Metallica’s primary songwriter and rhythm guitarist James Hetfield founded Metallica with Lars Ulrich in 1981 in Los Angeles. The pair formed the band after James Hetfield answered Ulrich’s advertisement in an LA newspaper named The Recycler.

James Hetfield is a rhythm guitarist who hardly plays any solo parts during Metallica recordings or shows while Kirk Hammett is the lead. However, Hetfield is still a highly influential guitarist who was ranked among the greatest guitarists of all time by several sources.

How Did James Hetfield Learn To Play The Guitar?

Before playing the guitar, Hetfield started taking piano lessons at the age of nine. Along with that, he had his hands on his older half-brother David’s drums. He then bought his first guitar from a schoolmate who was in the school’s jazz band for $200. At the age of 14, Hetfield decided to play the guitar. He then took part in some bands as a teenager, including Leather Charm and Obsession.

In a Guitar Center interview, Hetfield claimed that he learned the guitar by himself by jamming with some of his schoolmates after school. During those jam sessions, they often played some Black Sabbath songs so that they can improve themselves. When he thought he needed to further improve himself, Hetfield sought better bands to play with. He noted that it was as if he was on a quest to get better and better.

The Band That Influenced James Hetfield’s Decision Of Playing The Guitar

Back in those days when he decided to play the guitar, one band influenced Hetfield most, and that band was Aerosmith. Hetfield credited Aerosmith as his main musical inspiration and revealed that they were the reason he wanted to play the guitar.

Hetfield’s desire to get better led him to form one of the greatest metal bands of all time, Metallica. Since then, he has improved himself to the point that his name is now often mentioned on the list of the greatest metal guitarists in the world.