More Than Words Guitar Lesson – Extreme

When "More Than Words" the acoustic smash hit by Extreme was released in 1990, it marked a big departure for a band that was known mostly for it's fast funk metal stylings.

Regardless of that fact, "More Than Words" shot straight to No.1 on the charts. I remember that year well, "More Than Words" was all over the radio. You couldn't escape it if you tried. 🙂 Luckily, Extreme was one of my favorite bands so it didn't bug me at all.

In this More Than Words guitar lesson I am going to show you how to play the entire song note-for-note. By the entire song I mean the album version not the radio edit. The album version contains an extended ending that not only contains some gorgeous arpeggio based guitar lines and nice harmony vocals, but also a death defying tapping sequence as well. Woah, where did that come from?? 🙂

In order to get through all of the sections of  "More Than Words" and do it the right way, it required quite a long lesson. Feel free to go through it section by section coming back to the video everyday until you have each part memorized.

I usually start each section in the lesson by going through the individual chords that make up each chord progression. From there we focus on the picking hand techniques or patterns. I feel that this is the best way to tackle the individual sections without feeling overwhelmed.

Technically, this More Than Words guitar lesson is around an intermediate level except for the tapping part at the end. That tapping part is quite advanced especially since it is performed on an acoustic.

Feel free to just take the parts you want and avoid the ending. You can simply play the radio edit, all of those parts are still taught in this lesson and it is also the version most people recognize, so most likely no one will know you skipped the hard stuff. 🙂

Besides being a nice exercise for chords, this More Than Words guitar lesson is a great rhythm study. That is actually one of the coolest aspects of Nuno Bettencourt's playing, his rhythm skills.

Nuno keeps a steady pulse throughout the song with percussive hand slaps on the strings every other beat. This may take some getting used to at first, but after you get it down it will actually feel like it helps propel you through the chords. It is kind of hard to explain until you experience it, but whenever you lock into a groove, it just seems that the hands work a bit more seamlessly. Everything just feels like it makes more sense.

So don't rush through learning how to play the solid rhythmic groove of "More Than Words". Mastering that will help you immensely in learning the entire song much faster.

OK have fun guys!!


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More Than Words Guitar Lesson - Extreme


  1. Luisa Sepulveda on July 30, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    Hi Carl,
    can I get the chords of this song?

    • Luisa Sepulveda on August 12, 2015 at 1:43 pm

      Cri … Cri…

  2. george kerr on March 9, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    Another great acoustic song that is a workout is Midsummer’s Daydream by Triumph/Rik Emmitt.

  3. jim brien on March 19, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    Hey Carl,
    Great lessons!!
    I would also love it if you did a lesson for Rik Emmitt’s Midsummer’s Daydream.

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