Watch Kirk Hammett Try to Break Ernie Ball's New Paradigm Guitar Strings

(Image credit: Ernie Ball)

To help spread the word about its new Paradigm guitar strings, Ernie Ball recently asked a slew of top guitarists—from John Petrucci to Paul Gilbert to Kenny Wayne Shepherd—to try to break a string. Up next: Metallica's Kirk Hammett.

In the new clip below, Hammett, a longtime user of Ernie Ball strings, does pretty much whatever he can—short of whipping out the bolt cutters—to break a string. Spoiler alert: He fails miserably—but it's still fun to watch.

“Since 1981, I’ve been saying under my breath, ‘Ernie Ball Super Slinky’ because I always like the way it rolls off my tongue," Hammett old Billboard. "Ernie Balls hold up to my heavy-handed right-hand technique and also sound good however much I sweat on them during live shows. But most importantly, they were always the strings that didn't snap from underneath my fingertips!

Ernie Ball will replace (for free) Paradigm strings that rust or break within 90 days of purchase, a guarantee the company calls “virtually unheard of” in the industry.

“Luckily, I haven't had any really bad experiences with strings breaking," Hammett added. "When I used to break one live, I would just switch out the guitar with my tech, Justin Crew. However, when I would break a string on the drop-D tunings, it would always send Justin's head into a tailspin trying to get the D guitar prepped up for the next D-tuned song.”

By the way, the new clip was shot before Metallica's recent show in Mexico City.

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Damian Fanelli
Editor-in-Chief, Guitar World

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas, was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron, a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums. He now plays in two NYC-area bands.