Born in Hong Kong, currently resides in London, England. Herman Li (Chinese: 李康敏) is the guitarist, songwriter and producer of the Grammy nominated metal act DragonForce.
In the last few years, Herman has established himself as one of the most recognised and influential guitarists of the new generation. Accolades starting pouring in, starting with the 2005 ‘Best Shredder’ award at the annual Metal Hammer Golden Gods. Herman also won four categories in Guitar World’s 2007 Readers Poll for ‘Best New Talent’ (winning by 70%), ‘Best Metal’, ‘Best Riff’ and ‘Best Shredders’. He also won ‘Best Guitar Solo’ for ‘Through the Fire and Flames’ in Total Guitar’s Readers Poll in 2007, as well as numerous other polls in media around the world. ‘Through the Fire and Flames’ was also featured in a number of videos games, first in ‘Guitar Hero III – Legends of Rock’.
Outside of DragonForce, Herman has been invited to perform with guitar legends such as Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and Paul Gilbert, just to name a few. Herman won for the second time the ‘Best Shredder’ award at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods 2009.
Between intensive world tours with DragonForce, Herman found time to write a guitar column in Total Guitar (UK), Premier Guitar (USA) as well as becoming involved in guitar clinics around the world. Always continuing to evolve as a guitar player, Herman likes to understand his instrument as much as possible. He has a fascination in electric guitar development, working on new ideas to improve the instrument as much as possible. After 3 years of hard work and dedication, the result was the Ibanez E-Gen guitar, Herman’s signature model.
Outside of music, Herman other interests includes computer technology and martial arts. He enjoys training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts. He also speaks three languages fluently; Cantonese, French and English.
Notable Awards and Achievements
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
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 Moves
Guitar lifting whammy bar slam
Laser gun explosion
Playing with his tongue!
Current Main Live and Studio Equipment Guitars
Ibanez E-Gen – Herman Li Signature Model – EGEN18 TVF (transparent violet flat), platinum blonde
DiMarzio® HLM Pickups – Herman Li Model
Amplifications, Rig Setup & Misc
Rocktron Prophesy II
Rocktron All Access
Rocktron Patch Mate, Loop 8
Rocktron Hush Pro
Source Audio Hot Hand Wah, MIDI-EXP
Samson UHF Wireless system
AKG In-Ear Monitoring system
MIDIjet Pro Wireless Midi System
Mesa Boogie Stereo 2:Fifty
Peavey JSX 4×12 Straight Speaker Cabinets
DigiTech Whammy 2
Ibanez Weeping Demon Wah