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Herman Li


1999- DragonForce - guitars  
1999 Demoniac - guitars  

Guest musician

2015 Babymetal - guitars  

Personal information

Born on: 03.10.1976

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Herman Li (Chinese: 李康敏, Hanyu Pinyin: Lǐ Kāng Mǐn born in Hong Kong, China, in October 3, 1976) is the lead guitarist, backing vocalist and producer in the power metal band DragonForce. He began playing guitar in November 1992 at the age of 16. After having played in a number of underground metal/rock bands in London, he decided to form a band of his own. After some planning and searching, he found several musicians to form the power metal band Dragonheart, which later changed its name to DragonForce. Herman used to hold part-time job at a UNIX help desk whilst recording and touring with the band.

He is left handed, but as a child he could not afford a left-handed guitar, so he ended up playing right-handed.

Li is known for his signature guitar solos, wherein he frets notes with his left hand over the top of the fretboard instead of from beneath it, though he is not the only guitarist to perform such a trick: Michael Angelo Batio (also known for playing the 'Double Axe' and 'Quad Guitar') also performs this trick. His other signature moves include "drum riser spin bounce" and the "whammy bar lift guitar slam." He also uses a Digitech Whammy II and a Digitech XP-100 Whammy-Wah to create some of his signature guitar sounds. Li often performs technical, harmonized solo passages with co-guitarist Sam Totman, as heard in "Through the Fire and Flames", "Operation Ground and Pound" and "Storming the Burning Fields".

In 2006, Li and DragonForce took the main stage at Ozzfest and Download Festival.

DragonForce's 2004 album Sonic Firestorm earned Li the Dimebag Darrell Young Guitarist Award for best Shredder at the 2005 Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards. DragonForce were also nominated for best UK band. 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 this year.

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