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Watch the moment a crew member fails to catch Herman Li's guitar after he throws it across the stage

Herman Li of DragonForce
(Image credit: Miikka Skaffari/FilmMagic)

With his wizard-like grasp of the fretboard and awe-inspiring shredding ability, few guitarists can put an electric guitar through its paces quite like Herman Li.

While most of his axes get off lightly and simply endure sustained assaults of hundred of notes in quick succession, one suffered worse punishment during DragonForce's Houston, Texas show on Saturday (April 16).

In new video footage posted to Li's Instagram page, the virtuoso is seen attempting what appears to be a mid-song guitar swap with a crew member off stage, but miscalculates the distance between them before hurling the instrument. 

As a result, the six-string – one of Li's Ibanez E-Gen signature guitars – soars several meters through the air, before the crew member fails to catch it, leaving it to fall – rather painfully – several feet to the ground.

A true social media aficionado, the DragonForce guitarist makes light of the mishap, slowing down the footage and setting it to Sarah McLachlan's 1997 piano ballad, Angel.

“There has been an accident...” Li's accompanying caption reads. “Please keep my guitar in your thoughts.”

Miraculously, the guitar appears to remain in one piece. Li includes two photos of the damaged guitar in the video, however they both show the back of the instrument, so it's unclear whether the fall resulted in any string breakages.

In other news, Herman Li recently revealed he was paid “barely any money” for the inclusion of Through the Fire and Flames on Guitar Hero.

In a TikTok video posted earlier this month, the guitarist explained that the band weren't paid the “millions of dollars” one might expect for such a song, but rather a one-off fee of “just a bit less than $3,000”, and this was further divvied up amongst band members, their manager, record label, accountants and others.

But he said that while the monetary compensation was small, the exposure was invaluable, as the track was included in the game at a time when “guitar music wasn't really that popular”.

“Letting the audience hear our music and decide if they like it or not was really special, because we definitely don't play music that fits the radio,” he said. “You're not gonna hear seven minutes of shredding melodic metal on the radio.”

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Sam is a Staff Writer at Guitar World, also creating content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar (opens in new tab).