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Joe Satriani Looks Back On Teaching Metallica's Kirk Hammett

01-10-2017
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Metallica

(Classic Rock) Joe Satriani reflected on teaching guitarist Kirk Hammett during his first days with Metallica. Satriani has forged a successful solo career, but has also spent much of his time as a guitar tutor, and nurtured talent including Hammett, Steve Vai and Testament's Alex Skolnick.

Looking back on the days he spent with a young Hammett, Satriani tells Classic Rock: "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 he remembers a "young kid full of talent and enthusiasm" and reports that Metallica track Hit The Lights perfectly captured the sound of the time and adds: "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." Read more here.

Classic Rock Magazine is an official news provider for antiMusic.com.
Copyright Classic Rock Magazine- Excerpted here with permission.

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