How to Play “We Will Rock You” on Guitar?
The song “We Will Rock You” was written by Brian May. It was recorded by Queen for their 1977 album “News of the World.” In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked it as one of the 500 greatest songs of all time. While in 2001, it placed 146th on its list of the most influential songs of the century. The song “We Will Rock You” is usually set in a cappella form, with only a few seconds of guitar playing before the song’s end. It features only clapping and shouting as a rhythmic beat. In 1977, the songs “We are the Champions” and “We Will Rock You” were released as a single and immediately became top 10 hits.
Various recording artists and television programs have covered and remixed “We Will Rock You.” It has also been used as a stadium anthem for multiple events worldwide. In October 2017, Queen released a version of the song “We Will Rock You” as a tribute to News of the World’s 40th anniversary. The new “We Will Rock You” version features a completely different style of guitar playing. It also includes May’s count-in before the recording. This guide will show you how you can play the guitar part of “We Will Rock You” by Queen.
Who are the “Queen?”
Queen is a British rock band established in 1970 by its vocalist, Freddie Mercury, guitarist Brian May, drummer Roger Taylor, and bassist, John Deacon. Despite the departure of some of its members, the band continued to perform until 2009.
The smile was formed in 1968 by Brian May and Roger Taylor, with Tim Staffell as the vocalist. At Ealing Art College, he studied with Freddie Mercury, a huge band fan. As a result, when Tim Staffell departed to join another group, Humpy Bong, May, and Taylor instantly thought of Mercury. When the three of them were gathered, Freddie suggested that Smile’s name be changed to Queen’s. After performing songs by other bands and artists, they revisited tunes they had written for Smile and other earlier bands.
They were exhibited for the first time in the City Hall of Truro in 1970 and then in the Imperial College the following year. Several bassists tried out at the time, including Mike Grose, Carry Mitchell, and Doug Ewood Bogie, but they ultimately met John Deacon in a pub and asked him to be a permanent band member. This one initially debuted with them in 1971. On the same day, Freddie Mercury created the band’s emblem, inspired by its members’ zodiac signs: two lions for Deacon and Taylor, who were cancer, a crab for May, who was Leo, and two nymphs for Mercury, who was Virgo.
Brian May’s acquaintance informed him that he owned a studio and was required to prove it. So Queen tested out the studio and ended up recording four tracks, with which they began looking for a label, but without luck. However, they would eventually be identified by the business Chrysalis Records. The latter would grant them a contract, which Queen declined to accept due to stipulations that were not very helpful. The same thing happened with the label, Trident, but they would eventually sign a deal in 1972 to record and market them. As a result, a stamp that dispersed them was absent. It would not be released until 1973, when they signed with Elektra Records, which released their first album, Queen. Some critics liked it, but it wasn’t particularly successful in general.
Their First Breakout
Queen appeared on Top of the Pops in 1974, performing Seven Seas of Rhye. This presentation was televised on television, which helped to spread the word about the topic. EMI quickly published a record with the song and with See What A Fool I’ve Been, with which they managed to stay in the top ten most-listened-to songs for at least ten weeks. The band’s second album, Queen II, was released the same year and peaked at No. 5 on the English charts. Because of these two achievements, Queen embarked on their first tour in the United Kingdom without being the opening act. The third album, Sheer Heart Attack, was released in November of the same year, with Killer Queen and Flick of the Wrist making it onto the American charts. They went on tour in Europe, the United States, and Japan.
And Here Comes to Bohemian Rhapsody
In 1975, the first song from their next album, Bohemian Rhapsody, was released. They spent 18 months at the top of the UK chart with it, earning Mercury the Ivor Novello Prize for the second time. Following a promotional tour for their previous album, Queen released A Day at the Races in 1976. It is regarded as a sequel to the prior one, and News of the World in 1977, which is popular for its songs “We Are the Champions” and “We Will Rock You,” which would be used in various sporting events. Jazz would debut in 1978, followed by The Game in 1980. After a year of recovery, they released Hot Space in 1982 and The Works in 1984. Two years later, “A Kind of Magic” was published, followed by The Miracle in 1989.
Mercury’s partner, Jim Hutton, declared in 1987 that the singer had AIDS, although all of the other members disputed it. Mercury, on the other hand, stated in 1991 that he did have the condition. In the same text, he pleaded for the public’s and his friends’ help in fighting cancer. Despite this, Freddie Mercury died two days later, on November 24, at the age of 45.
Following the death of the vocalist in 2001, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame the following year. Brian May and Roger Taylor revealed in 2004 that they would establish Queen + Paul Rodgers with Paul Rodgers. The new group released the album The Cosmos Rocks in 2008 before breaking up in 2009.
