MK guitar style and licksUnderstanding music

Mark Knopfler licks using the b5 note

The b5 notes means the flattened fifth note of any scale. If we have e.g. a  C-major scale (c – d -e -f -g – a – b – c ), the fifth note is the g , and if this note is flattened, we get the gb. The same logic works with any major or minor (or other) scale.

The following video demonstrates the usage and the position of this note. You will find Mark Knopfler licks from Sultans of Swing (Alchemy version), Calling Elvis, In the Gallery, Down to the Waterline, and many more.

I did not tab these licks here, but I think you will not have problems to see how they are played. Remember, it is not important to play something authentically but rather to understand the idea behind what is being played. Only this way you will be able to transfer the licks into your own repertoire, and to use them for your own music.

The video is in high quality here. If you have bandwidth problems, click here to go to youtube and watch it at standard quality. Enjoy.

6 thoughts on “Mark Knopfler licks using the b5 note

  1. When I first read this post I thought you maded a mistake. You say that the 5th of the C major scale is E. To me it’s G.
    Then, I realised that C major is also Am so indeed, the 5th is E.
    But, when can we say that the 5th of C is G ? Only if we’re talking about Cm ?
    Is it only a question of what chord is played behind, or what scale is used ?

  2. Ooops, the 5th of C is in fact G of course, a typo, or I was in Am with my thoughts, can’t tell. I corrected it to G and Gb. Strange that noone else noticed. Thank you.

  3. hello, nice lesson once again, the In The Gallery part at the end was really cool. I was wondering what guitar you are using in this video, I know it’s a Strat but what year and color is it? Thanks

  4. Hi, you are right when you say that it is more important to learn the meaning behind what you are playing as opposed to just playing it technically correct. I know people who have played for years, but they can’t really translate their abilities into making their own music or being able to participate in a “jam” session. They basically have just memorized where to put their fingers. In my mind, this does not take much more skill than guitar hero.

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