Nuno Bettencourt

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Joined: 04/29/00
Posts: 267
Anyone know much about Nuno Bettencourt? I just bought the 1989 Extreme album - 'Play With Me' kicks ass! This guy is obviously up there. Any thoughts?
"When you're a young, long-haired guitarist, no one takes you seriously." - John Petrucci
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# 1
Registered User
Joined: 04/04/00
Posts: 527
Hey....Now, I'll admit I've never listened to Extreme of Nuno, but I know that many people seem to think of him as an overrated guitarist...Many people think he's not really that great and could easily be out done...I'm not saying this is what I think, nor that this isn' the end of the day, Nuno could most definitly burn my ass playing anyday, at the same time, he's had a lot more practise....
but anyway - just to sorta warn you that there may be some...urrrrr.....bad blood about should be alright at a forum like this, where people are alright towards other...just be careful on things like boards....those people a very, very ugly when they want to be....
Don't worry too much about me, ignore me long enough and I'll go away.
# 2
New Member
Joined: 06/07/00
Posts: 13
Yeah - I've heard similar things about Bettencourt. My room-mate has the Extreme II album, and although I don't like this kind of music at all, she does and I am forced to listen to it every once in a while.

What I do respect about Nuno is his ability to write some of the most funky-ass riffs I've ever heard. I've always thought that a lead break will sound 10 times better with a good rhythm guitar foundation behind it. Whether he considers this or it just comes naturally to him, i don't know...he's definately good at it though.

Peace -
# 3
Joined: 06/19/00
Posts: 35
Check out the Pornograffi album. it is really good, he was a great player with a new style at the time, hence he got alot of pub, man I was learning stuff from that album like almost 10 years ago, kind of odd to bring him up now, I hadn't heard much about Nuno in years. Check that album out, it is great!
# 4
New Member
Joined: 06/26/00
Posts: 1
Nuno is an amazing guitarist! People underestimate him. I have heard him play everything from the fastest picking run to the sweetest legato, from jazz to funk and he plays it better then just about anyone out there.
You would be hard pressed to find another guitarist that is as good as he is. Who cares if he got famous in the 80's? Does that make his playing irrelevant? NO! Listen to "Midnight" off of "Waiting for the punchline" or "Mutha (Don't want to go to school today)" off of the first Extreme cd. And on "Ponograffitti" listen to his version of "Flight of the Bumblebee" his is called "flight of the wounded bumble bee".
Or for that matter listen to the whole cd "Three sides to every story". You will not find another album in that genre as advantageous as that one. Period!
Nuno is a remarkable musician and I would put him up against anyone, anyday.

# 5
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 04/29/00
Posts: 267
I agree with you, but [cough] aren't we forgetting someone........V........A.......I.......
"When you're a young, long-haired guitarist, no one takes you seriously." - John Petrucci
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# 6
Steve Vai
New Member
Joined: 06/25/00
Posts: 5
You guys are too much. Always thinking about little old Stevie. Well, Nuno is an amazing guitarist, but the one thing that confuses me is that on many occasions people will call me a show off when I play fast. Well if you listen to any of Nuno's songs you know that he plays a lot faster than I do almost the whole way through his songs and he never gets called a show off. Two different styles doing different things I guess. But yes, Nuno is phenomenal.

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# 7
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 04/29/00
Posts: 267
People that call other people show off's do it because they can't do it themselves usually. It all has to do with the amount of fame and popularity. Nuno isn't as famous as other guitarists, and so I guess it can be seen as him trying to show what he can do. Vai and Satch, however, who are well established guitarists can be seen as show off's because they do the fast stuff over and over again when everyone knows they can do it.

