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 […]

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 […]

Easy stuff for beginners

High-G Tuning

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A rather strange tuning that seems to be part of any Mark Knopfler concert these days is the high-G tuning. Mark Knopfler owns a beautiful sunburst Telecaster Custom – probably a ’67 that was originally played by his brother David with Dire Straits, more on this guitar in a future post. These days (not in the past) this guitar seems to be dedicated to the high-g tuning. So, what is […]

Easy stuff for beginners

A plumber’s C chord

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What do you think is the most important chord for the average guitar player? Well, presumably it is a rather simple, basic chord that is played often in all kind of tunes. So probably a ‘normal’ major chord, something like C or D. Even a beginner quickly learns that there are many ways to play even something simple as a C chord. The first version you learn is probably the […]

Easy stuff for beginners

Suggestions what you would like to see here

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This weekend is a rather busy one, so not too much time for the blog so far:( This blog is online for less than two weeks, and the number of readers is steadily increasing, thank you a lot. I was wondering if I can go on blogging about this stuff forever or if I will run out of topics or ideas , so I made a list with concrete blog […]

Easy stuff for beginners

Pictures from Hamburg Oct. 28, 1978 (?)

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Edit 2012: I had to correct myself. These pictures were probably from the next day, October 29, 1978, when they played in Berlin (compare this blog post). Unlike these days, when each concert is not only recorded on audio or video, not to mention all pictures made by a million people it seems, there are hardly pictures from those early Dire Straits concerts. Too bad digital cams were not invented […]

Easy stuff for beginners

The Circle of Fifths: What is it for? – plus: example analysis of Knopfler songs

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What is the Circle of Fifths and what do I need it for? Every guitar player pretty soon realizes that certain chords seem to belong together, they are related in a way, while other chords are only rarely used within the same song. The chords C , F, and G seem to be such related chords – these are not only the chords you would use for a blues tune […]