How To Play “Rumble” by Link Wray – Guitar Instrumental
- Wednesday, February 3, 2010, 17:25
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I recently saw the movie “It Might Get Loud” featuring Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), The Edge (U2) and Jack White (White Stripes/The Raconteurs). In the movie Jimmy Page digs through his mammoth vinyl collection and plays some favorite songs, one of which was Link Wray’s “Rumble”. This song was also famously featured in “Pulp Fiction”. It is a classic instrumental and a real easy song, too!. In this video lesson I show how to play this iconic early rock instrumental.
The song is in the key of E and is really just a blues form. It does interestingly feature a bar of B7 that is in 6/4 time before returning to common time for the E minor pentatonic lick.
The chords used are E major, an open string D5 power chord over an A bass note, A major, and B7. The little lick in the tune is straight out of the open position of the E minor pentatonic scale. About as straight forward as it gets!
There is a guitar solo break built off an E major triad in the 12th position. Simply strum it really fast while sliding into the shape at the beginning of each of the first two measures. Then slide every two beats for a measure and then each beat for the final measure before returning to the open A chord.
This song is famous for being one of the first ever to feature distortion. The tone is very gritty. Link Wray famously used a pencil to punch holes in the speaker of his amplifier to get this raw sound. I might suggest not going to that extreme! But think raunchy. The song also features a tremolo pedal. Or if your amp has the tremolo built in, so much the better.