Kirk Lee Hammett (born on November 18, 1962) is an American musician and the lead guitarist in the band Metallica. In 2003, he was ranked 11th in the Rolling Stone's The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.
He was born in San Francisco to a Filipino mother and an Irish Merchant Marine father. As a child and teenager, he showed great interest in his older brother Rick's extensive collection of guitars and hard rock records, including material by Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Status Quo, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix and UFO. One of his biggest influences was Jimi Hendrix. He took up the guitar for the first time at the age of fifteen.Hammett's musical interests eventually drew him into the fledgling thrash metal genre. In 1982, he formed the group Exodus with vocalist Paul Baloff, guitarist Gary Holt, bassist Geoff Andrews, and drummer Tom Hunting. He played on Exodus' 1982 Demo. Hammett was invited to join Metallica following the dismissal of the band's original lead guitarist Dave Mustaine for substance abuse in 1983. This was prior to the recording of Metallica's first album Kill 'Em All. At the time Hammett was taking private guitar lessons from the now-famous Joe Satriani. In 2002, he became the first inductee into Guitar World magazine's "Hall of Fame". He has recorded and toured with Metallica for 24 years.
Hammet plays Thrash Metal and later more mainstream version of it with Metallicas later albums. His lead work consists of fast usage of the major scale and the minor pentatonic. Metallica is famous for high speed downstroking riffs. Hammett continuesly supprieses with a brilliant classical guitar technique.
Kirk Hammett is using mainly Stratocaster type guitars woth Floyd Rose Tremolos. All his guitars are equipped with Emg active humbuckers. He has his own signature Strat series by ESP guitars but he has also been seen with Gibson Les pauls, Flying V's by Jackson or Gibson and Fender Strats. The Metallica sound was produces by Marshall jcm800 and jcm900 series in the beginning. As soon as he could afford it he switched to Mesa/Boogie Amplifiers which he is using until today. Kirk Hammett is known to use Wah,Whammy,and Tubescreamer pedals.
(number of Platin awards)
* 1983 - Kill 'em All (3x) * 1984 - Ride the Lightning (5x) * 1986 - Master of Puppets (6x) * 1988 - …And Justice for All (8x) * 1991 - Metallica (known as "The Black Album“) (14x) * 1996 - Load (5x) * 1997 - ReLoad (3x) * 1998 - Garage Inc. (Cover-Album) (5x) * 2003 - St. Anger (2x) * 2008 - Death Magnetic (2x)
--ZakkWylde 21:30, 7 January 2008 (UTC)By ZakkWylde