Herman Li is the guitarist behind those over the top hyper guitar fretwork, and part of the recording production core of all DragonForce records.
Born in Hong Kong, Herman is a self-taught musician, learning mostly from listening to his favourite music and watching videos.
After having played in a number of underground rock and metal bands in London, Herman decided the only way for him to move forward, is to form a band instead of joining one. In the summer of 1999, Herman found a number of musicians in the UK to kick start a new band now known worldwide as DRAGONFORCE.
In between intensive world tours with DragonForce, Herman found time to write a monthly guitar column in UK's Total Guitar magazine. He has also given many guitar clinics around the world, showcasing his own approach to the instrument to help inspire guitarists around the globe. As well as evolving as a player, Herman likes to understand his instrument as much as possible. He is heavily involved in electric guitar development, working on new ideas to improve the instrument as much as possible.
Herman won the 'Best Shredder' award at the annual Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards 2005. Together with Sam Totman, Herman recently won four categories in Guitar World's Readers Poll 2007 for 'Best New Talent' (winning by 70%), 'Best Metal', 'Best Riff' and 'Best Shredders'. They also won 'Best Guitar Solo' with Through the Fire and Flames in Total Guitar's readers' poll 2007 and numerous polls in other printed and online press around the world. Herman and guitar partner Sam Totman have been playing together for years, the dual is currently making a huge impact in today's modern rock and metal scene.
Year 2007 started nicely with Herman receiving an invitation to perform as special guest with guitar legend Steve Vai at the Ibanez Jem/RG model 20th Anniversary show in Hollywood, California. As well as playing on Steve Vai’s set, Herman shared the stage on the evening all star jam with guitar heroes such as Joe Satriani, Paul Gilbert, Tony MacAlpine and Andy Timmons.
Outside of music, Herman's interests includes technology, martial arts and when not touring, enjoys training in Brazillian Jiu Jitsu five days a week. He also speaks three languages fluently.
Herman Li is now using the Ibanez E-Gen, which is based on the Ibanez S. The E-Gen, released in 2008, is Li's own signature guitar model. It has a bolt-on Maple/Walnut 5-piece neck with a 24 fret rosewood fingerboard, with 21-24 frets scalloped, an S-based mahagony body with grip indents on its upper horn and a transparent purple flame maple top, an Edge Zero tremolo, gold hardware, and H-S-H combined with split coil configuration with his own signature line of pickups from DiMarzio (HLM) . Before receiving his signature model, Li has been known to play Ibanez S Prestige guitars, a seven string Ibanez (used in Revolution Deathsquad, Storming the Burning Fields, and the "bridge" section of Operation Ground and Pound), and a decade old S series.
Ibanez Guitars can be bought here.