MK guitar style and licks

Dire Straits Eastbound Train – Rhythm riff, licks and solo explained

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Eastbound Train was one of Dire Straits’ first songs. It was recorded as a demo before the first album was recorded, and it is the song of the earliest Dire Straits live recording that exists (from the Hope & Anchor, London, December 1977). This live version was released as the b-side of the single Sultans of Swing in 1978, but with exception of the demo (that has a totally different groove) it was never recorded in the studio. Eastbound Train was an encore in most Dire Straits concerts between 1977 and 1979, but it was never played again later. It is a simple boogie groove in the key of E major, and features not only a cool rhythm guitar riff played by Mark Knopfler, but […]

Easy stuff for beginners

Mark Knopfler licks around the 7/9 chord

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The last poll about what you would like to read here is still running (so vote if you haven’t yet), but it seems to be clear that many readers want to read about licks (or rather want to see something as video I guess). So here a quick reaction (to be honest, I started to work on this video anyway 😉 ) This post is about a typical Mark Knopfler lick which is based on the notes of the 7/9 chord, the chord we are talking about is the following one (in this example a E7/9): This chord is nothing special, special however is Mark Knopfler’s way to fret it, which is often like this: The difference is the bass note, instead of an E […]

Easy stuff for beginners

The 6/#9 chord – Mark Knopfler’s Train Chord

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Imitating the sound of a freight train whistle seems to be an obligatory part of all blues players’ vocabulary. For this purpose Mark Knopfler often uses a particular chord, a chord that appears on songs like Eastbound Train or Gravy Train (live), but also on the The Bug. The chord in question is often called a 6/#9  chord (sometimes also denoted as 6/10). Remember, the numbers indicate the interval from the root note, so it is a chord with the 6th scale note added, and the sharp 9th note. In C the 6th note is an A, the 9th is a D, but here we have a sharp nine, which is a half note higher, a D# (or Eb if you see it as 6/10 […]