why does kirk hammett wrap tape on his hands

Kirk Hammett, the renowned lead guitarist of the band Metallica, is known for his unique style and sound. One distinctive feature of his performance is the tape wrapped around his hands while playing the guitar. This article aims to explore the reasons why Kirk Hammett wraps tape on his hands, examining various aspects such as grip, protection, technique, and personal preference.

Grip Enhancement

One reason why Kirk Hammett wraps tape on his hands is to enhance his grip on the guitar neck. The tape provides a slightly tacky surface, allowing him to maintain a firm hold on the instrument. This improved grip enables him to execute intricate finger movements and perform complex guitar solos with precision.

Furthermore, the tape helps prevent his hands from slipping due to sweat or moisture during intense performances. This ensures that he can maintain control over the guitar, even when his hands become sweaty from the heat of the stage lights or the energy of the performance.


Another crucial reason for Kirk Hammett to wrap tape on his hands is to protect his fingers from injuries. Playing the guitar vigorously for extended periods can cause blisters, calluses, and even cuts on the fingertips. By wrapping tape around his fingers, Hammett adds an extra layer of padding, reducing the risk of these injuries.

why does kirk hammett wrap tape on his hands

In addition to protecting his fingertips, the tape also provides some support to his wrists. The repetitive motion of playing the guitar can strain the wrist joints, leading to discomfort or even long-term issues. The tape acts as a stabilizer, minimizing the strain on his wrists and reducing the likelihood of injury.

Technique Enhancement

Wrapping tape on his hands can also enhance Kirk Hammett’s guitar playing technique. The tape creates a slight barrier between his fingers and the guitar strings, which alters the feel and response of the strings. This change in sensation allows Hammett to develop a unique playing style and achieve specific tonal effects.

Moreover, the tape can influence the attack and sustain of the notes he plays. The added layer of tape can dampen the vibrations of the strings, resulting in a slightly muted or softer sound. This technique can be particularly useful when Hammett wants to create a more subtle or nuanced tone during his performances.

Personal Preference

Ultimately, the decision to wrap tape on his hands is a matter of personal preference for Kirk Hammett. Over the years, he has developed a playing style that incorporates the use of tape, and it has become an integral part of his identity as a guitarist.

Furthermore, the tape serves as a visual symbol of his dedication and passion for his craft. It has become synonymous with his image on stage, and fans have come to expect and appreciate this unique aspect of his performance.


There are several reasons why Kirk Hammett wraps tape on his hands while playing the guitar. It enhances his grip, provides protection against injuries, enhances his technique, and reflects his personal preference. The tape has become an iconic element of his stage presence, contributing to his distinct style and sound. Ultimately, it is a testament to his commitment to his art and his desire to deliver the best performance possible.

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