Earlier this month, Extreme – the Boston hard-rock band featuring electric guitar legend Nuno Bettencourt – returned with Rise, their first new single in 15 years.
It had been a long time since we last heard Bettencourt really rip in the studio, and the guitar hero certainly rose to the occasion, capping the song off with a breathtaking solo that combines showmanship, tastefulness, flawless technique, and, above all, truly ridiculous speed.
The solo sounds like a statement – a line drawn dramatically in the sand. And that’s exactly what the Extreme guitarist intended.
“When Eddie Van Halen passed, it really hit me,” Bettencourt said at the time of the track’s release. “I’m not going to be the one who will take the throne, but I felt some responsibility to keep guitar playing alive. So, you hear a lot of fire on the record [Extreme’s forthcoming album, Six].”
In the aftermath of Rise‘s release, guitar YouTuber Rick Beato could hardly – he tells us in a new video – go a couple of hours without a friend or relative asking him if he had heard the song yet.
Once Beato finally did hear the song, he was compelled enough to break down its many intriguing guitar parts – including that crazy solo – for his viewers. You can watch Beato’s assessment below.
As Beato points out, Bettencourt channels his inner Eddie Van Halen a number of times in Rise, with EVH-esque whammy bar dive-bombs and tremolo picking.
The tune’s muscular drop D riff – as Beato notes – is powerful, but it’s the solo that’s got everyone talking. Beato’s tutorial particularly focuses on the lightning-fast, aggressive section anchored by Bettencourt’s unrivaled picking prowess.
Though he breaks Bettencourt’s incredible picking pattern down in great detail, and at low speed, Beato also sounds a note of caution to those looking to conquer the acrobatic display of lead acumen.
“It’s hard to play,” Beato – who is armed with his familiar Les Paul Special DC – points out, “and if you’re trying to play along, don’t practice it for too long because you’re going to get tendonitis. I think I got tendonitis just by trying to play it slowly!”
“There are a lot of great guitar players out there – you’ll see them on Instagram, you’ll see them everywhere – but 99 percent of the time they’re not playing as part of an actual song,” Beato concludes. “This [Bettencourt’s solo] is an old-school thing that we just haven’t heard in forever.”
“He’s just unbelievable – he’s the guy now, I think.”
Extreme’s Six – the band’s first LP since 2008’s Saudades de Rock – is set for a June 9 release via earMUSIC.
To preorder the album, visit Extreme’s website (opens in new tab).