The Speedway League School/The Songwriter's Grooves Project - A Guide to Singing and Playing Guitar/The Synthetic Strumming Song Series/Wall of Death

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Wall of Death - Richard Thompson[edit]

Introductory Lesson Link

Wall of Death has Richard's characteristic potpourri of picking techniques that are notoriously difficult to pin down. There is a simplified lesson that includes the iconic riffs and focuses on a basic interpretation of the song without oversimplifying.


The song was originally released on Shoot Out the Lights in 1982 and has since been performed many times by Richard in live shows.

Flagship Recordings/Performances[edit]

On Acoustic Classics

With Linda

McCarter Theater from Afar, 2013

Seattle 1990

Playing tips[edit]

It's helpful to understand the chord shapes and develop a simplified interpretation of the song which you can then expand on. Copying Richard's performances is extremely difficult due to the constant variation in performances and the noisy style of picking/strumming the song.



Video Link

Tab Link

Lesson Notes[edit]


Video Link

Tab Link

Lesson Notes[edit]


Video Link

Tab Link

Lesson Notes[edit]

Song Stats[edit]

Notable techniques

Original Key



Key fingering

SWG Level/Sequences

Practice logs[edit]

Player Name

Previous Experience

Current Playing Level of the Song

Minutes in Practice Room

Link to Song Performance

sequence links