Every Metallica fan knows that Kirk Hammett was formally taught guitar by Joe Satriani. Recently, Satriani was interviewed by the Classic Rock Magazine. CRM asked about the Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett.

Satriani praises for Hammett’s guitar playing. He says:

Kirk was a great student. He was very eager to learn.

His fingers moved great – and he had great taste in guitar players like Michael Schenker and Uli John Roth. He was completely musical.

He’d been in Exodus, but all of a sudden got in this band, Metallica, and he disappeared for a few months then came back with a copy of “Kill ‘Em All”. Thrash metal songs had brand new chord progressions that had nothing to do with blues, Zeppelin or The Beatles.


Kirk would come in and say, ‘Check out this new song I have to solo over – what key is this in?’ Often the song wasn’t in just one key. I had to teach him to decipher the song’s tonality, to understand the musical possibilities, and how to make his own decisions on what to play.

Satriani says about the Kirk “young kid full of talent and enthusiasm”. Also says, Kirk was took Dave’s approach of playing.

“Kirk had just replaced another great guitar player, Dave Mustaine, and at first he took Dave’s approach of playing blues rock over the progressions.

As the Metallica records pile up you can hear Kirk working in more exotic scales, but every now and again he’ll still play a solo that sits on top of the riff – the one from Sad But True, echoes the early Kirk Hammett.

Even after all these years his finger tone’s still the same. He burst on to the scene with that sound and throughout Metallica’s musical journey his solos come up big, thick and full of energy.

Check this interesting comparison video below: