Michael Angelo Batio
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Michael Angelo Batio

Lisle, Illinois, United States | INDIE

Lisle, Illinois, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Cover Band


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"Spotlight Exhibit: Michael Angelo Batio"

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Spotlight Exhibit: Michael Angelo Batio

Monday, February 13: 3:11 p.m.

Posted by Rock Hall

Michael Angelo Batio and his famous double-guitar in the Rock Hall's Right Here Right Now! exhibit
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Chicago native Michael Angelo Batio is a guitar virtuoso, renowned in heavy metal circles and beyond for his fretwork dexterity, combining a signature blend of showmanship and technical precision. Although the Eighties and early Nineties found him on lead guitar in metal acts Holland and later Nitro, Batio's first experiences as a young musician came in front of a piano, and it was jazz guitar that first captured his interest – and soon highlighted his innate prowess.

On February 10, 2012, Batio visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, where his signature Dean Guitars "Jet" double-guitar is currently displayed as part of the Right Here, Right Now! exhibit. Here, the Rock Hall catches up with the virtuoso shredder to learn more about his influences and inspirations, and the origins of his unique guitar.

Rock Hall: When did you first start playing guitar and was it something that came naturally?

Michael Angelo Batio: I started playing the guitar at age 10. I started playing the piano at age five. Music just came naturally to me. But, I always loved to practice and work to get better. I still love to practice and learn new things.

RH: Who are some of your guitar heroes?

MAB: I have many, in many different genres of music. Here is a list of a few of the guitarists that have influenced me: Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Frank Zappa, Al DiMeola, Robert Fripp, George Bensen, Django Reinhardt and Steve Howe. There are many, many more.

RH: What are some of your favorite guitar solos of all time and what about them do you love?

MAB: I define a great, classic solo as one that you have to play virtually note for note in order to make the song sound "right." Examples of this would be the ending solo to [Led Zeppelin's] "Stairway to Heaven," [Lynyrd Skynyrd's] "Freebird," [Deep Purple's] "Highway Star," [Guns 'N Roses']"Sweet Child O' Mine" and again, many more. Each one of those solos "speaks" to me and in a language that I feel is universal. I wrote a song called "No Boundaries" that presently has over 20,000,000 views on YouTube. It seems to have "struck a chord" with Rock guitarists. There are numerous versions online of guitarists playing "No Boundaries," very closely, literally note for note, to the way I wrote the song. I am honored and glad that the song has found a place in music history.

RH: Where did the idea for the double-guitar come from?

MAB: I wanted to do something on the guitar that had never been done. Not to be "better or "cooler" than other guitarists, but to be different. I wanted to invent a new type of guitar and invent a new way to play the guitar. I accomplished those goals. I am left handed, but first learned to play the guitar right handed. Again, I play the piano. I found that it was easy for me to play the guitar left handed, so I started drawing different guitar designs until one resembled what I currently play.

RH: When you first pitched the idea to an instrument manufacturer/luthier, what was the reaction?

MAB: I approached Dean Guitars with the idea first. Dean Guitars built the very first double-guitar. I explained my idea, had specific ideas as to how it was to be built and they took it seriously. I was in a band at the time that was signed to a major label, so Dean Guitars knew that I was a viable artist. I still play and endorse Dean Guitars. I am a Dean Guitars fanatic!

RH: How long did it take you to master playing the double-guitar?

MAB: It took about six months for me to get the courage to actually start working with the double-guitar. I made a list asking several questions – what are the possibilities of this double-guitar and how many different ways are there for my hands to be positioned to play it? I answered those questions and then started writing solos for the double-guitar that incorporated those ideas.

RH: What advice would you give to budding guitarists?

MAB: I have a degree in music theory and composition from North Eastern University. I am a huge proponent of education. I also feel like I have a second music degree – a degree from Rock and Roll University! I got this one by moving to Los Angeles, being the proverbial struggling, starving musician, then getting signed to a major record label and “making it” in music. My advice to any aspiring musician is to “finish what you start.” I finished college. I release albums and DVDs, major works of art – meaning that I have “finished” them. I did not stop working until I got signed to a major record company. I did not stop working after I got signed to a major label. To me, it is about a strong work ethic and to never quit.

While visiting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Batio explained the unique construction and jazz inspiration for his double-guitar.

