Kirk Hammett explains why he uses wah so much: "I can't think of anybody who uses the wah pedal as much as I do – I'm not ashamed of it"

Kirk Hammett performs onstage with Metallica at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California on December 16, 2022
(Image credit: Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images for P+ and MTV)

Kirk Hammett, Metallica's longtime lead electric guitar slinger, certainly has some recognizable quirks as a player, one of the most well-known of which is his enduring love of the wah pedal.

Just as he is with his frequent reliance on the minor pentatonic scale, though, Hammett is entirely unapologetic about his love of the effect.

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Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.

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