Guitars

Anything better than a red Schecter Strat? – Yes, two of them.

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Today something about one of Mark Knopfler most famous guitars … In 1980 Mark Knopfler started to play a red Schecter Strat on stage instead of the red Fenders he played before. Everyone knows this guitar – it was the guitar on the Alchemy live CD/video, on Live Aid, and on countless other TV concerts from the 80ies or 90ies. He still owns this guitar and uses it occasionally these […]

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 […]

Guitar in general

Zen and the art of playing the guitar

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Zen – a word sometimes heard, but only rarely explained. Those who practice Zen say that “Zen is what cannot be explained” – not really helpful. So what is it, what does it have to do with art, and what with playing the guitar? Basically Zen is a Japanese form of Buddhism. It is not a religion – you don’t have to believe in any gods or in Buddha. Instead […]

Guitars

What tuning is Setting me up by Dire Straits, and what guitar?

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The guitar playing on Setting me up from Dire Straits’ first album is a true masterpiece. The recording features three guitar tracks: the opening riff, the lead guitar (both played by Mark), and a strummed ryhthm guitar by Mark’s brother David. On Youtube you can find countless attempts by different players to play this riff. Most of them try it with standard tuning, which also works more or less. However, […]

MK guitar style and licks

Eastbound Train: opening chord analysis

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The song Eastbound Train is a boogie groove in the key of E. It was the b-side of Dire Straits’ first Single Sultans of Swing, and has been played live on most concerts during the first two years of Dire Straits. Below you will find an explanation of the opening chord (listen to sample, live at the Hope&Anchor, London, 1977). In blues-based tunes – and a boogie is often just […]

Guitars

Early Dire Straits: Which of the two red Fenders was used in which concert?

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Before Knopfler changed to the Schecter Strat in 1980, he played two red Fender Strats with Dire Straits, one with a rosewood finger board (SN 68354) , one with maple (SN 80470). Rosewood Strat (68354) Maple neck Strat (80470) with white pickguard Maple neck Strat (80470) with the greenish pickguard of the rosewood Strat Have you ever wondered which of these guitars was used on which of the many bootleg […]

MK guitar style and licks

Unusual double-string bend in Sultans of Swing and Once Upon a Time

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Remember the guitar lick In Sultans of Swing following “and Harry doesn’t mind..” ? In songbooks or tabs you will find something like: (play b-string at fret 8, plus g-string at 7th fret, bend g-string one whole note, notes g and d, the d is bent to e) In fact this is the way Knopfler seems to play it on many old or new live recordings. I suspect that on […]

Guitar in general

Hello world

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So, here is my first post in this new blog. The idea behind this blog is to write about some things I am fascinated in, namely electric guitar and playing it in the style of the unique Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits fame. I created the Dire Straits Guitar Page, one of the earliest and best-known sites about this topic, in 1996. It was soon quoted and copied almost everywhere. […]