Rumble

Animated Rumble tab by Link Wray on guitar. So easy you'll be playing in minutes.

This is a great tune for blues and rock fans. It's a very good tune for beginners to learn because it involves some common tricks and chord progressions for these styles of music. Apart from the fast strumming part in the middle, the rest of the song is slow and the chord changes aren't too tricky.

This classic instrumental by Link Wray caused a right fiasco back in 1958 when it was released. It is considered by some to be the forerunner of rock music. Link Wray punched holes in his amp to get the distortion fuzz sound, which was unheard of at the time.

The song was banned from radio in the US and UK, as it was considered to be a bad influence at the time - which is pretty unusual for an instrumental!

To get that 50's guitar sound, apply light distortion and use quite a lot of mid on your amp settings. If your amplifier has too much overdrive or gain, try setting your guitar volume knob lower to just get that nice fuzzy edge to your sound. Slight reverb, chorus and tremelo (if your amp / pedals cater for it) will help too. Link Wray has quite a lot of tremelo in this tune.

The tune itself is actually just a variation along a 12 bar blues progression in E. Lots of rock and rockabilly music from the 50's and 60's relied on the good ol' trusty 12 bar blues. And there's nothing wrong with that...if you can play through the 12 bar blues progression on guitar you will know the basis of a LOT of songs!

So what is the 12 bar blues progression in E Link uses?

E - E - A - E - B7 - descending E pentatonic minor scale - (repeat from start)

At the start of each of these chords is a D5 chord. Strum it twice then go to the next chord in the above progression. This D5 chord sets up each of the 12 bar chords nicely.

Notice that at the end of the progression Link Wray makes things a little more interesting. He picks the bass note of the B7 chord and holds it before running the pick quickly over the rest of the chord. Hold the B7 chord and then play out the descending E pentatonic scale. Those might be big words, but the pentatonic scale is actually one of the easiest - it only has 5 notes!
Here we start on the G note (3rd fret of the high E string) and run down through the scale before bending the low G and finally hitting the Low E. After that - go back to the start and repeat the chord progression again (from the start).

If you feel up to it you can attempt the very fast High E major triad played halfway through the song. Although you only play 3 strings you will need to control the other strings by muting them with your thumb. That's because of the furious pace of the strumming. At that speed it is very difficult to control which strings you hit, and muting out the lower 3 strings with your thumb is the easiest way to stop striking those other strings accidentally. As for the strumming - it's very fast - play along with the ActionTab first until you get it right before working on building speed. It isn't easy to get right at full speed. The trick is to aim for the B string whilst strumming. Just keep enough flexibility in your wrist so that you 'overhit' that B string and play the adjacent 2 strings. The strumming directions are constant alternate down / up / down / up / down / up strokes.

TIP: If you are using the tablature, use the 'Printer Friendly' option under 'Tab' from the menu bar at the top of the ActionTab. This will compress the tablature so all the chords and notes aren't so widely spaced!

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