MK guitar style and licks

Mark Knopfler licks using the Memphis scale

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This article is about a “two-strings scale” sometimes called Memphis Scale. Normally these two strings are not adjacent strings, instead you skip one string and play licks e.g. on the D- and B-string (as in the video examples below), or on the G- and high E-string. With the help of these licks you will increase your vocabulary on the guitar. Whenever you are in danger of running out of ideas or feel chained to a standard (e.g. the pentatonic) scale, these melodic, two-voiced licks guarantee a sudden change and a new colour in your way of playing. Examples of these licks can be found in a great number of  Mark Knopfler / Dire Straits  tunes, surely to many to name them all. Some nice examples […]

Easy stuff for beginners

Some Mark Knopfler licks using double-string bends

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What I mean with double-string bends are licks that are played on two or more strings and one or more of these are bent. Such licks appear in countless Mark Knopfler or Dire Straits songs. The following video clip demonstrates how to use such licks, and their relation to the chords they are based upon. Note that the last licks (Once Upon a time and Sultans of Swing) were covered in one of my former articles. Most stuff in this video should be self-explaining, so here it is. This video is in high quality. If your connection speed is too low, click here to watch it on youtube in normal quality.

Easy stuff for beginners

Mark Knopfler licks on an acoustic – How to practice electric guitar on your acoustic

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(At the end of this article you will find a matching video for all who prefer watching to reading) An acoustic guitar has normally heavier strings than an electric guitar because you want a loud and rich sound. With an electric guitar you don’t need that much volume because you can adjust the sound easily with the amp. Consequently playing the acoustic requires more strength and finger pressure, and some techniques like string bending are much more difficult or – e.g. on the wound g string – not really possible. At home I normally play acoustic guitars the way they are supposed to, fingerpicking or strumming with heavy string. For that lead stuff I take an electric guitar which I often play without amp at […]