Play lead guitar like Metallica's Kirk Hammett

Metallica made a huge impact on the heavy metal scene in the 1980s with their fast, high-volume and high-powered style. Here we're looking at the band's lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and his use of the pentatonic scale, particularly on the band's Master Of Puppets album.

Kirk's style is often based on fast 16th note repetitive patterns that sound intense while retaining a blues-rock vibe.

Indeed, Hammett's style reveals plenty of blues schooling; alongside frequent use of the minor pentatonic scale is the blues scale with its b5 note, one of the most effective choices when going for that demonic metal vibe!

The following audio examples demonstrate the use of the minor pentatonic scale with the occasionally added b5 (#4), part of the blues scale (click here for full-sized tab):

Here's the backing track so you can try them out for yourself: