The Mark Knopfler Guitar Sounds And "Dire Straights" Make Sure They Get "Money For Nothing"- and chicks for free.
The Mark Knopfler guitar sound was featured in the rock band “Dire Straights” where he was the
lead guitar player and lead vocalist, he's also a gifted singer-songwriter,film-score composer and
record producer...Gosh I wonder if he's a good cook too?
But anyways...Mark Knopfler is an extremely talented fingerstyle rock guitarist...Geez another
guy with really fast fingers bet he'd make a great card dealer in Vegas.
But seriously the Mark Knopfler guitar is very slick and smooth as silk in all the rock
arpegios and runs that he plays.And Mr.Knopfler has played with the biggest names in the
business guys like Eric Clapton,and the GrandDaddy of guitar Chet Atkins with whom he
made an album.
Mark is ranked no# 27 in Rolling Stone Magazines the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.
Hmmm....27th eh!...Thats about the position where I would come in back in my high-school
track and field days...but of course I had a guitar slung around my back so I was at a disadvantage.
The Mark Knopfler guitar stylings are very versatile,and he plays a lot of different styles
of guitar. When playing acoustic he can get the instrument to sound almost like a ragtime piano
the way he uses open string licks and such. I think he knows every rock guitar lick in the book.
Listen to his leads on the “Sultans of Swing.” Gosh....I think he knows more guitar licks than a new
car salesman knows extra ways to get money out of a customer...and that's lots of ways.
And one thing I love about his playing is he is so precise and accurate there's no sloppiness
in those perfectly executed licks and runs. Listen to the way he slides the chords up in
the Dire Straights song “So Far Away.”
The Mark Knopfler guitar sound was influenced by Chet Atkins,Django Reinhardt,
James Burton,B.B. King,and Scotty Moore. If you're familiar with these players you can clearly
hear bits and pieces of their style in Marks playing.
Mark Knopfler guitar stylings and his sound put him in the class of one of those players that
fingerpicks his leads.
Mr.Knopfler has often said that he didn't find his musical voice on the guitar until he started
fingerpicking everything and that's when it all came together for him.
So all you young players out there...do whatever you feel comfortable doing,whatever style
of picking is most efficent for you is the one you should work with. I myself use a combination
of the guitar pick and fingerpicking but that is just what I'm comfortable with playing songs,
and there's no way I could fingerpick as fast as Mark Knopler without putting a ton of work into it.
The Mark Knopfler guitar sound is achieved by him picking out any one of the approximately
70 guitars that he owns...Hey!...you can never have too many guitars...it's the same as
you can never have too much money right?
Mr Knopfler has vintage Fender stratocasters,telecasters, Gibson Les Pauls,some Pensa
custom built guitars,and some acoustic guitars Martins,Ramirez, and some Danelectro's.
OK..now here's a little tip or hint for all you players out there who really want to immerse yourself
in the Mark Knopfler guitar style. Or any other famous players style for that matter... Now of
course you listen to all the players recorded material...that's a given....but dig a little deeper.
Go to youtube and watch some of the solo TV interviews on the artist,sometimes they'll have just
an acoustic guitar with them and may demonstrate some amazing traits of their playing style
for the viewing audience. And you can be privy to some real gems of information and video
on his playing that you otherwise might not have seen. Guitar interview shows are real
good for this...because the camera will focus in real close to the fretboard when he starts to
demonstrate something...and it's like you're right in the living room with him...watching!
but it could be any type of interview show...just keep your eyes and ears
OK...It's quiz time...Do you remember back in the retro 1980's....when all the rock bands
had really big hair...The hair was bigger than most of the songs..right?
The Mark Knopfler guitar sound was all over the radio in the late 1970's and 80's.
In this time period Dire Straights had a huge album called “Brothers in Arms”
and they also had a massive hit record called “Money For Nothing.” and this was all during
the dawn of the “MTV” video era.
“Money For Nothing” was the 1st video to be played on MTV in Britain...you couldn't even go
to the bathroom without hearing this song being played over the sound system, unless of course
you went outside to go to the bathroom but that usually draws a lot of unwanted attention,
and “Money For Nothing” was such a massive hit you actually might have heard it on the radio
And then there was also the catchy rock song “Walk Of Life” another Mark Knopfler guitar classic,
with it's organ intro and standard rock guitar licks spread throughout it was amazingly popular also.
So to say that this CD was just popular would be a huge understatement.
The “Brothers in Arms” CD was the first CD Disc to sell a million copies and to be “DDD.”
which means...Digitally Recorded,Digitally Remixed,and Digitally Remastered.
OK...I'm going to wrap up our discussion about the Mark Knopfler guitar sound by telling
you how to play the intro to “So Far Away” in the key of E Maj.
It's one bar or 4 beats for each 5th interval form we play.
It starts out with 5th intervals...and were just picking 2 note 5th intervals. Here... Go to the 6th string
to the 7th fret ...1st finger on the B note...Go to the 5th string 9th fret...place the 3rd finger on the
F # note....Now move the same form down 2 frets and do exactly the same thing on the 5th fret
to give you an A on the 6th string and an E on the 5th string....Now play the open 6th string the
E note...and the B note on the 5th string 2nd fret with your 1st finger...
Now hit the open 6th string E with your thumb...now with your 3rd finger barring the 4th,3rd,and 2nd
strings, slide the whole form up to the 9th fret which gives you an E chord...while holding the bar...
with your 4th finger quickly hammer on the A note...on the 10th fret...2nd string...
OK.. still using the 4th,3rd,and 2nd strings.now slide up to a 3 note B Maj chord at the 7th fret.
Add the Ab note with the pinky...slide the same whole form down to the 5th fret which gives
you an A Maj...then with the same set of strings play the 3 string E chord on the 4th fret at the same
time hitting the open 6th string E and hammering on the G# with your 3rd finger at the 6th fret.
So listen to the recorded version of this song so you can get the feel of it and the timing.
It's not a real hard song to play it just has basic guitar chords in it.But it's what Mark Knopfler
does with these simple guitar chords and the chord sound that make it unique. And he also has that
kind of Bob Dylan vocal delivery on his singing voice.And that's the Mark Knopfler guitar sound.
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