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New song: The Pretender

Posted on October 9, 2019

Let’s learn this hit rock song! This song is an excellent example of what Jimmy Page called “light and shade” – a musical contrast between quiet reflective moments, and huge energetic moments. As you listen, notice how the quiet intro draws you in, then the band comes in hard and nails your attention. From there the contrast continues, reaching another gear for the chorus, coming back down during the bridge, and exploding into the final chorus. This light and shade is an essential ingredient of many songs: it draws us in, helps us connect, and keeps us listening.

“The Pretender”, made famous by Foo Fighters, is now available in Yousician for Guitar, Piano, Bass, Ukulele, and Singing.

The Pretender for Guitar
by: James Neilson, Music Education Designer for Guitar

In the basic riff exercise (level 3) you’ll play a simplified version of the rhythm guitar part, using single notes along with a basic power chord (A5). Look out for the pinky finger on the D-string – it can be tricky to control, and takes some practice before it becomes automatic.

In the full rhythm exercise (level 9) you’ll play the original rhythm guitar parts, arranged for a single guitar (since there are two guitars in the band). There are lots of interesting and unusual chord shapes, as well as single-note arpeggios and double-stop riffs to look out for. Experiment with using all down-strokes vs down-up strumming in different sections – at this tempo the down-strokes will feel very fast but might help you play some parts.

The Pretender for Bass
by: James Neilson, Music Education Designer for Guitar

The basic bassline exercise (level 3) is a simplified version of this great rock song. Even though it’s quite fast, you can still play all the important of the original bassline. Go for it!

The main bassline exercise (level 5) is pretty much the same as the original bassline, except for some fast eight notes. Focus on a steady rhythm, and don’t forget to rock!

Full bassline exercise (level 8): The hyper-energetic rock song has a great bassline! It’s originally played with a pick, but it sounds great with fingers too. There are a couple of slides to look out for, and a tricky riff at the end of the bridge. Have fun with this one!

The Pretender for Piano
by: Sunny Choi, Music Education Designer for Singing

Melody exercise (level 5): In this exercise, you’ll find many notes with ties. Ties connect two or more notes that are the same note, but you only play the first note and hold the remaining note for the rest of the note value.

Accompaniment exercise (level 6): Here’s an exercise for you to feel the full vibe of what it’s like to play with other instruments.

Solo piano exercise (level 10): Who needs other instruments when you can play it all on the piano all on your own? Challenge yourself!

The Pretender for Singing
by: Sonja Patrikainen, Music Education Designer for Singing

I’ve seen the Foo Fighters perform a couple of times, and this song always lifts the atmosphere to a whole new level! One of the things that make it so epic is the brilliant use of dynamics. The vocals in the intro are really delicate and soft. The verse has a lot more power, but still leaves room for more intensity. In the chorus, the energy levels are at the maximum! Try to express these changes in intensity when you practice this song.

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