Kiko Loureiro took part in Herman Li’s blindfold shredding challenge – and absolutely crushed it

Kiko Loureiro
(Image credit: DragonForce/YouTube)

Playing the electric guitar is hard enough at the best of times, even when you have both eyes wide open. Take away your sense of sight, and playing the six-string suddenly becomes an exercise fraught with logistical problems. For Kiko Loureiro, however, using his eyes is merely an added bonus.

Appearing on the latest installment of Herman Li’s mammoth Jason Becker fundraiser livestream, Loureiro was challenged by the DragonForce guitarist to take part in the blindfold challenge, a daunting activity that tasked the pair to – yep, you guessed it – shred without being able to actually see.

“Is this serious? Will I have to play like this?” quizzes Loureiro after being instructed to cover his eyes. “Yeah! It’s easy!” Li replies. “Alex Skolnick played even better blindfolded, so we should all be better.”

His trepidation is, of course, absolutely unnecessary. You can watch the entire jaw-dropping exchange, which begins at the 16:45 mark, in the video below.

Li, a blindfold challenge veteran, kicks off proceedings, easing his way in with some silky slides and run-of-the-mill, uber-melodic licks. Loureiro, on the other hand, wastes no time with such formalities.

After his initial effort, which was absolutely stacked with blinding scale runs, effortlessly executed fretboard-spanning lines and wailing bends that hit the nail right on the head, Li decides things are too easy, and introduces the two-hand tapping technique to the fold.

And, in one final flex of his ridiculous guitar powers, Loureiro boldly slides between blink-and-you’ll-miss-them low fret licks and exquisite high-note bends. Talk about showing off.

“That was fun,” he quips after he crushes the challenge. 

It's not the first time that Li has taken his guest stars out of their comfort zones at the behest of his Twitch viewers. 

Recently, Tim Henson was forced to improvise – a drastically different approach to the guitar in comparison to Polyphia's intricately crafted, carefully choreographed fretboard masterpieces.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.