Nuno Bettencourt on strap height: “The real secret is the lower you go, the more you suck”

“Come on Tosin, too high — we call that the Berklee setting,” he joked.

Nuno Bettencourt of Extreme

Image: David Wolff – Patrick / Getty Images

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Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt has revealed how he really feels about strap height in a recent conversation with Herman Li.

“As guitar players the real secret is the lower you go, the more you suck — the sloppier you are,” Bettencourt told the DragonForce co-founder. “When you sit down it’s like heaven.”

Discussing the trade off between ease of play and looking cool with a low strung guitar, Nuno joked that fellow Generation Axe alumni Tosin Abasi’s (famously) higher strap height is what he calls the “Berklee Setting”.

“Come on Tosin, too high — we call that the Berklee setting. You got to lower it,” he recounted. “It’s not even a joke but I decide — I make a conscious decision — to play at least 20 to 30 percent worse just from having the guitar look like that,” Bettencourt explained.

“You know how I know I’m right? Go look at any Extreme footage where you see me rocking out and then a solo comes up and you’re like, ‘Why is Nuno putting his leg up on the monitor and then having his guitar up?’ It’s not because it looks cool like Iron Maiden with your leg up on the monitors. It’s because it’s easier to play the damn solo, that’s why.”

“So the harder ones I put my leg up there on the monitor,” he continued. “I gave my secret away — dammit!”

Check out the full interview below.


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