Easy stuff for beginners

Dire Straits Down to the Waterline explained: licks – chords – solo – no tabs

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Summer is here and with it my summer holidays, so the ideal opportunity for some more song tutorials here in my Mark Knopfler guitar blog. This time I will explain the song Down to the Waterline – the first song on the first Dire Straits CD (1978). Down to the waterline is surely another highlight of early Dire Straits. It is one of the oldest Mark Knopfler songs, one of […]

Easy stuff for beginners

Backing tracks player to jam with at JamCenter.com

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I recently surfed into a nice site called JamCenter.com where you find a “jam machine” – an online loop player that plays backing tracks to jam with. Simply choose a key in the left sidebar, scroll down (the loop player appears at the very bottom of the page), select one of the styles (rock, cool, metal,…), and the player will play a loop of a certain length. The chords are […]

Easy stuff for beginners

Recording distorted guitars – The digital POD vs the analog Tubeman

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One of the  last articles was about how to record a clean guitar, and the POD and the Tubeman have already been mentioned there. This time it is about what these two devices were mainly built for: a distorted guitar sound. You will hear the same track first recorded with the POD (lead and rhythm guitars), then with the Tubeman, both devices were connected directly to the mixing desk.  Here […]

Easy stuff for beginners

Different ways to record a clean guitar – sound clips for A/B comparing

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There are countless ways to record an electric guitar. While some of these do not really work for distorted guitars, you have even more choices when you want to record a clean guitar: you can plug it directly into the mixing desk, or use a DI-box before. Then there are special recording solutions like digital or analog pre-amps that also emulate the influence of the guitar speaker or even the […]

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 […]

Easy stuff for beginners

Calling Elvis chord analysis – Major, minor, no-third, power chords

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This time I will start with some very basic stuff: major and minor chords. Every guitar beginner soon learns that there is e.g. an A major chord, and an A minor chord. Obviously they are similar, they just differ in one single note (in case of the first position chords, in the example it is either the 2nd (A) or 1st (Am) fret on the b string). You need to […]