Michael Romeo from Symphony X

How great is this guys technique? Ultra fast and clean picking and amazing keyboard like tapping lines. One of my favourite players for sure. He has a very distinctive picking technique too, not sure how to describe it.


Truly amazing technique, some of the most relaxed and effortless from that time period. Always thought his technique held up better than that of someone like Petrucci, who seems to be more of an elbow picker these days.


Huge fan of Sir Romeo here. I know he’s kind of a “feel” guy despite being so technical and educated in music but I’d love to see some coverage on him down the road from Mr. Grady anyhow. I love his two-handed tapping lines where he does the string skips. In fact, I would love to see a magnet close-up of his right hand positioning for these sorts of tapping lines. It’d be killer to see exactly where his hands rest to get such clean muting.


Romeo shreds :sunglasses:


Yea, I dig Michael Romeo, his playing is incredible. Breathtaking technique, and super melodic as well.


Yeah he’s amazing, I love his legato too, it’s very Holdsworthian.

When it comes to hearing to hearing heavy metal lead guitar-playing that steps into the realm of “non-conventional”, Romeo is definitely my go-too. Astounding phrasing! The solos in “Egypt” and “Inferno” and the trades during “Of Sins and Shadows” never cease to amaze. “The Relic” (sadly hard to find on YouTube) also has a really cool exotic solo over an odd meter. I transcribed that song for keyboard and played it at a recital when I was in music school.

A cover of said solo by a pretty talented player:


The Sea of Lies tapping part is ridiculous. I’d love to see Troy break that down.

yeah it’s crazy. Romeo does a load of hammering on from nowhere in his playing. Some of his descending arpeggios are completely tapped with his left hand.

1 Like

Herman Li from DragonForce does that a lot too, Romeo is one of his favorite players.

1 Like

Check this out:

He actually shows and explains his picking technique!


Here is a link the PDF that goes with it as well.

Here is the Japanese notation for fret hand fingering.
人 = index finger
中 = middle finger
薬 = ring finger
小 = pinky finger


I would love for this to be true but how do you know for sure that Romeo does a lot of hammer ons from nowhere?

I transcribed Michael Romeo’s Guitar Chapter a while ago (it’s a little more accurate than the booklet from YG :wink: )

I agree with @aliendough that Romeo does a lot of “hammer from nowhere” or left-hand tapping techniques, even in arpeggios without sweep picking (usually descending forms). I guess my evidence is just a lot of observation.

1 Like

I’ll check out the transcription for sure! But even through observation how can you tell it’s a hammer on from nowhere? I’m not doubting you I just would like to know how to pick that up because I am still trying to master the hammer from nowhere haha

Well look at bar 79 of the soundslice transcription, from the Of Sins and Shadows solo. He does a long sequence descending all strings and back up, without using the pick at all. The right hand is moving just enough to mute the strings he’s not playing, but there’s no pick attack. Very sneaky :wink:

Ok I will def check that out when I get to my Pc. Makes me more excited to practice that technique. It’s just so awkward to start a long run without picking you know? Like to go hammer and then pick it’s weird haha just more practice I guess haha

Hi Carranoj25.

As @LuckyMojo says, my evidence just comes from watching a lot of Romeo playing guitar. He uses quite a bit of legato in his solos.

In his “Betcha Cant Play This” lick, he uses a load of hammer ons from nowhere -

Watch his right hand from about 20 seconds on, he is articulating all of those notes with his left hand while his right hand is just muting the strings and getting ready to tap.

Don’t forget, he uses 10s and tunes down a whole step, so that would make it a lot easier for him to do.