Michael Angelo Batio Recalls Why He Started Doing the ’Double Guitar’ Thing: I’m a Lefty in a Righty World’

In a recently released video on Manowar’s YouTube channel, guitar virtuoso Michael Angelo Batio reflected on his unique approach to the instrument, as well as how his double guitar and “over-under” techniques came to be. Batio, who’s currently playing for Manowar as a touring guitarist, recalled how it all started by saying (transcript via Ultimate Guitar):

“I wanted to do something that had never been done— not to be better, not to be cooler — but something that’s unique to me. I’m left-handed… in a right-handed world.

“I was goofing around, butter knives are right-handed, scissors are right-handed – the world is right-handed. So I’m a lefty in a righty world… [but] I learned how to play righty, that’s how it all started.

“And when I played it for the first time, it wasn’t a double guitar. It was two Flying Vs, one right-handed, and a right-handed one, flipped over lefty, and we taped it to a snare stand… I had my friend wheeled it out [on stage] like the Trojan horse…

“All I did is walk up to it and play it, and [the crowd] went insane I got a good audience response. And that’s how it all started.”

As of this moment, Michael Angelo Batio is working as a touring guitar player for Manowar. The news came in late summer of 2022 with the metal band finally announcing their new guitar player through their social media channels. Batio’s official statement read:

“I could not be more excited! I love metal more than anything, and it doesn’t get more metal than Manowar! I can’t wait to get on stage and play for the Manowar fans!”

Manowar’s statement on the matter read:

“We’ve known Michael for many years and have always admired his work. His technique is astounding. When we invited him to come and jam with us, we played together at the speed of light. Everything fell into place immediately. We’re ready for a killer tour!”

Guitarist Michael Angelo Batio Will Perform With MANOWAR - First Preview

In another interview from late last year, Batio looked back on some of the aspects of his guitar playing and discussing what makes one guitarist great as they reach an older age. Batio offered:

“People tend to believe that as you get older, your playing skills diminish, and many times that’s true. My whole life I’ve paid attention to the little details, such as always having good posture and keeping my back straight.”

“With guitar, the details are what matters, too. I watch little nuances when I’m watching my picking hand. It’s very ergonomic.”

“When you grow older you tend to lose hand strength, which directly impacts your playing. I still practice vibrato over and over. It determines whether you will be a great player when you’re older or not. It also separates you from becoming injured while playing, and not.”

Double Guitar Solo - Michael Angelo Batio

Regarding his string height while playing with Manowar, Batio revealed in this interview that he’s actually not going super-low, which is what many people believe. The truth, as he says, is quite the opposite:

“People tend to think that because I play fast I prefer my action set very low. It’s the exact opposite. It’s about medium on the lower strings  and I raise it slightly on the upper ones.”

“It really gets that vibrato, and that’s where I get a lot of my sound. My sound is hopefully round and clear. Because the action goes higher, there is absolutely zero buzz. It allows a string to completely ring out. I got this from guitar clinics.”

Photo: Tenji (Michael angelo batio)

  • 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 Ultimate-Guitar.com, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor and brands like Sam Ash.

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