Playing Metallica Solos

Most people know Kirk Hammett because of his huge use of wah pedal. But it's not just pushing wah pedal and playin some strange riffs. There's some riffs that Hammett use alot in his solos.

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Ultimate Guitar
Playing Metallica Solos
38
Every guitarist have their own especial technique, that they use alot in their solos. Most people know Kirk Hammett because of his huge use of wah pedal. But it's not just pushing wah pedal and playin some strange riffs. There's some riffs that Hammett use alot in his solos, so if you like his riffs and metallica solos here is some riffs for you.

Lets start from old stuffs, although some of them compose by Dave Muastine too, but kirk also edit them.

Playing Scale

here is some scale that you can hear alot in kill 'em all, alomost in all songs of that album, and also in other albums. This not much hard to play that but most important thing is to play it really fast and be careful about timing because being fast without control is nothing, and also pull off is important too.

|-17-p14------14--17-p14------------------------------------------|
|---------17--------------17--14------14--17-p14------------------|
|---------------------------------16fb------------16--14------14--|
|---------------------------------------------------------16------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|

|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|-16-p14----------------------------------------------------------|
|---------16--14------14--16-p14----------------------------------|
|-----------------16--------------16--14------14--16-p14----------|
|-----------------------------------------17--------------17--14--|
This stuff play in different scale for example in "hit the light" in outro solo kirk play that in this scale too:
|-22-p19------19--22-p19------------------------------------------|
|---------22--------------22--19------19--22-p19------------------|
|---------------------------------21fb------------21-and so on ...|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
Another old riff is here, it use in "no remorse" and some other songs and also in different scale too. This riff is really simple.
|-17-p14------14--17-p14--19-p14--17-p14------14--17-p14--19-p14--|
|---------17------------------------------17----------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
or in "the four horsemen" it play like this:
|-15-p12------12--15-p12--15-p12------12--15-p12--15-p12------12--|
|---------15----------------------15----------------------15------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|

Fast Hammer on and Pull off

If you want to play "wiplash" solo except those riff you need to play this riff fast, all open notes are pull off.
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|-2p0h2p0-4p0h4p0-5p0h5p0-4p0h4p0-5p0h5p0-7p0h7p0-9p0h9p0-7p0h7p0-|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
or in "blackened" it use different
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|-12p0-12p0-12p0-12p0-12p0-12p0-11p0-11p0-9p0-9p0-9p0-9p0-9p0-...-|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|

|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|-16p0-16p0-16p0-16p0-16p0-16p0-14p0-14p0-12p0-12p0-12p0-12p0-...-|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|

Fast Bending

Another thing that you have to know is fast bending, here is a riff from "fade to black" outro solo, pull of notes can help you alot to play this riff fast, but timing is important because bending notes may reduce your speed.
|-------------------------------------7---------------7-----------|
|-----7---10-p7-------7---10-p7-----------10-p7-----------10-p7---|
|-9fb-------------9fb-------------9fb-------------9fb-------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|

or in "battery" middle solo

|-14-p12------12--17-p12--15-p12--14-p12------12--17-p12--15-p12--|
|---------15fb----------------------------15fb--------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|

Alternative Picking:

Alternative is very important in all solo, this is a riff that use in "call of ktulu" and also in different scale in other songs too, I show you upstroke and downstroke, to play this you can separate every 4 notes, and then keep playing them togather. Every time that you play, try to play it faster.
  v   ^   v   ^   v   ^   v   ^   v   ^   v   ^   v   ^   v   ^
|-12--10--9-------10--9-----------9-------------------------------|
|-------------12----------12--10------12--10--9---12--10--9-------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------11--|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|

|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|-10--9-----------------------------------------------------------|
|---------11--9---13--11--9-------11--9-----------9---------------|
|-----------------------------12----------12--11------12--11--9---|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|

|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|-12--11--9-------11--9-----------9-------------------------------|
|-------------12----------12--11------12--11--9---12--11--9-------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------12--|
This one is from "fade to black" outro solo, it's little harder.
  v    ^    v     ^    V     ^    V    ^    v    ^    v     ^
|-10---8----7-----8----7----------7-------------------------------|
|---------------------------10---------10---8-----10---8----7-----|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|

|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|-8----7----------7-----------------------------------------------|
|-----------9----------9----7-----9----7----6-----7----6----------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------9-----|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|

Sweep Picking

Oscourse it's half sweep picking but it sound great and hard to play it. It's part of "leper messiah". Timing is important because playin first 3 notes are easy but 3 last one may reduce your speed, for playing that you need to do sweep picking technique.

|-19--p15-------------------15----19--p15-------------------15----|
|-----------17---------17-------------------17---------17---------|
|-----------------16------------------------------16--------------|
|-----------------(sweep picking)-----------------(sweep picking)-|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|

|-20--p17-------------------17----20--p17-------------------17----|
|-----------18---------18-------------------18---------18---------|
|-----------------17------------------------------17--------------|
|-----------------(sweep picking)-----------------(sweep picking)-|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|

|-22--p20-------------------19----22--p19-------------------19----|
|-----------20---------20-------------------20---------20---------|
|-----------------19------------------------------19--------------|
|-----------------(sweep picking)-----------------(sweep picking)-|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|

Tapping

Tapping is a great technique that is not much hard but it sound really great and fast so if you want to surprise others learn this technique, it's a part of "one" outro solo, notes that marked with T, play with right hand you can play them with edge of your pick or your finger no different it depends on you. You just need to hit the marked fret with right hand and left hand just do pull off notes.

