“I find Les Pauls too heavy – they’re not comfortable to play! I just stick with the Yamaha models because of the sound and the relationship I have with them”: Matteo Mancuso talks tone, technique and Guthrie Govan’s key to improvising

Matteo Mancuso
(Image credit: Paolo Terlizzi)

No one has lit up the guitar community – excluding Nuno Bettencourt with his breathtaking Rise guitar solo last year – quite like Matteo Mancuso. The 27-year-old Sicilian released his first album, The Journey, last summer and would be the first to admit his life has become a bit of a blur ever since, from the onslaught of tutorial videos dissecting his fingerstyle method to ending up as the most talked about musician at this year’s NAMM Show.

And although it’s his technique that will undoubtedly be responsible for forging a lot of those unforgettable first impressions, hitting the same speeds Paul Gilbert and Al Di Meola are known for using just his fingers, it’s the sheer sense of musicality that makes his debut full-length such an electrifying listen from beginning to end. 

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Amit Sharma

Amit has been writing for titles like Total GuitarMusicRadar and Guitar World for over a decade and counts Richie Kotzen, Guthrie Govan and Jeff Beck among his primary influences as a guitar player. He's worked for magazines like Kerrang!Metal HammerClassic RockProgRecord CollectorPlanet RockRhythm and Bass Player, as well as newspapers like Metro and The Independent, interviewing everyone from Ozzy Osbourne and Lemmy to Slash and Jimmy Page, and once even traded solos with a member of Slayer on a track released internationally. As a session guitarist, he's played alongside members of Judas Priest and Uriah Heep in London ensemble Metalworks, as well as handled lead guitars for legends like Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols, The Faces) and Stu Hamm (Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, G3).