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'Rumble' Guitar Lesson

Rumble is a classic instrumental from the early days of rock and roll written and performed by Link Wray. It uses three chords that you already know E, A and D and a new one you will need to learn - the B7 chord. Also you will learn a guitar scale - the E minor pentatonic.

First, listen to the song:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjs5QWjvNWc  The song begins with the D chord being played twice followed by the E chord.  These chords are then repeated.  Next Link plays the D chord twice followed by the A chord.  He then plays the D chord twice again followed by the E chord.  Finally he plays the D chord twice followed by the B7 chord and he concludes the first verse by playing the E minor Pentatonic scale from the first string (thinnest string) to the sixth string (fattest string).

Since you already know the E, A, and D chords try practicing along with the song making the chord changes at the speed of the record. 

Now watch this video on how to play the B7 chord - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_pjtbkzsoM.  Unlike the E, A, and D chords, the B7 will require you to use all four fingers and it will take some practice to transition from the D chord to the B7.

Next, watch this lesson on the E minor pentatonic scale.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwpBTikM9TQ&feature=related  This scale is heavily used in rock and blues music.  The instructor first shows the scale starting on the sixth string and works his way down to the first string.  He then plays the scale from the first string to the sixth string.  This is the way that Link Wray plays the scale on the record.

Tabs:  Tabs are the way guitarists record their finger movements so other guitarists can read and play a song the same way.  Here is a lesson on how to read tabs:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-8rqLzlid4  Reading tabs can be confusing and a challenge because on a tab chart the sixth string (low E) is shown at the bottom of the tab and the first string (high E) is shown at the top of the tabs.  The is just the reverse of the way the strings appear to you when you are holding the guitar.  Like playing chords, once you become familiar with tabs, reading new tabs will become second nature.

So, lets take a look at the tabs for Rumble:  

In red letters above the tabs are the chords.  Note that the last chord, the B7, is slightly staggered.  When you listen to the record you will notice that Link strikes the fifth string separately followed by the third string and then plays the first and second strings together.  He skips the fourth string.

For practice purposes, just play the full B7 chord:

Note the 'X' on the sixth string.  This means that you do not strike that string with the pick.

The 'riff' portion of the tabs is the notation for the E minor pentatonic scale played from the first string up to the sixth string.

You may find it difficult to play the 12/12 riff shown on the third line of the tabs.  Don't worry about it, just try to play along with the rest of the song.

 

 

 

 

Tabs - http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/l/link_wray/rumble_ver2_tab.htm

E Minor Pentatonic Scale - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwpBTikM9TQ&feature=related

 

 

 

Backing track - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjs5QWjvNWc