Mark Knopfler – Guitars on the Get Lucky tour 2010

Posted on 24 CommentsPosted in Guitars, Mark Knopfler gear

The US leg of Mark Knopfler’s 2010 Get Lucky tour is over, and we in Europe are looking forward to the next part. Due to the new recording policy on all MK concerts,  there seem to be less videos on youtube than we had the years before, but still we have some 🙂 On the base of mainly these videos I put together a list of the guitars Mark has used on the different songs on this tour so far:

Red MK Signature Fender  Strat(s)

Of course he played his signature model, and probably more than just one. He played it on:

Border Reiver, What it is (not confirmed) , Sailing to Philadelphia (not confirmed), Romeo & Juliet (outro solo), Sultans of Swing

The guitar on Border Reiver is tuned to Eb (one half tone lower than standard tuning). On the 2008 tour he played one Strat with 010 strings on What it is and Sailing to Philadelphia, and another one (owned by Glenn Worf) with 009s on Sultans of Swing and Romeo & Juliet, might be similiar on this tour.

Gibson Les Paul

The following songs seem to be the ’58 Les Paul. I can’t tell if the ’59 was also used.

Why Aye Man, Hill Farmer Blues, Cleaning my Gun, Speedway at Nazareth, Brothers in Arms

Fender  ’54 Stratocaster

So far away

I first listed So far away for the MK Signature Strat, because of this video (bad quality, red or sunburst Strat?) but on all other ones I have seen so far it it the sunburst ’54 Strat.


Telegraph Road (2nd part)

National Style-o

Romeo & Juliet, Telegraph Road (part 1 – until “three lanes moving slow”)

Don Grosh Electrajet

A rather new addition to Mark Knopfler’s collection.

Piper to the End

Martin 0040S

The Ragpicker signature model

Get Lucky, Marbletown


Tuned to open E, slide

Donnegan’s gone

(No information yet)

I cannot tell which guitars he played on the following songs. If you have been to the US tour or know more from other sources, please use the comment function to let us know.

Prairie Wedding, Monteleone, Remembrance Day, Coyote

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Dire Straits – Brothers in Arms – Cover by Ingo Raven

Posted on 5 CommentsPosted in MK guitar style and licks, Recording

This week-end I found time again to record another cover version – Brothers in Arms. After Six Blade Knife and Wild West End, this is the third video I put some additional effort into, which means I did not record the  audio with the microphone of the camcorder but with the gear in our homerecording studio. Nevertheless it should be considered rather as “live video” and not as studio recording because I played the  guitar plus the vocals in one complete live take – without any overdubs and without correcting little mistakes to leave it in a more authentic state.

This time I recorded four takes all in all and then decided which one to take. The backing tracks were done some time ago – regular readers might remember the blog article about recording the acoustic guitar (my Gibson MK-81) and another one where I jammed to it and played a few solos.

The backing track is available here.

Recording gear

I recorded all audio with Cubase and a Creamware Scope system (now by Sonic Core) with which I also mixed the final tracks. The Hammond B3 emulation is also from the Scope system, and so is the reverb and all other effects (except a bit spring reverb from the guitar amp, and a sleight delay from the MXR analog delay). The drums are from Native Instrument’s Battery, a VST plug-in in Cubase.

Maybe you are wondering how I synced the Cubase audio to the digital video file: in fact I did not sync them at all. Instead I recorded the audio in Cubase,  and filmed myself while playing the guitar plus vocals. I later imported the video file and the mixed audio track into a friend’s Adobe Premiere. Here I visually aligned both tracks so that the waveform of the master audio track and the audio of the video file start simultaneously – at high zoom this is pretty easy to achieve. I found that for some reason both tracks do hardly drift apart over a time of just a few minutes. Then I simply muted the audio of the video file so that you hear the master audio only – that’s it. The same I did with the second video file.

Gear used here – signal chain

Gibson Les Paul Custom ’74 (10s strings)
Morley Volume pedal
MXR Analog Delay
Music Man HD 130 212
Shure SM 57

Some notes on how to play it and how to get the sound – dynamics are the key

I guess there are a zillion tabs around that tell you which notes to play (I myself never play or learn anything from using tabs, by the way), so I am not going to talk about this stuff here again. Besides I improvise a lot here: I found that as long as you stay in the G#m scale you can play more or less what you feel to and it sounds alright, the rest are all those licks I remember hearing in one of the many version Mark Knopfler did of this song. Each time I play it, I play it totally different, I never stick to a particular version.

What however seems important to me is the use of dynamics. What I mean is to remember that good music consists of loud notes which are contrasted with low, subtle notes. Many players I see on youtube seem to play everything rather loud. The problem is that when you start a song like Brothers in Arms and hit all those first notes at – let’s say – 80% percent of maximum strength, you cannot go really higher to highlight other notes. If you however start at rather 20% – which I am doing here – you have more to add later. Besides, the sound will be completely different. Be aware that Youtube also compresses the dynamics, so in the room I played with even more contrast between loud and quiet notes than you are hearing here. Similarly, something like the original Sultans of Swing is played with a huge dynamics range (which is later reduced technically for some other reasons) and this causes a huge sound difference compared with playing with a small dynmaics range. I guess I might come back to this topic with a dedicated future blog article.

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