To play this one you’ll first need to tune your guitar to D-G-D-G-B-E. All you have to do is tune your low E string to a D note and tune your A string down to a G note. This is where a chromatic tuner would come in handy. Every serious guitar player needs an easy to use and accurate tuner at hand.
This Chet Atkins rendition of the Ventures tune “Wheels” is performed finger style. Pick the notes on the low E string and A string with your thumb, pick the notes on the D string with your 1st finger, pluck the notes in the G string with your 2nd finger, pluck on the B string with your 3rd finger, and pluck on the high E string with your 4th finger.
There are musically three different parts being played. Basically on the picking hand the thumb plays an alternating bass line while the other four fingers play the chords and melody. So you have the melody, chords (and harmony), and bass all played at the same time. This came about with careful consideration to arrangement of the song but is totally reliant on the fact that it is finger picked.
To play it up to speed will take a considerable amount of practice. Start at a much slower tempo and slowly try to build up speed. Here’s a slower version:
Download The Full Guitar Tab For Wheels
Complete Transcription To “Wheels” (PDF)