James Hetfield's isolated guitar tracks from ...And Justice For All and Master of Puppets prove his picking precision is unrivaled

James Hetfield
(Image credit: Ross Marino/Getty Images)

With his out-of-this-world picking accuracy and laser-precise time-keeping – Lars Ulrich follows his leads onstage, according to Gojira's Joe Duplantier – it's no wonder James Hetfield is often regarded as one of the world's best rhythm guitar players.

Yes, the Metallica frontman's playing is perhaps the eighth wonder of the modern world, but rarely do we get the chance to hear his recordings in isolation.

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Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at GuitarWorld.com from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.