Sultans of Swing from Dire Straits’ first album is surely one of THE songs that comes to mind when talking about fingerstyle guitar playing. In addition to Mark Knopfler’s unique playing style it also features some striking Spanish-sounding elements, starting from the chord progression itself to some flamenco-like strumming techniques – which is this blog article, or rather the embedded video, is about.
The typical flamenco stroke is called Rasgueado (the Spanish word for strumming) – a particular “roll” of your right hand fingers. I am really no master of the true flamenco style but I realized many years ago that Knopfler plays something like this in numerous songs, and practised something that sounds similar – my version of the Rasgueado. I can do it in two different ways: pinky first to index finger, or vice versa. Both sound different but I am not completetly sure which one Knopfler makes use of (possibly both).
The video explains how I play it. I think the idea becomes clear. So, enjoy!
PS: The rasgueado sounds great with distorted power chords, too. Give it a try!