Nuno's Trick Bag - Lick Breakdowns

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Nuno's Trick Bag - Performance Nuno's Trick Bag - Backing Track

Ok, time to break things down a bit. In the intro, I just groove along with the backing track organ line to get things grooving along.

Then comes the first lick, labelled (duh) Lick 1 in the tab. This lick is very much in the style of Bettencourt, and variations on this type of lick has been with me since my teens, when I had my first close encounter with Nuno's playing. In this type of funk/rock, it is very effective to alter between the Minor and Major third, even if the key of the song is static in minor or major. Of course, I don't have to tell you this, but you should try this lick in any key, and in different note values (i.e in triplets, or layering another rhythm over the lick).

Also, I should note that my notated picking patterns might be very different from what feels natural and/or comfortable for you, specially since I tend to use a lot of inside-out picking patterns in these licks. For me that feels natural, but if you get it sounding better, and grooving better using some other approach, by all means please do! The thing with right hand picking (at least past the intermediate level) is that it should be something that happens naturally, you shouldn't have to think about what your right hand i sdoing ta all IMO. 

In Lick 2 I once again alter between major and minor, and throw in a chromatic passage as well. The main thing with funk/rock playing in general (and Nuno in particular) is that you CAN make chromatic stuff work just fine, as well as the above mentioned major/minor alterations. It's all about being able to make things rhythmically "in the pocket" and groovy. The sixteen note "gaps" in this lick is just as important as the notes played to make this happen!

In Lick 3, I use basically the same accents as in Lick 1, but this time incorporating it into a open-string pentatonic idea. Nuno often uses open strings in his playing, although mostly for faster legato-esq stuff.

In Lick 4, I couldn't help myself, but spiced things up with a hybrid picking pentatonic lick that alters between Dorian and Mixolydian. This tab is made in Guitar Pro 6, and in this version the right hand fingerings are added in the sheet music part of the notations (see the minute little lettering's next to some of the notes?)

Lick 5 is not really that much of a Nuno-lick either, but he has been known to rip out some pretty amazing blues-based stuff, especially live!

Lick 6 however, is a tapping lick, VERY much in the style of Nuno. My pentatonic tapping style was hugely influenced by Nuno when I first started out. I remember learning one single lick from one of his songs, and that lick (by force of constant alteration and really milking it) became the foundation for my entire tapping style. When you apply a conceptual approach with application, it's really amazing how much mileage you can get out of a single little lick or idea!  I end the lick by flowing along with the rhythm of the backing to take things down a notch before the outro comes along.

 

One thing to keep in mind, is that Licks 2, 4, 5, 6 all start on the 1&. I've opted to play them this way, since most of the time, guitar players have a tendency to always start their licks on the downbeat, and thus never learn to alter their licks according to groove. Try playing all the licks and tricks you already know, but move them an 8th note to start on the 1& instead, makes a huge difference in both the sound and playing feel of a lick!

And, with outro being the same as the intro, I close up Nuno's Bag of Tricks for this time =)

See you around guys and keep it groovy!