The Who Style

by Gabriel Leopardi

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  • Hi GMC!

    Welcome to my new lesson in which I will re-create and analyze the guitar style of The Who, an English rock band formed in 1964 by Roger Daltrey (Vocals), Pete Townshend (Guitar), John Entwistle (Bass) and Keith Moon (Drums).

    Music Style:
    The Who has been a legendary rock band that influenced lots of bands and musicians around the world. They started playing a mix of jazz and pop, combined with R&B sound, but they keep on evolving developing a very unique style. Their first albums combined those elements with really loud and powerful walls of guitars influenced by the apparition of Jimi Hendrix. With the pass of time and albums, they started to experiment more with their music, creating for some moments softer but richer music with the addition of synthesizers but without losing their “trade mark” loud guitar riffs. They moved from rocker pop songs and singles to more experimental conceptual albums.
    In this lesson I created a tune that includes rocker stuff, pop cadences and synthesizer sounds. The idea is to show an arrangement that reflects their more unique side. You will hear influences from their biggest hits like “Substitute”, “Baba o’Riley”, “My generation”, “I can’t explain” and many others.

    Tonality, Chord Progression & Scales:
    Pete Townshend once said that he was more limited technically than Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck, and that’s why he had that crazy attitude on stage, to stand out visually. His playing is not technical but his guitar work is very creative and is mostly based on power chords, seventh (major/minor) chords and suspended ones. If you check the tabs, you will notice that the main riff of this lesson is a chord riff melody based on moving the octave of D to the major seventh and then to the minor seventh. Their chord progressions were mostly based on their early influences, Rhythm and blues and Pop music. That’s why you will hear some I – IV – V movements as well as more Pop style progressions in order to get catchy melodies over them.

    This lesson is a great rhythm rock guitar tune that will be a great training for beginner intermediate guitarists that want to improve timing for riffing and chord shifting. The use of silence between chords and riff is also essential on this one as well as dynamics so please take time to these elements and notice how I use them as a very important part of the arrangement and interpretation.

    Tuning: I used standard 440 tuning.

    Tempo: 140 BPM

    I used LePou plugins to create the guitar tone. These are free amp emulators that are extremely recommend. The head used for this guitar tone is Poulin HyBrit which is a Marshall Emulation. Here you can check the setting that I used:

    Click HERE to download the patch used.

    Ok guys - it's time for some 70's rock!

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