Paulo Arthur Mendes Pupo Nogueira was born on October 8, 1929, in Campinas, a city near São Paulo. He began playing the guitar at the age of eleven with the help of his father and two brothers. His professional life as a guitarist began in São Paulo in 1952, where he played on the radio and in nightclubs.
His first recording, an LP called A Vox do Violão was released in 1958. As of 1998, he has recorded 25 more albums with the best of Brazilian music played in his unique and original style. Some of his finest recordings are: Antologia do Violão (1976), an anthology of Brazilian guitar music; O Fin do Violão (0), a collection of his finest guitar arrangements; Retrospectiva Tom Jobim (1981), with 12 Jobim songs arranged for guitar and Tons e Semitons (1986), a collection of his original instrumental pieces.
He started giving guitar lessons in 1964, and among his pupils at that time was the now world famous Toquinho. From 1965 to 1967 he performed on television on the most important music program at that time. In 1968, he would combine his experience as a teacher and player in the Paulinho Nogueira Method for Guitar and Other Harmonic Instruments, which is still a best seller, being reprinted more than 20 times. In 1990, he recorded a set of five video lessons about harmony and guitar solos.
Besides being a great guitarist, Paulinho was also a skilled singer, song-writer, and designer. In 1970 his song Menina, sung by himself, reached the top of all the charts in Brazil, France, and Italy. By this time, he had also designed an original 12 string instrument called the craviola, which was manufactured in Brazil and exported to many countries.
Paulinho Nogueira passed away at his home in São Paulo on August 2, 2003 at the age of 73.