Brian May on Nuno Bettencourt’s guitar playing: “It’s so beautiful and it’s way out of what I could ever do”

The Queen guitarist was recently named as the Best Rock Guitarist Of All Time by Guitar World, but he’s not so sure that rankings really matter.

Brian May

Image: Aldara Zarraoa / Getty

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Queen guitarist Brian May has shared his admiration of Extreme’s Nuno Bettencourt, in an interview where the he shared his thoughts on being named as the Best Rock Guitarist Of All Time.

May was recently heralded at the GOAT of rock guitar by Guitar World, and in an interview on The Howard Stern Show, he shared that whilst he is incredibly flattered by the title, he doesn’t believe we can rank guitarists in terms of greatness.

“I take everything like that with a pinch of salt really, ‘cause you can’t say who’s best. The nice thing about guitar playing is that everybody’s different; you can’t really rank people. Of course I’ve got my favourites too but the fact that people put me in that position makes me smile,” he said.

May then went on to share some of his personal guitar heroes, which include Jeff Beck, Steve Vai, Eric Clapton and more. But there’s one guitarist he’s particularly enjoying right now: “There’s people I listen to everyday that do things that I could never do. Nuno, I listen to Nuno Bettencourt and I just smile because it’s so beautiful and it’s way out of what I could ever do. It doesn’t bother me, ‘cause I don’t feel in competition, I just love the guy and I love what he does.”

All in all, May doesn’t think playing guitar should be about proving anything, or being in competition with others. He believes Kurt Cobain is a great example of that: “There’s not a lot of technical stuff there and he didn’t work that hard at being technical and yet he gives us a legacy of some of the greatest guitar music of all time,” he said.

Watch more from the interview below:

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