Categories: Exhibit, Spotlight Exhibit

Tags: guitarist, heavy metal, Michael Angelo Batio, Right Here Right Now

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Comments (5)

Congrats MAB! You deserve every ounce of recognition.

Det. Shred

Drew | Tuesday, February 14: 10:24 a.m.

Congrats MAB!

fullshred | Tuesday, February 14: 1:30 p.m.

It's fitting that Michael Angelo Batio called his most well-known piece "No Boundaries". Every weapon in the guitar-slinger's arsenal is brought to bear in a 4-minute blitzkrieg which highlights both sheer tecohnical brilliance and a talent for melody. Over the course of his 20-plus years on the scene, MAB has delivered music of extraordinary variety and note-for-note clarity. From "Holiday Strings", an acoustic album of Christmas standards, through his work with Nitro and C4 (which any Van Halen fan will adore) to his series of instrumental releases highlighting his compositional abilities and ear for melody, his is a career which knows No Boundaries. The double-guitar is more than a mere stunt - it enables new sounds and harmonies which were hitherto impossible. Always played live, it is a stunning visual experience as well as a cool sound. MAB and his double guitar deserve their place in the pantheon of musical innovators and innovations.

Andy Sedgley | Wednesday, February 15: 3:15 a.m.

Congratulations Mike! You worked hard for this and glad you got the recognition you deserve.

Susan | Saturday, February 18: 9:43 a.m.

Congrats MAB. I wonder who made the guitar?

Les | Monday, February 20: 3:04 p.m.

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Still working on that hot first release.



Michael Angelo Batio - 2012 Bio synopsis

Michael is one of the originators and pioneers of the entire “Shred” Guitar genre. Michael showcased guitar techniques and innovations, for the first time, on his early instructional programs as well as in live performances, that are now considered “standard techniques” among guitarists throughout the entire world.

Michael invented and was the world’s first player of the Double-Guitar.

One of Michael’s Dean Double-Guitars called the “Jet” Double-Guitar is on permanent display and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum on February 2nd, 2012.

Michael invented his signature stage move called the “MAB Over-Under” technique.

MAB Awards and Accolades


Voted one of the Top 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists of All Time!
Guitar World Magazine (Tony Iommi, Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix are among the Top 100 chosen)

Michael WON the Guitar World Magazine 15th annual readers choice award in the BEST SHREDDER category. Paul Gilbert placed second, Buckethead third, John 5 fourth and finally Herman Li and Sam Totman. The article appeared in the April 2009 issue.

In November 2011, Michael won the Guitar World Magazine readers choice award and was voted the “Fastest Guitarist of All Time.” Over 440,000 votes were cast!

Michael’s “Hands Without Shadows – A Tribute to Rock Guitar” multi media show debuted in Las Vegas in September 2011. The “MAB HWS” Show will be touring all over the world in 2012.
Michael was voted one of the “Top 20 Greatest Guitarists in Chicago history”
IE (Illinois Entertainer)

When MAB was in college and taught guitar privately, Tom Morello from “Rage Against the Machine” was his student.

Michael has toured in 52 countries!

Michael has over 75,000,000 views on YouTube.

Below is a link to MAB’s Double- Guitar YouTube video – 8.7 million views.


Below is a link to Michaels “Speed Kills” video – 10.7 million views.


Michael’s original Dean Double-Guitar was placed in Chicago Hard Rock Cafe in 1988 and is now on display in the Tampa, Florida Hard Rock Casino .

Michael’s “Speed Kills” DVD series is one of the best selling and most famous guitar instructional programs in the world.

Michael has toured with and worked with bands and band members from Aerosmith, KISS, Quiet Riot, Whitesnake, Pink, Survivor, Creed, Alter Bridge and many more.

MAB quotes

“The most blazing guitarist on the planet!” Guitar World, Magazine

Laser guided fretwork and the fastest of fingers: Mr. Angelo is practically a god. Seriously"! Total Guitar Magazine in the UK

“More machine than man”! Guitar One Magazine

Guitar World Magazine voted Michael’s “Speed Kills” DVD one of the top 75 best, must have guitar DVDs of all time!

Guitar World called Michael’s “Speed Kills” DVD: “The ultimate face-melting instructional DVD.”

“Michael Angelo Batio, the world’s fastest guitarist and inventor of the mind-boggling double guitar...” Guitar World Magazine