Transform Your Rhythm Chops With This Killer Riff

Transform your rhythm chops with this killer riff by The Who, Pinball Wizard, with Guitar Control instructor Darrin Goodman. Be sure to get the free tabs so you can easily follow along and transform your playing tonight!

pinball wizard riff


How’s it going everybody? This is Darrin with bringing you this video lesson. Today I’ve got another riff for you to kind of work with your rhythm and your strumming technique. So in the past I’ve done a couple of Doobie Brothers ones and things and that just seemed to really help and people really seem to dig them so I thought I’d do with this one too. So this is just like the beginning kind of main riff from Pinball Wizard by The Who. So be sure to click on the link in description for the tabs and let’s get close up and take a look.

Pinball Wizard Riff

All right so for this riff what we’re doing with your fretting hand is pretty simple. So we’re going to start off here and we’re just going to barre the seventh fret of all the strings, well sort of.

So start up here put your finger on the 7th fret and put your second finger onto the eighth fret of the G string and your third finger onto the ninth fret of the D string and your pinky finger onto the ninth fret of the G string. Now how I’m doing this is my first finger is picking up the low E string, the A string is muted and I’m getting the D, G, B and high E string. Now another way you can play this is that you could just barre like this and then use your thumb, but I have a difficulty using my thumb to play chords, so I just kind of avoid it whenever possible; so that’s just an alternative if you’re having trouble getting it. So you’re getting that string muted and now the strum for this is it’s pretty simple, it’s just it’s 16th notes on the first three beats; one e and a, two e and a, three and a, four and; so on beat four it’s just eighth notes. Now you don’t want it to just be one and a two e and a three and a four and one e, you’ve got to put these accents on there. So we play a whole measure of this and then you just remove your pinky finger for the other chord, for the second half and then the shape actually just starts moving down, we’ll get to that in a minute. So with the the strumming for this you put an accent on the downbeat of one and then you put the next one on the last sixteenth note of one and then the next one comes down on the third sixteenth note of beat two and then the second sixteenth note of beat three and then both eighth notes on beat four. So an easy way to think about it is that you have an accent and then two that aren’t accented and then an accent two that aren’t accent two that aren’t so it’s like every two strums you start with the with the accent and then you don’t for two and then you do the accent and then you don’t for two and just so on and so forth… and then both of the eighth notes on beat four are both accented. So you want to just first just start off, don’t worry about like moving your position, in fact just for the what I’m trying to relay to you with this you don’t even need to move it, but it can be kind of fun to do that after you get it down just to make it a little bit more interesting and then at the same time you’re kind of working with your fretting hand as well… so it’s like da da da da da da da… then it would just simply move down a whole step…; so now your first finger is barring the 5th fret and your second finger is on the 6th fret of the G string, your third finger is on the 7th fret of the D string and your pinky finger is on the 7th fret of the G string. Move down a whole step again…; now you’re barring the 3rd fret with your first finger, your second finger is on the 4th fret of the G string, your third finger is on the 5th fret of the D string and your pinky finger is on the 5th fret of the G string and then it is and then just ends on the on F sharp (F#) here on the second fret. So when you’re playing this you don’t want where you’re using your whole arm like that, you want to really kind of isolate this into your wrist, just like we did on that Doobie Brothers one, we kind of want to do the same thing here, we want to have your wrist loose, but putting in those accents… so you really want to try to keep it just like all in your in your wrist… So you can see I’m still moving my elbow here, I’m still using this part of my arm, but the majority of it is just in my wrist. If you’ve followed me for any length of time you’ve probably heard me talk about this about a million times, but that’s like a really key thing with playing is that you don’t want this like really stiff, you want everything to just kind of be loose and let your wrist do the majority of the work because it’s just a lot easier to get that that swing on there that way…


All right so there you have it. Not too terribly difficult to play, but again just a really good exercise riff for really developing your strumming and your technique for your strumming hand. So between this and the Doobie Brothers one and I’ve done a couple of them, I can’t remember even what the other riffs are right now off the top of my head, but that Doobie Brothers one’s like a really good one and I’m sure a lot of you guys have already seen that, but I’ll leave a link for that in the description so you can check it out.

So if you like this killer riff lesson be sure to give me a thumbs up and leave a comment down below if you have any questions about this riff or other guitar related topics. If you’ve not already done so please subscribe to the channel and hit that notification bell so you don’t miss any of the content that we upload throughout the week. I will also leave a link down in the description for a really cool chord chart that you can download for free from that I checked it out and it’s pretty good. You can print it out and it just has every different kind of chord voicing that you could ever really need for playing just about any style of music or genre. So download that and print it out; it’s a good helpful reference. Well that is all I have for you today. Thanks for watching Transform Your Rhythm Chops With This Killer Riff and have a great day.

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