BY JEFF BEASLEY
Michael Angelo Batio
has been frequently
described as the best
shredder of all time.
He produced the first, and still best-selling,
shred instructional video, and invented both
his signature double guitar and MAB string
dampeners. He’s performed in 45 countries
around the world and even has his own record
label – M.A.C.E. Music.
Michael has been playing guitar since age ten.
Naturally left-handed, he plays the guitar right-handed, which at least partially explains his
incredible ability to play two guitars at the same
time. He’s played as many as four guitars at once;
his performance playing his four-necked “quad”
guitar with the band Nitro in their “Freight Train”
video is one of the most over-the-top performances of all time.
His style developed out of the early weakness of
his picking hand. He worked for years as a teen
to master alternate picking and two-hand tapping
techniques. Michael explains, “I’m a firm believer
in working on your deficiencies. Once you master
a technique that gives you trouble, other areas of
your playing improve dramatically.”
Now one of the fastest shredders on the planet,
Michael is known for his MAB Over-Under
Technique, where he flips his hand over and
under the guitar neck,
strings from above
and below at incred-
ible speed – all with-
out missing a note.
I first saw Michael
Angelo Batio in 1987
at a Gibson Guitar
clinic. We were all
anxious to meet him
and see him perform
with his double guitar.
He explained how it
was constructed and then he played the living
hell out of it. I couldn’t believe it was humanly
possible to pull it off, but he did and still does.
I’ve been fortunate enough to see him perform
a number of times since, and even traded licks
with him in 2007 onstage at a Dean Guitar clinic.
Since then, Michael and I have become friends
and I’ve found he’s a very humble, yet extremely
This month Michael has been cool enough to
show off five of his favorite exercises – double
guitar not required.