There’s no doubt Metallica have inspired countless musicians to pick up a guitar and start a band.
Through many, many episodes of Gear Factor, we’ve heard shredder after shredder say the same thing. The first song they learned? The band that made them want to play in the first place? Their favorite riffs? The mighty Metallica, of course.
That’s why we decided to revisit a multitude of players, from Ghost’s Tobias Forge to GWAR’s Pustulus Maximus, gushing about the Metallica riffs that inspired them to learn to play and even want to start a band in the first place.
Formed in Los Angeles, in 1981, before relocating to San Francisco two years later, Metallica helped both spearhead and define the thrash metal genre. In the ‘90s, they embraced more accessible sounds and new compositional styles that took them to new heights.
Through the years, Metallica’s revered songwriting and bold risks allowed them to break through the mainstream and pop culture in a way few artist in any genre have. Today, they continue to tour the world, playing to stadiums and huge festival crowds. It’s no wonder so many rockers from subsequent generations cite Metallica as the band that made them want to join a band in the first place.
One song that many guitarist say they first learned is “Seek and Destroy” from 1983’s Kill ‘Em All. And, of course, you’ll hear a lot of “Master of Puppets” from their 1986 album of the same name and, perhaps their most well-known song, “Enter Sandman” from their eponymous 1991 “black” album.
Watch tons of artists talking about the Metallica riffs and songs that inspired them below.
Guitarists Shred the Metallica Riffs That Made Them
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Every artist has their ups and downs. Sometimes the downs come right after a high mark.