“Sometimes it’s not really about complexity. There are some jazz tunes that are incredibly simple like AC/DC”: How Matteo Mancuso is redrawing the frontier for guitar and unlocking the fretboard one chord at a time

Matteo Mancuso playing a Yamaha Revstar
(Image credit: Paolo Terlizzi)

Matteo Mancuso is one of the most astonishing young guitar players on the planet. The jazz virtuoso’s flawless electric guitar skills and jaw-dropping fingerstyle techniques were first observed by thousands on YouTube and Instagram, before his debut album The Journey made him one of the most talked about players of 2023. 

He’s won the admiration of masters like Al Di Meola, Joe Bonamassa and Tosin Abasi, and Steve Vai has declared the future of guitar to be safe, so long as people like Mancuso are around to keep the evolutionary wheels turning. 

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Ellie Rogers

Since graduating university with a degree in English, Ellie has spent the last decade working in a variety of media, marketing and live events roles. As well as being a regular contributor to Total Guitar, MusicRadar and GuitarWorld.com, she currently heads up the marketing team of a mid-scale venue in the south-west of England. She started dabbling with guitars around the age of seven and has been borderline obsessed ever since. She has a particular fascination with alternate tunings, is forever hunting for the perfect slide for the smaller-handed guitarist, and derives a sadistic pleasure from bothering her drummer mates with a preference for “f**king wonky” time signatures.