At 27, Mateus Asato has already performed with renowned artists such as Tori Kelly, Jessie J and Bruno Mars. On top of that, he has not one, but two Suhr signature guitars and a few other custom products bearing his name. Originally from Brazil, Asato attended the famed Musicians Institute in Los Angeles in 2013 before rising to prominence through his content on Instagram and YouTube.
Asato’s guitar playing is incredibly lyrical and melodic, which lends a vocal-like sound to his phrasing. Combined with great technique and mastery of the guitar, Asato executes fast lines that complement his style and add a real sense of excitement.
His picking combines both alternative and economy styles as well as hybrid and traditional fingerstyle technique for softer timbre and smoother dynamics. It is this incredible mastery of the instrument and his natural sense of musicality that has led him to play with some of the biggest stars in the music industry.
Asato’s early influences were great shredders such as Steve Vai and John Petrucci. However, it was when he discovered John Mayer and Jimi Hendrix, and fingerpickers like Andy McKee, that Mateus began to find his own guitar voice. His influences and his own musical ability helped him forge a lyrical and emotive guitar style, but also fused with lightning-fast strokes and flavorful vibrato.
Mateus Asato’s guitar sound is also beautiful. He varies the drive depending on the situation, but never exaggerates. Even when playing clean, it adds a touch of gain for extra sustain. A touch of reverb and delay gives a feeling of space and depth.
For this month’s piece, I used a light overdrive, which goes from a fairly clean sound to a light crunch depending on the attack of the pick. A short delay and a bit of reverb round out this sound beautifully. Mostly Asato uses a neck single coil which gives it an element of warmth without being too muddy, so I took the same approach.
In the examples and study piece, I have included many facets of Asato’s style, such as single-string melodies and slides, diatonic 6ths and 10ths, double stops, and fast pentatonic leads . So why not add some of Masato’s energy and beauty to your game? I removed any brand of vibrato to encourage you to find your own voice by experimenting with different approaches and sensations.
Get the tone
Amp Settings: Gain 3, Bass, 4, Middle 6, Treble 7, Reverb 6
A single-coil neck pickup with some light overdrive for sustain will be a good starting point, along with some reverb and delay. Using your guitar’s volume control to reduce gain can be a very useful tool, especially if, like Asato, you don’t like your rhythm tone to be 100% clean; this means you can use your volume pot positions to cover all the bases.