Released in November of 1971 as the second single off their Who's Next album, "Behind Blue Eyes" is pretty much two songs in one. The first half is a haunting and introspective acoustic ballad full of beautiful arpeggiated picking sequences around a gorgeous chord progression.
The second half is a full on rock anthem with big guitars and solos all over the place. In this Behind Blue Eyes guitar lesson, we will learn both of them note-for-note.
One quick note, the original recording is slightly sharp. The song is in standard tuning, but the slightly sharp tuning might be a studio effect or the result of analog recording. In any case, following along with the original recording might sound a tad bit off unless you raise your overall tuning about 25 cents.
The arpeggio picking patterns used throughout a lot of the acoustic section can vary slightly every time through the verse. So instead of working you through each verse individually, I will instead show you the basic patterns that Pete Townsend is picking in these sections, so you can do your own thing with it just like he does. It would be difficult to get the picking exactly like the original recording for even Pete himself. It is more about the arpeggio picking effect than anything else and if you understand how to do it correctly, you can sound just like the album.
After the arpeggio picking section comes the fully strummed part. These are just basic chords here with a very laid back strumming pattern. That strumming pattern is brought to a climax toward the end of the section with some quick 16th note bursts. I will show you how to perform those the right way in the video lesson.
In the second video we will tackle all of the electric guitar parts including the solos towards the end. This section of the song is classic Pete Townsend! Have fun!
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