DragonForce’s Herman Li Shares Honest Opinion on Social Media Guitar Shredders, Says He Now Feels ‘Not Good Enough’

We’re all aware of how the approach to guitar evolved, with plenty of players pushing the boundaries, making the instrument do what no one thought possible. One of these guitar players is DragonForce’s Herman Li.

However, things are at a whole new level these days, and even someone like Li is impressed by present-day social media guitar virtuosos. During a recent chat with Anthony Fantano, Herman discussed the issue, saying (transcript via Ultimate Guitar):

“I feel really lucky that I’m still excited when I listen to music and see players play. I look at [people on] TikTok, ‘What? How do you play that?’ On YouTube, I’m always impressed by the players out there. That power, that hunger in the youth, where you have no kids, you don’t have to worry about everyday things. You can focus that energy and make something special, and there’s something out there all the time.

He also added:

“I’m always, always impressed. And I’m still learning to play the guitar. Most of my live streams are like, ‘Sorry, I’m here learning how to play the guitar.’ There’s no end goal to this, we’re all beginners, really.”

As Herman further argues, there’s always room for improvement. We’re never good enough and we should always strive to learn and practice more. He elaborates:

The more we learn, the more we see. It makes even us pros feel like ‘Oh my god, we’re just not good enough.’ And it’s from experience in doing things that we are able to turn around and say, ‘I understand, there is no peak of the mountain, but we should make the best creation, or the best version of us and continue to do that, every day.'”

Of course, with today’s trends, it’s impossible to make it big if you’re not present on social media. Yes, this also includes TikTok. Regarding TikTok and Twitch, Herman Li discussed the importance of these platforms by saying:

“That was a part of the [reason] why I decided to be on the internet again because I want to control the art, and being able to control the art is what? You have to be known, you have to have some kind of business control. These days we have shifted from record selling to how many followers you get, how many subscribers. This is serious stuff. Endorsement, brands [all] look at how many social [media followers] you got. The world has changed. It’s like, you know, you either do it, or you get left behind. That’s it.”

Photo: Sven-Sebastian Sajak (Nova2013 DragonForce Herman Li 0001)


  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.