Despite the band being considered one of the greatest rock groups of all-time, the guitarist believes he could have been just as successful as a solo performer.
'My Generation' rocker Townshend is adamant he could have emulated the career path of Roxy Music keyboard player Brian Eno who went on to release several experimental solo albums before moving into producing, masterminding records for U2, Coldplay and Depeche Mode among others, if he had gone it alone.
Speaking in a new one-off magazine The Who: The Ultimate Music Guide - made by the makers of music publication Uncut - he said: "What would I have done differently? I would never have joined a band. Even though I am quite a good gang member and a good trooper on the road, I am bad at creative collaboration.
"I would have made a much more effective solo performer and producer working the way Brian Eno has worked."
The 65-year-old musician also believes he would not have so many injured body parts if he hadn't spent five decades in the band - which during its peak was comprised of the guitarist, singer Roger Daltrey, bassist John Entwistle and drummer Keith Moon.
He added: "I would be less physically damaged today. My ears, right wrist and shoulder would work more efficiently. In all other respects I am in extremely good shape."
Townshend has been suffering from tinnitus - a painful ringing in the ears, which is a symptom of noise-induced hearing loss - for years and has seen several specialists in a bid to help the problem and prolong the lifespan of The Who.