Rock School: Famous Keyboard Parts: “Won’t Get Fooled Again”: Synth Intro

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A study of one of the most unique and interesting keyboard parts in rock history…

… composed and performed by Pete Townshend using some very inventive harmonic interplay along with some electronic wizardry in the studio…

This lesson comes in four parts: Frank Playing, Frank’s Transcription, Study-Practice-Performance Notes, and a Choreography Video. Let’s go!

Frank Playing…

 Frank’s Transcription…

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Study-Practice-Performance Notes

  • Technically, this is a fabulous etude in repeated chords. Watch the Choreography Video below to learn how to play without tension.
  • Compositionally, this is a great example of interesting patterns that are not easily explained by conventional theory.
  • It may look very complicated on the surface, but the ideas are quite simple.
  • Rhythmically, it is a relentless barrage of eighth notes.
  • Melodically, the right hand is an exploration of an A major penta-chord.
  • Harmonically, an enduring pedal point on A clearly establishes this in the key of A, but the middle voice keeps changing the mood. The note G suggests a mixolydian flavor, the note F suggests a minorish tonality, the note D suggests a suspension, and the note F# in the last two bars suggests a majorish tonality.
  • Using both your ears and your knowledge of music theory, study it until you hear and understand its essence and enjoy the results!

Choreography Video

Is anyone interested in a how-to video demonstrating the technique and choreography for playing this with freedom and ease? Comment below!

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