Herman Li
Alias: Shred (used during his time in Demoniac)
Gender: Male
Age: 34
Date of Birth: October 3, 1976
Position: Lead/Rhythm Guitars and Backing Vocals
Other Work(s): DragonForce

Herman Li (Chinese: 李康敏, Hanyu Pinyin: Lǐ Kāng Mǐn) 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 on October 3 1976, 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.

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 - All styles of music. Rock, metal new and old - Video games music; favourites are from late 80's, early 90's arcade and PC Engine games.

Signature Stage MovesEdit

Guitar lifting whammy bar slam

Playing with his tongue!


Herman uses Ibanez E-gen guitars in flamed transparent violent flat and platinum blonde, which is Li's signature model based on his old S Series. The E-Gen model EGEN18TVF has many unique features and improvement over a standard S, including its versatile pickups tone selection, Custom Edge-Zero bridge, Custom DiMarzio pickups and an extended scoop on the lower horn of the body. It is currently Ibanez's flag ship model for S body style guitars.

Before the E-Gen, Herman had been known to play Ibanez S Prestige guitars. An Ibanez S470SOL (Japanese build 1995), a seven string Ibanez 540S7 (Japanese build 1991) (used in Revolution Deathsquad, Storming the Burning Fields, and the "bridge" section of Operation Ground and Pound), and a S540FMTTS (Japanese build 1995). Li also has been seen playing an Ibanez S2170FB and an Ibanez S2170FW. He also owns an Ibanez Jem7BSB, an Ibanez J. Custom, an Ibanez RG2228, and a PRS guitar which can be seen in the studio.


Rocktron Prophesy II Rocktron All Access Rocktron MIDI MateRocktron Patch Mate Source Audio Hot Hand MIDIjet Pro Wireless Midi System Mesa Boogie Stereo 2:Fifty Peavey JSX 4x12 Straight Speaker Cabinets DigiTech Whammy 2 Dunlop Cry Baby DCR-2SR Ibanez Weeping Demon Rocktron Xpression Rocktron Intellifex XL Korg DTR-2000 Drink Holders Shampoo & Conditioner in seperate bottles.


  • Ibanez E-GEN Guitars:
  • EGEN18 Herman Li Signature Model (Transparent Violet Flat finish, DiMarzio HLM pickups, Edge Zero bridge)
  • EGEN8 Herman Li Signature Model (Platinum Blonde Finish, V7 and V8 humbuckers, S1 singlecoil, Edge III bridge)
  • Ibanez 540S7
  • Ibanez S470SOL
  • Ibanez S540FMT
  • Ibanez Acoustics
  • DiMarzio Pickups (HLM - Neck, Middle, Bridge)
  • D'Addario Strings


  • Rocktron Prophesy II
  • Rocktron All Access
  • Rocktron MIDI Mate
  • Source Audio Hot Hand Wah, EXP Controller
  • MIDIjet Pro Wireless Midi System
  • DigiTech Whammy 2
  • Dunlop Cry Baby DCR-2SR
  • Rocktron Patch Mate
  • Rocktron Xpression
  • Rocktron Intellifex XL
  • Korg DTR-2000


  • Mesa Boogie Stereo 2:Fifty
  • Peavey 4x12 Straight cabinets

Playing InfluencesEdit

Herman draws influences from rock, metal as well as video game music and mimics sounds from popular retro games from the late 80s, early-90s arcade, and PC games. For example, he has been known for making several modern warfare-type noises in the song "Through the Fire and Flames" on Inhuman Rampage. Herman's playing style consists of fast descending and ascending licks, excessive use of the whammy bar, quick sweep picking and tapping on the higher frets. Recently, he has begun to use a device called the Hot Hand that sits on his right hand like a ring, which causes extreme vibrato when shaken, giving him greater capacity to emulate certain video game sounds.

Notable AwardsEdit

In the last few years, Herman has established himself as one of the most recognised and influential guitarists of the new generation. He has been won and featured in the following awards:

  • Metal Hammer Golden Gods 2009 – Best Shredder Award
  • Grammy Awards 2008 – Best Metal Performance “DragonForce” Nomination
  • Guitar World Reader’s Poll 2007 – Best New Talent (winning by 70%)
  • Guitar World Reader’s Poll 2007 – Best Metal
  • Guitar World Reader’s Poll 2007 – Best Riff
  • Total Guitar Reader’s Poll 2007 – Best Solo “Through the Fire and Flames”
  • Terrorizer Reader’s Poll 2006 – Best Band “DragonForce”
  • Terrorizer Reader’s Poll 2006 – Best Musician “Herman Li”
  • Terrorizer Reader’s Poll 2006 – Best Live Act “DragonForce”
  • Metal Hammer Golden Gods 2005 – Best Shredder Award



    • It is a little known fact that he is left-handed but learned to play right-handed.

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