One of the under-sung but most talented guitarists of his generation, Townshend is often overlooked in favour of contemporaries Clapton, Page, Beck and Hendrix and really only accorded star status for his genius songwriting.
But as well as giant Gibson or Rickenbacker-fuelled chords, huge windmill rhythm guitar and tasty incidental licks, he is a masterful acoustic picker and has recorded some simply beautiful tracks on six and 12-string flat-top.
We have chosen what we consider his finest self-accompanied song, the wonderful Sunrise from the 1967 album The Who Sell Out, as a transcription for the current Guitar Techniques. (Issue 172, on sale 5th November.)
Played on 12-string, you can still sound great on a six or indeed on a clean electric, with a bit of chorus to emulate the 12-string shimmer.
It's tricky in places but Richard Barrett has done a beautiful and accessible job of transcribing it. If you sing too, you'll find this one of the most rewarding songs you've ever learnt. Originally written for his mother, Sunrise is a delicate and poignant piece that would grace the repertoire of any singer-guitarist.
Check out this video to hear the original, then get this month's GT to learn how to play it!