Nuno Bettencourt - Play with me solo arpeggios picking patterns

Hi everyone,

I’m finding it impossible to work out the picking pattern for these arpeggios:

The first arpeggio section starts at 0:35

Then there’s the second part starting at 0:45

Looking around online there’s lots of people playing it differently, some with hammer-ons from no where and some where most of it’s picked. I’ve tried the tabs I’ve found online but none of them felt or sounded right.

At the moment I’m leaning towards that there are no hammer-ons from no where and that it’s just a combination of legato and picking with some heavy muting.


This clip is a mime, but the picking is accurate to the live performances, including those from the Prime Nuno era in the '90s. It’s cool how little picking is actually involved, and how much of the aggro sound actually comes from muted hammers:

Also, as you can see very clearly in this clip and many others, Nuno is a textbook reverse dart thrower player with lots of DSX happening. The best place to learn how to do that is right here, with 9 new updated lessons as of yesterday!


Thank you so much for this Troy, I can immediately tell that this is right. Brilliant stuff :smiley:

A post was merged into an existing topic: Pickslanting Primer Update! Getting Started With Super-Efficient Wrist Picking Motion

Plenty of legato in this old video here!

solo starts around 3:25

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It is a delightful solo, I need to learn it.

He’s playing along with a recording?! Just like everything CtC-related, I would have never been able to discover any of it by myself.

Either that or it’s multiple takes and only one of them is the real audio, because there are all kinds of weird cuts and zooms in there that don’t really line up.

Not a problem, the guy has played this live, and very well, probably more times than I’ve played a G chord so he’s allowed! I saw them at Toad’s Place, a small club in Connecticut, in 1991 and he nailed it.


“It’s cool how little picking is actually involved, and how much of the aggro sound actually comes from muted hammers”

That sounds EXACTLY like an old friend of ours! As you and others helped me learn, these very words apply to Edward Van Halen perfectly!

curious how some of yalls left hand would look with the string skips? i have 6 to 9 on the G then 5 to 9 on the high E. the speed isnt the issue for me. It’s left hand tension and excess noise when lifting a finger to go from G to high E. I can do it a bit sloppily a couple different ways, but my brain or hands havent settled on an optimal way yet.

I hope everybody will forgive my stupid question about the TAB. Let’s look at the 4th (upstroke hits B string) and 5th (downstroke hits G string) notes. If Nuno is only DSX, I presume that the upstroke has to hit the B string, swipe across the G string, and rest on the D string, so it is ready for the downstroke to hit the G string. Does he do this type of thing?! Or is it merely a double-escaped motion?

I wish that I could see these kinds of things like some people here can, but there is no way!

PS: The reason that I ask is that I thought of a swipe as “sweep across a muted string, the string to sound, and (optionally) rest on the next string.” I never realized that one might also “sweep across the string to sound, a muted string, and (optionally) rest on the next string.”

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He’s not only DSX, he’s mainly DSX. From his arm position he can do any motion. However his pick attack is most suited for DSX string changes, or descending outside picking, so this is mostly what you see in his playiong.

Here’s the real answer: don’t worry about this. People on the forum are mechanics nerds who ask me these questions and I answer them, but trying to think through these things is not a good way to learn how to play his lines. If you want to learn Nuno’s technique you can just watch the reverse dart thrower tutorials because that is the setup he uses. You don’t need in-depth technical knowledge to follow those lessons or get your hand moving.

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It could be swiping or efficient DBX. Triplets at 200 is the same speed as 16ths at 150 which is out of reach for string hoppers, I’d think. I can play clean DBX for phrases that necessarily require it (on a good day I can play a few clean reps of the Gilbert lick, with a string skip on the isolated string’s note, inside picked as sextuplets at 120-- can’t really cleanly swipe that without audible noise) but on isolated 1nps sequences (especially outside picked ones and especially playing with distortion) I can feel myself swiping the hell out of them and it sounds really clean.

With all that in mind there’s no real way to tell whether or not he’s swiping. I’d just focus on getting that sequence sounding clean, and it’s entirely possible your pursuit of that will subconsciously result in some DBX-like motion that still swipes but lifts a bit to make the swipe inaudible. If you want to play unswipeable phrases (like said inside picked string skip Gilbert sextuplets) then you will develop clean DBX motion from that but many clean ass pickers, like MAB, also subconsciously swipe sequences like that to simplify them.