This week's "Lick of the Week" comes from one of my favorite guitar players on the planet, the incredible Nuno Bettencourt.
Nuno Bettencourt's guitar style combines an incredible sense of rhythm with virtuosic displays of many advanced techniques, all wrapped up in a highly melodic and inspiring guitar style.
One of his signature moves involves the lick we are going to study today. It uses hammer-ons that start with an open string followed by two fret hand notes. This is performed with a lot of string muting which allows us to not only control the feel of the strings better, but also helps the notes sort of pop out at you a bit more.
The key here is to work on repeating the pattern in just one spot first before moving it around through the scale. The pattern itself is just 6 notes, but by repeating those 6 notes in rapid succession you can create an almost hypnotic affect.
Then, as the lick is moved throughout the scale it becomes not only a very melodic musical device to use, but also highly unpredictable. But, Nuno Bettencourt style hammer-ons are no joke. You have to try and keep the timing of the hammer-ons very precise for this lick to be effective.
You can find this sort of lick within a lot of Nuno Bettencourt's lead and rhythm playing and in both his acoustic and electric guitar work. It is just one of the many signature tricks that he has up his sleeve, all of them very effective.
Perhaps Nuno's greatest quality as a player is the fact that he always seems to have a killer groove going. Just the attitude in his playing alone would inspire legions of guitar players.
OK OK, I will shut up about how much I love Nuno Bettencourt's playing now. 🙂
Don't forget to "Grab the TAB" for this video lesson from the link below.
So lets see what you can do with this lick. After mastering it, try creating your own musical licks using the same pattern. I think you will find it to be a very inspiring and completely fresh sounding musical device that can be used in limitless musical situations.
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