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Tech Session


Issue #29


Guitar Interactive welcomes George Marios to the team - with a blistering Tech Session on the one and only Nuno Bettencourt!

Today we're taking a look at the style of one of the funkiest, most tasteful guitarists and songwriters of the last 30 years, Nuno Bettencourt.

Today we're taking a look at the style of one of the funkiest, most tasteful guitarists and songwriters of the last 30 years, Nuno Bettencourt.

Nuno, mostly known for his work with funk/rock pioneers Extreme, is renowned for his great melodic runs, interesting percussive patterns and mind blowing chops. His solos, as well as his rhythm playing, have excellent narrative and always are very well constructed.

In this piece, we will be focusing on his lead playing attributes, however, you will find that your funk rhythm playing will improve after practicing the piece too, because, as I say, Nuno is a very percussive lead guitar player!

A very important thing to keep in mind working on this piece is to try and stay relaxed when performing. The style of music is very much founded in groove and it is important to be at a place where you can deliver the song without having to think too much about the challenging parts. Starting slow will definitely help, as well as isolating the parts that give you a hard time.

Nuno is a master performer and he will play the most mind blowing lines without busting a sweat…that’s what you want!

Give it time, be patient and you will get there.

Let’s take a look at what’s going on in the track:

Bar 1-4: The piece takes off with a Nuno-esque string skipping funky line, followed by a rapid diminished palm muted run, leading into some horn type lines.

If you are new to this style of playing, it would be good to practice riffing using adjacent string before attempting the five string leap of the original lick.

Bar 4-8: The band kicks in and we are greeted by some catchy, melodic lines very similar to iconic solos in songs like ‘Get the Funk out’. In bar eight we can find the trademark Nuno tapping triad lick, over an F and a G chord.

Bar 9-12: The solo carries on and here we can find some of the trademark, palm muted, pentatonic runs that are very widespread in Nuno's playing. That fact that he tends to hammer on strings without picking them, combined with the palm muting technique creates a cool percussive effect.

Bar 13-16: This is probably one of the most challenging parts of the piece. It covers Nuno’s mind blowing palm muting technique, which like I said before, adds to the percussive element of his sound.

Make sure to isolate the riffs, practice them slowly and gradually speed up once everything sounds good at a certain tempo.

Bar 17-20: In bar 17-18, we can find some lines inspired by Nuno’s rhythm guitar playing. He does tend to include little riffs as part of solos, something that helps bring variation to the sound, as well as emphasise the groove of the tune. The two final bars of the piece will give you a nice little technical workout!

They are very much inspired by Nuno’s flawless legato technique and his ability to connect lines using clever licks. Once again, isolate the parts you find hardest, practice slow and speed up gradually.

I highly recommend getting any Extreme record, as it's a great source of inspiration in terms of songwriting and guitar playing, crafted beautifully by one of the greatest.

Saudamos Nuno!

Introducing George Marios

George Marios is a London-based songwriter/session guitarist and tutor, who moved to the UK in the age of 17 to pursue music and study at LCM.

While studying, George became a Lick Library contributor through attending Guitar Idol and simultaneously became very active in the local studio session scene.

George has worked with EMI,Urban Development, Animal Farm Records, BBC, award winning producer Ian Grimble and Jeff Calvert, as well as artists like Frances Wood (Voice), Kitty Brucknell (X Factor), Olly Jacob and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

His tutoring experience includes hosting workshops in the UK, Germany, Greece and the USA, as well as running the Guitar Getaways course, previously run by the likes of Pat Martino and Nick Kellie.

George’s songwriting can be heard in London based Pop/Prog act KODY, in which he is also the lead singer and producer.

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