effective metal -- or effective anything, really -- you gotta learn the mechanics and then get the hell outta here (a "vaian allusion", I guess :) ), and back to what made you wanna learn in the first place! Don't get me wrong -- you're cool with me, burnt out, but I guess I'm talking more . . . well, prog, I suppose. You know? Artsy. Effective. Steve Vai. Play-something-that's-worth-more-to-you-than-groupies. (I realize that I'm taking a risk by saying that, but most of you will get the idea. :) ) Back to the point -- Metallica freakin' defined metal for so many people. But it could've been better artistically. (Like anything, really.)

This is a whole lotta rambling, I know. Sorry.
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Ricardo
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I was always really impressed by James Hetfield. The guitar riffs, rhythm guitar, arpeggios, singing and playing at the same time those complex riffs, and the harmonized solos, his tone either bassy distortion or clean. I could do without Kirk Hammet, though he was not "bad". I just felt Hetfield had more taste as a player, and was the real driving force of the whole thing. There were times I felt Kirk was bending the strings a little bit sharp, and that annoyed me. And too much speed soloing with the wah wah. But, you get used to it if you are into that kind of music. Very intense, gets your blood moving.

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barhouston
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Damn straight, Ricardo.
alienillusions
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I was pretty impressed with Hammet's solo on the Live Shit:Binge and Purge video...Come on now...he IS in Metallica for a reason...
Js1000
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i'm happy that most people don't just call him crap for no reason.
Most shredders are like 'hammet sucks man!', but come on!
his technique isn't superb but it is solid,
maybe it's not that full of emotion, but he plays heavy metal, not emo,
especially the early met. recordings are just good!

metallica's power is definately their riffery,the solo's just finish it off, it's not the most important thing.
VaiWorshiper91
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For any of the guys that saw 'Some Kind of Monster', Kirk actually wanted to get rid of his solos because he didn't thing they were serving the song anymore. They were always there, but they were never viewed as very important. I also heard somewhere that James wrote every Metallica solo. I still think that Kirk is a great player, though after I listen to him, I instantly have to listen to Vai to satisfy my musical hunger! :D
pr1nce
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kirk hammett is one of the worlds best guitarists, if you dont like his style then you dont like his style, theres no such thing as dry music or whatever. all music is good, and what he plays sounds good to him and quite obviously to the rest of the metal world. Hetfield is also an extremely good guitar player ;)
Jared2720
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Kirk's playing is a great introduction for young guitarists to the world of, for lack of a better term, "shred." I started playing guitar when I was 13 after seeing a video of Kirk playing a live solo and I was completely mesmerized with the fact that he was playing "fast." Prior to seeing somebody play that way, I always saw guitar playing as chord strumming and big, bluesy bends; I just didn't know how else to hear/see it.

As a young player, I enjoyed learning Kirk's solos because, not only did they force me to practice consistently and efficiently (good habits), they were fun to play and sounded cool to my ears. Meanwhile, my guitar-playing peers at school were busy pounding out their Limp Bizkit noise on their detuned 7-strings and, interestingly enough, are not playing guitar anymore. I'm still playing eight years later...

Here's the thing: Kirk is a mediocre guitarist when compared to many players out there, but his style/playing is, in my opinion, a great starting point for young guitarists. It was through Kirk Hammett that I discovered Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, etc... I've heard Kirk speak many times and I've read many articles/interviews and he seems like a genuine, musically open-minded, good guy.

I completely agree with people who feel that he is lacking in certain elements of playing the instrument but I DO get genuinely bothered when people bash the man on various forums across the net. I'm truly glad to see people stating their opinions in a civilized, mature manner; but would we expect any less from the Vai forum? I love this place...

P.S. - I'm not ashamed to admit that I still go back and jam to Kirk's playing from time to time!
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another virtuoso
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RAI wrote:I've always felt that KH sounds like someone that has learned the technique, but never picked up the soul. He's "got the moves", but it doesn't really flow very well. Very stiff and clinical. Maybe he learned "too fast" from Satriani, and never had the time to really develop his sense of "groove"...
But that's just my humble opinion.
:)
Kirk wrote And Justice For All... after the lessons he was having with Satch. And if you listen to the album you will see it shows. But Kirk said that it felt more like homework working through all that theory instead of having fun on a guitar. Which is what metallica is all about - having fun.
As long as they could kick back a few cold ones, chug out some heavy riffs, and rip some cool solos, everyone was happy.
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