How to Play “We Will Rock You” on Guitar? | About the Song
The song “We Are the Champions” and “We Will Rock You” were written in response to the incident that occurred during the A Day At The Races Tour in 1977. One version was featured on the News of the World’s opening track, which featured a power chorus and a song-like beat.
The band overdubbed their own sounds and created a sound that resembled the number of people who were participating in the incident. They also used delay effects and the ratios of prime numbers to create a sound that was similar to the number of people participating.
Instead of playing the guitar solo multiple times, Brian May repeated the phrase three times in a tape loop. This sound was used in the song “We Are the Champions.” It was also used in the Paul Rodgers and Queen song “We Still Burnin’.”
Their Duo Successes
When Queen performed “We Are the Champions” live, it was followed by “We Will Rock You.” These songs are commonly paired with other songs on the radio and at sporting events. In 1985, these two songs were the last two that Queen performed at the Live Aid event.
Queen also played a “fast version” of “We Will Rock You,” which had a faster-feeling pace and a full band composition. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the band would commonly perform this version to start their live concerts, as audible on the recordings Live Killers (1979), Queen on Fire (2004), Queen Rock Montreal (2007), and the enhanced edition of News of the World (2011).
A studio version of this song was recorded in 1977 for John Peel’s BBC Radio 1 show. It’s part of a longer version released in 2002. The fast version was also released in a promo single by the tabloid The Sun. The “fast” version can be found in the “Best of King Biscuit Live Volume 4,”. Roger Taylor also used Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha in a BBC documentary.
The fast version of “We Will Rock You” is used as the curtain call music during the end of the musical “We Are the Champions,” which features the songs “We Are the Champions” and “We Will Rock You.” It was the most frequently played song during the 2008 to 2009 seasons of Major League Baseball, National Football League, and National Hockey League.
How to Play – We Will Rock You
The first thing that happens with the guitar is a C power chord, and there’s feedback building up to that. If you can get to a space where you can crank your amp loud enough. You can start to get that feedback happening. Then it goes to a power chord which you can do with the one-finger style. You open A string, 3rd fret E, and back to the chord, so that’s a g note right there.
When you hear the chord feedback, you’re just going up an octave of that, so you still have the open A string. If you add your ring finger onto the 16th fret of the D while you add your middle finger to the 15th fret of the B string by holding that bar down.
Now, there’s an Asus4 chord vibe, so we’re going to go into that from the C power chord. You add the middle and ring fingers of that sus chord for the first time up there. The next one is one time across, the next time hammer, and then one final strum before it goes into this scale cascading part.
How to Play “We Will Rock You” on Guitar? | Second Part
In the next part of the solo, barring pretty hard across the 14th fret with the open A string ringing out. And so, the first thing you’ve got the chord ringing out. Then, you’re pulling off your pinky from the 17th fret to your middle finger on the 15th fret. Then you’re pedaling back to the D, but it’s all ringing like a chord. You’re hitting that D string, but if you get the A string with it, that’s okay. You have to hop back to the high E.
You keep pedaling back to that D string. Afterwards, you will go to the 17th on the B string with your pinky pedaled back. After that, you will hit the 15th fret B string pedal back to the D again. Then you’re going to pull off from the 15 to the 14 on the B strings. Then you will hammer down that same shape we were doing earlier. You’re grabbing that 16th fret D a little bit before the middle finger. In here, you need to remember that open A is ringing out with that like droning a bass note.
How to Play “We Will Rock You” on Guitar? | Last Wrap-Ups
While that bar is still ringing out, you’re going to play the 14 on the B, 16 on the G. However, you are barring 14 on the G. With that A chord while it’s ringing out, think of it’s the A major pentatonic same as the F sharp. The index finger is the top bar of that scale shape. Then, we’re bending 17 up a whole step on the B string, a unison bend to that 14 high E. You can go back to 17 of the B to 14, just that pentatonic shape. Then a bend on the 16th fret of the G string, and you’re grabbing back to that A chord.
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How to Play “We Will Rock You” on Guitar? | Conclusion
In the last bit, you’re just holding that 16 on the D and 15 on the B hammer on and off. When you’re practicing at learning it, and you’re hitting this power chord if you get that open E in there. It muddies everything up, so what you can do is use your thumb sometimes. Not barring Hendrick style, just letting it rest, so it meets each strum. All right, that’s the whole guitar part of this song. Hope you enjoyed it! Now, it is time to practice this song as much as you can with your 3D tutor on Deplike Guitar Learning!