I don't know.......just my 2¢
"When you're a young, long-haired guitarist, no one takes you seriously." - John Petrucci
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# 8
Senior Member
Joined: 06/23/00
Posts: 207
I think the question is really whether notes are wasted or not. For example, with Yngwie, I can't get into it musically. It just seems like the notes are there for the sole purpose of cramming as many notes as possible into a given period of time. When people say he shows off, I dont think it's cause they're jealous, like many Yngwie-heads would have you believe, I think its because they are recognizing that he often emphases difficulty of execution over the musical effect that the notes have. Even when he improvises, he never will step slightly out of the tonality, its all either chromatic, or totally scalar (i.e. no passing tones.)
People like satriani also get critiziced for showing off, and I never really understood that. For one, the fact that he uses legato gives his fast playing a much more fluid, less in your face sound, which I like, as opposed to the machine gun 200 bpm sixteenth note alternate picking. Also, most of the time he's playing very melodically, he's into catchy phrases, rather than mindless speed licks. Listen to his self titled album and just tell me it's self indulgent and not an interesting album. Try not to hum "morrocan sunset." Vai too, listen to a song like sisters, and try and find him "showing off" just once. The song didn't require any fretboard acrobatics, so he didn't put them in (and coincidentally, that's probably my favorite song of his.)
One thing i find interesting is that there are a lot of jazz players who are capable of playing as fast as most of your 80s metal players. However, when you listen to somebody like Jimmy Bruno, (one of the best jazz guitarrists around imho) it probably wouldn't even occur to you that he's trying to display his skill. Jimmy Bruno, unlike Yngwie, will often go through a whole song without any passages that are incredibly diffcicult technically. Then you listen to the next song, and theres maybe a five second run that shows you that with a day's notice he'd be able to put on a pair of spandex pants, whip out the hairspray, put a couple of pairs of socks in his trousers and shred with the best of them. He doesn't need to "show off" by playing fast all the time because he has a much better grasp of how to use chords in soloing, improvising using swing (leading/lagging the beat, as well as playing swing eigth notes) and playing over changes in a way that rock players don't. I'm not saying jazz is better than rock, I'm not one of those people. Like I said, there are lots of "shred" players I appreciate (the three from G3 are the ones i tend to listen to.) I'm just saying that playing fast doesn't have to be showing off. You're only showing off when you play something simply because you can play it fast, regardless of whether or not it is worth playing.
What bothers me is when people think that playing scalar passages and sweep arpeggios at 200 bpm is somehow the pinnacle of technical achievement just because its fast. There are country players who can do things with pick and fingers that no shred guitarrists can. Same goes for classical guitarrists with just their fingers. Also, listen to joe pass, he would fill up musical space in a way that simply can't be done using only a pick. For that reason he'll probably sound better unaccompanied than any non fingerstyle jazz/rock guitarrists.
I play with a pick, and I practice scales and sweep arpeggios with a metronome, i'm just like you guys. My point is, theres a lot more out there, and that nobody should ever think that they've mastered the guitar, because there's no such thing. No matter how good you are, (which means more than how fast you can play) theres always more to learn, theres always something that somebody else can do that you can't, even if you're John Petrucci/Steve Vai/(insert name of "guitar god" here.)
ps. Sorry I go on these rants, i get started and just cant stop
# 9
New Member
Joined: 12/31/02
Posts: 5
I've noticed that this hasn't been written in for a long time, hope somebody replies! i'm a bassist, but when i listen to Extreme, Nuno really inspires me. not only was he a phenominal guitarist, he played loads of other stuff and wrote some amazing stuff. if people think he's a show-off, or is just trying to show off his technical ability, check out his solo stuff, or his new band 'mourning widows'. i agree with the guy that said he can't get in to yngwie, i can't get into vai, satriani (unless with stu hamm) or yngwie without getting bored, but nuno has a really bad ass feeling about him. see yiz!
# 10
Dejan Sajinovic
Senior Member
Joined: 04/03/02
Posts: 652
Listen To HE MAN WOMAN HATER. That should change evryones mind who think that Nuno isn´t a master. They guy graduated from GIT and was offerd to teach there.

Dejan S. No speed limit
# 11
Senior Member
Joined: 12/22/02
Posts: 103
Nuno is not exactly from Portugal. He grew up on the small (11 X 18 mile island) of Terceira, in the Azores - When he married Suzi (Aussie singer from Baby Animals), in the Azores, He played a concert on the beach (right around the Extreme III time). He was pretty amazing. This was the first time I saw, and tried the N4 (he left a couple on the island). I finally picked one up last year.
...another toy, to help destroy, the elder race of man
# 12
Gear Guru
Joined: 01/18/01
Posts: 6,242
A guy who writes a song like "Hole Hearted" on 12-string gets my vote! :D

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# 13