Metallica lead guitarist Kirk Hammett recently spoke to Guitar World and revealed how he used the wah pedal while composing his solos. He highlighted that he doesn’t like Eric Clapton’s way of using the wah pedal.
As you may know, the wah pedal is a type of electric guitar effects pedal that changes the guitar’s tone and frequencies to create a different sound resembling a human voice. It has been used by many legendary rock and metal guitarists such as Tony Iommi, Eric Clapton, and Jimmy Page to strengthen their guitar solos’ effects.
The wah pedal has also become Kirk Hammett’s signature tool while creating his unique solo guitar performances. However, he unveiled that the pedal has never been his primary tool as he uses it after composing his guitar parts for the Metallica songs.
During his interview, Hammett clarified that a wah pedal is a secondary tool for him. He uses to ‘get more intensity and emotion,’ unlike Eric Clapton, who uses the pedal in every down-beat in his guitar solos. So, it seems like Hammett prefers to use the pedal not in the process of composing but to add an after-effect.
Hammett stated in his interview that:
“I’m not from the Eric Clapton school of wah where I step on it every down-beat… It’s only been to get more intensity and more emotion out of the sound.”
Kirk Hammett explained his way of using the wah pedal saying that it has been there to create more intense sounds, especially for the guitar solos.