|-19p15p12-19p15p12-19p15p12-19p15p12-20p15p12-20p15p12-20p15p12-20p15p12-|
|-T--------T--------T--------T--------T--------T--------T--------T--------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
tapping can be little be hard too, for example this part from "where ever I may roam".
|-17p16-17p16p13p12-17p16-17p16p13p12-17p16-17p16p13p12-17p16-17p16p13p12-|
|-T-----T-----------T-----T-----------T-----T-----------T-----T-----------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|

Kirk New Riff

It's time for new stuff, lets go to death magnetic, a simple riff that hammett ust alot in this album is here, for playing that your first finger take 2 first strings and 2nd and 4th finger play other notes. (i mean 7th fret take by first finger and 8th fret with 2nd finger, and 10th fret with 4th finger) try to plat it really fast.

|-10p8p7--------10p8p7--------10p8p7--------10p8p7------------------------|
|--------10p8p7--------10p8p7--------10p8p7--------10p8p7-....------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|

now try to move it

|-10p8p7--------11p9p8--------12p10p9---------13p11p10--------------------|
|--------10p8p7--------11p9p8---------12p10p9----------13p11p10-...-------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
Another stuff that play random by kirk is here, if you use wah pedal it can sound great. Separate every 3 notes, and then play them togather, you have to play all notes with same speed, so don't forget timing.
|-22-21-20-21-20-19-20-19-18-19-18-17-18-17-16-17-16-15-...---------------|
|-(3notes)-(3notes)-(3notes)-(3notes)-(3notes)-(3notes)-------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
So as you can see kirk is not just use wah pedal, there's a lot of riffs that you can practice them to improve yourself, I'm just mentioned some of them.

31 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Rock In Rio
    You need learn spell so can use sentences full. You need to learn how to spell so you can make a full sentence.
    Shadoze
    *Sigh*...It's a riff, practice, etc...Bryan92x. If your were so great, then why are you even lookin at this page???
    Lexiowz
    sorry to say this, butt kirk wasn't in metallica when kill 'm all was made
    swampert948
    can i just ask something dude becauase this really bugs me, and i wanna know this before i start learning these licks. for the first example do i bar the 17th fret on both the strings and to the pull off on the 17th to the 14th fret then pick the 17th on the B stirng or just do the pull off on the 17th to the 14th off then pick the 17th on the B stirng without barring the 2 strings on the 17th fret? if that makes sense lol
    sheluvs
    i really enjoyed this thanxs an i dnt think u should explain anything ppl should know about sweeping especaily if there looking into soloing
    rockingamer2
    It seems to me that this article is just showing a bunch of techniques that are essential to good metal soloing (with sweep picking being the exception). Yes, Kirk utilizes them, but so do loads of other people.
    Damage Case
    [forgive my ignorance] what exactly is sweep picking? will someone explain please
    Denkigan
    this is a good article for people beginning to play Kirk solos But, for someone who already knows a lot of his solos, like me, but needs to know how to play them better, it would be better if you told us how to do what he does thanks anyway!
    onanobis47
    uh yeah Jeradmang, correct me if im wrong, but besides the fast hammer ons and pulloffs they all are
    Behnam H.
    but this is not "dictate class", i just want to show some of kirk riffs, and ofcourse my main language is not english, btw thanks for your comments
    Captain Sadler
    Kirk has always copied Iron Maiden riffs. Look up the "Phantom of The Opera" tab and compare it to these. You'll see what I mean.
    Jeradmang
    sorry dude english speakers are ignorant..this is helpful and appreciated i understand its unfair that people judge you...english is one of the hardest languages to learn...just cause it isn't structered like many romance languages...you all are ignorant for talking smack
    mmethn1417
    he doesnt really use the wah pedal alot maybe in some songs but theres a lot more songs that he doesnt use the wah pedal in his solos!!!!!
    DanBourne
    I don't know what u all think, but i think the tabs are great and a bit of a challenge, but yeah dude u really do need to explain a few more things in greater detail, otherwise it was great. This has helped me with some of kirks solo's and i hope u bring out some more stuff if there is any and try and explain it a bit more.
    zakske
    Bryan92x wrote: Dude i hate to say but this is bad. You dont explain how to sweep pick or anything but at least you tabbed the shit right I've been playing Metallica since i started my first riff was nothing else matters but dude, this sorta sucks. Its a lesson on shit. Write in how to do it next time. But as I said you did good on getting the tabs right.
    He explains Metallica's solo's, Kirk's way of composing solo's and what techniques to use to play those... If you want an explanation of these techniques, go check out the lessons that are qualified as "guitar techniques" lessons... I'm not a great Kirk fan, yet I found this lesson very interesting .
    Bryan92x
    Dude i hate to say but this is bad. You dont explain how to sweep pick or anything but at least you tabbed the shit right I've been playing Metallica since i started my first riff was nothing else matters but dude, this sorta sucks. Its a lesson on shit. Write in how to do it next time. But as I said you did good on getting the tabs right.
    KTHXBAI
    Finally, ive been waiting for this. YES they are just showing off Kirk Riffs, but KEY Kirk riffs. Good
    reptile-thing18
    yeah but no matter what the solos still rock.. thanks im needing help in my soloing so this be something i practice for sure.
    canvasDude
    this was a good article. i never really realized how much he recycled his riffs, lol. well i kinda did cause a lot of songs sound the same.
    wheelermon
    With apologies for the thread resurrection - this article was exactly what I was looking for, an explanation/list of the patterns/motifs that Kirk uses over and over again in his solos. This isn't a "how to alternate pick" lesson or a legato lesson, so for all of the people that said you didn't explain the techniques thoroughly, this isn't the place for that. I appreciate the time you spent putting this together for free.