Michael Angelo Batio Reveals One Thing People Get Wrong About His Guitar Playing, Names Mistake Beginners Make Most Often

In his new interview with Guitar World, guitar virtuoso Michael Angelo Batio discussed what he does best — shredding the hell out of his guitars. Currently playing with Manowar, Batio reflected on what makes a guitar player great even as they reach an older age. He explains:

“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.”

Michael Angelo Batio | No Boundaries Live 2022 | M.A.B.

“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.”

Going further into it, Batio was asked about his work in Manowar and how he tends to set up his string height. What’s pretty interesting is that he doesn’t go ultra-low as many might assume. He explained:

“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.

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“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.”

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Elsewhere in the interview, he also reflected on the most common mistakes that his students make, offering:

“The most common mistake my students made was not concentrating on mastering the different techniques. They would just learn a song to be able to play it instead of playing it correctly. Musical people find a way to make music. This wasn’t all of my students, just a few. Working on proper technique and applying it to making music is where you can become a virtuoso.”

Photo: Jorgesys12 (Michael Angelo Batio with his double guitar)

  • 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.