Study Piece | Rumble – Link Wray

Hi all,

Link Wray

Link Wray

This lesson we’re going to look at one of the earliest pieces of bona fide rock & roll from 1958 called ‘Rumble’.

This record has an interesting history of how it came to be, including the fact that the speakers of the guitar were perforated to give the sound a ‘fizz’, more like it sounded when it was played live (nothing like that had been done before) and it is the only instrumental to have been banned from the radio.  This record has been cited to be a direct influence on some of the biggest names in rock history such as The Who, The Kinks, Jimmy Page to name a few, so it makes perfect sense that we start our education at the feet of Link Wray, as have so many other guitar greats.




Pulp Fiction 

Pulp Fiction Rumble‘Rumble’ was made more famous recently after being featured in the Quentin Tarantino film ‘Pulp Fiction’. You can hear the original song on YouTube here.

Check out the Wikipedia entry for Link Wray here for more info.

The song
This song fits right into our learning schedule, as it features the following:

In the TAB, you will need to note a couple of things:


Screen shot 2013-05-04 at 12.50.56

The D chord in the TAB has the top note missing. This actually makes it into a D power chord with a twist, but think of it as a D for now as it will help you learn it.

In short, do NOT play the note on the thinnest string in the D chord.








Screen shot 2013-05-04 at 12.51.22

Some of the chords are held for six beats. We can only fit four beats into a bar so we have to put two into the next bar and tie them to the first four beats, making six.

In TAB, this is shown as notes in brackets. In short, You do NOT need to play the notes in brackets.






Download the TAB below:
[Rumble (Pulp Fiction).PDF]

I have made a version of the song into a backing track, which is a little slower.  You can download it here:
[Bumble (Rumble).mp3]

Take it S L O W and be patient.  Once you’re up to speed, be sure to play it with some attitude.  The chords need to be strummed with plenty of attack (music speak for “play hard”) – it doesn’t sound the same if you tickle it!

I’ll see you next time – happy playing!


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