Link Wray 'Rumble'....can you count it?

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by boneyguy, Sep 8, 2019.

  1. boneyguy

    boneyguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    Here's another one of those songs that begs the question "how do you count it?"....as in, how many bars long is the pattern?

    There are a couple ways that I have approached it but it's still an unusual count.....and then it gets even more interesting during the brief solo and no matter how you began counting it the solo section kinda flips the count around backwards.

    Could this be part of the reason people lost their minds and the song was banned from radio when it was released? In fact it's the only instrumental in history that was banned from radio play!

    So, how would you make the most sense out of counting this tune? (and BTW if you haven't watched 'Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World' yet, do yourself a huge favour and watch it!!)

     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019
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  2. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Tele-Afflicted

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    It all seems somewhat predictable until the descending thing at the end which seems to go on a bar or two past where you'd expect.

    Never guess I took a quarter of music theory in college 35 years ago wouldja.
     
  3. boneyguy

    boneyguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    But how would you actually count it?.....are the first two beats of the song on the 'D' chord quarter note pick ups (3 - 4) leading into Bar 1? If so what happens when you continue the count that way? How many bars do you wind up with? And then when you continue that count through the guitar solo section that's when the real fun starts....:D.

    Where does the overall rhythmic phrase begin and end?

    I'm not asking these question as if there are definite answers and that I know the answers....I think, like many musical questions, the answers are subjective and not necessarily right or wrong.

    Although music can be described mathematically that doesn't mean music is math.
     
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  4. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    All I hear is snare on the 2 and 4 and no problems that differ. What am I missing?
     
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  5. boneyguy

    boneyguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    What I'm asking is how many bars is the form of the song? Is it a typical 12 or 16 or 8 bar pattern? Have you tried counting out the song? And I never suggested there was a "problem"....I did suggest the count of the song was not typical.
     
  6. Toast

    Toast Tele-Holic

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    Count with the drums 1-2-3-4. That's what I do.
     
  7. boneyguy

    boneyguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    Yes...I understand how to count....what I'm asking is how many bars long is the pattern of the song.

    So, if you count 1-2-3-4, 2-2-3-4, 3-2-3-4, 4-2-3-4, 5-2-3-4 etc..(the bolded number indicating the number of the bar) through one full pattern of the song how many bars do you wind up with?
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019
  8. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    You learn the song and then you play it ... If you have to think about it while playing ... you haven't learned it ...
     
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  9. stax

    stax Tele-Afflicted

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    I'd count it 1234 12 then hit the D on the 3 and 4 and E on the 1

    1234 12 DD E
     
  10. kafka

    kafka Tele-Afflicted

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    Starts on 3. 11 1/2 measures long.
     
  11. fretWalkr

    fretWalkr TDPRI Member

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    On that record, Link had sort of a loose concept of rhythm. That makes the pentatonic downward run at the turnaround tricky to play it the way he did. My guess is he was pretty green when he recorded that.
    I would count it in 2/4 instead of the usual 4/4 to keep from having measures of 2/4 mixed with 4/4 to make it come out right.

    It wasn't banned because of the odd count, that only drives musicians crazy :). I think back in the day the name and sheer rawness of the sound scared a lot of authority figures. After all, those were the days of Ozzie and Harriet and Lawrence Welk. Different times.
     
  12. wabashslim

    wabashslim Tele-Holic

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    And THAT is exactly the reason why 70% of guys who own guitars - shouldn't.
     
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  13. Toast

    Toast Tele-Holic

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    Sorry, I wasn't trying to be snide. I was just replying with my imperfect understanding of rhythm. I think Kafka nailed it, though.
     
  14. fasteddie42

    fasteddie42 Tele-Holic

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    rumble count:

    DUHN DUHN DUUHHNN
     
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  15. boneyguy

    boneyguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    Yeah...this seems the most logical way to count it to me...but there are other choices I think.

    And as I mentioned it seems to me that it flips the count around during the guitar solo section....notably when it goes to the IV....
     
  16. urbandefault

    urbandefault Tele-Meister

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    Count it? No big deal, but I couldn't get past the guitar being out of tune! :lol:
     
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  17. boneyguy

    boneyguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    I know you weren't trying to be snide.....I apologize if I made you think I felt that way about your response.
     
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  18. Toast

    Toast Tele-Holic

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    Yeah, I think the people who were terrified of gyrating hips probably freaked when they heard distortion for the first time.
     
  19. boneyguy

    boneyguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    This is a typical response on the 'Theory' forum....and I was expecting it....so, you're right on time!!

    To make it clear my question has nothing to do with what your criticism is about. It is possible to know how to count a song AND also not think about it while playing the song, right?

    It might also be said that if you can't explain how a song is counted or it's basic structure then you really haven't learned the song.

    And a reminder once again...this is the 'Theory' section of the TDPRI.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019
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  20. kafka

    kafka Tele-Afflicted

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    A good number of delta blues players have a very fluid sense of meter.

    I'm not sure how I'd categorize Link Wray's execution of it. His execution seems more rudimentarily awkward than fluid. But maybe that's deceiving. Surprise is a significant element of good music. Set the listener up so they think they know what's coming next, and then pull the rug out from under them.

    So maybe there's a certain genius to it. Convince them it's trivial and primitive, and then do something that catches their ear.

    Or maybe it is trivial and primitive.
     
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