The Who: Pinball Wizard
Play rhythm guitar like Pete Townshend and nail his strumming patterns. Just be sure to keep a supple wrist!
Pete Townshend’s rock opera Tommy produced this classic track, which was a huge hit for the band in 1969. From just one strum, the song is instantly recognisable and it showcases Townshend’s formidable rhythm guitar talent.
Townshend uses over 20 chords in Pinballwizard but don’t panic because they boil down to just a handful of shapes. The iconic Bsus4 to B chord shapes repeat across the fretboard in a descending sequence. Learn these two shapes and you’ve got most of the track covered.
Once you hit the strumming pattern in bar 10, you’ll need a good deal of stamina to maintain it, making Pinball Wizard a great track for developing your rhythm technique. Practise slowly and make sure to only step the tempo up once you can play confidently and without any mistakes.
Pay close attention to the accented strums (marked with a ‘>’ symbol). These give the rhythm its all important sense of groove.