Twenty One Pilots

by Gabriel Leopardi

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  • Hi GMC!

    Welcome to my new lesson covering something completely new and unexpected for a guitar site.

    In this lesson I will cover the style of Twenty One Pilots, one of the nowadays most popular bands that combines styles like rap, rock, pop, and reggae and that doesn't include guitars!! (?)

    “Twenty One Pilots (stylized as TWENTY ØNE PILØTS, short TØP) is an American musical duo originating from Columbus, Ohio. The band was formed in 2009 by lead vocalist and keyboardist Tyler Joseph along with former members Nick Thomas and Chris Salih, who eventually left in 2011, and currently consists of Joseph and drummer Josh Dun. The duo rose to fame in the mid-2010s, after several years of touring and independent releases. ” – Wikipedia


    Music Style:
    Twenty One Pilots bring a mix of piano (sometimes an electronic keyboard or a keytar), synthesizer, drums (sometimes mixed with electronic drums), vocals, and occasionally the ukulele. Their style is usually defined as a combination of electro pop, alternative rap, pop punk and reggae. In this lesson I've tried to recreate their most known style, inspired by their biggest hits. As this is a guitar site, I've decided to interpret their music and arrange it as if it would be based on guitar. The results is really fresh and creative and can be seen as an example of how you can get inspiration from different styles to create your own music.

    Tonality, Chord Progression & Scales:
    This tune is in E minor key. The whole idea is based on the same chord progression (C - Am - Em) repeated as a loop, so you'll find different ways and tricks to arrange those chords, using triads, riffs, rock rhythms, reggae rhythms, etc.

    Techniques:
    As this is not a guitar based band, the techniques used here are based on how I would arrange this style. The techniques covered on this lesson are strumming, down picking, reggae rhythm and picking arpeggios.

    Sound:
    I used LePoin plugins to create the guitar tone. These are free amp emulators that are extremely recommended. The cabinet used for this guitar tone is HyBrit which is a Marshall amp emulation. Check out the settings:




    I used Cubase to record audio and midi, superior drummer for drums and Trillian for bass.

    Tuning: Standard Tuning

    Tempo: 86 BPM



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