Santana Cover Samba Pa Ti – On clean fingerpicked Strat

Watch me playing a version of the Santana classic ‘Samba Pa Ti’. The original stands for a distorted guitar sound on a humbucker guitar – so I tried with a clean guitar sound on my self-built Bubinga / Pao Ferro Strat instead. Santana normally plays with a pick – I played Knopfler-style fingerpicking here. But did you know that Santana also plays this song with bare fingers – at least […]

Neck Pickup Sound with the VFS-1 – Jam over Backing Track

In my last two videos I got some nice guitar sounds out of the integrated amp simulation and effects of my Soundcraft UI24R mixing desk. I was playing the MK61 pickups in the bridge & middle position of my Strat. This week I tried the same with the neck pickup. This is a VFS-1 pickup. I also worked much more with my ‘virtual studio’ (Steinberg Cubase together with the Soundcraft […]

Bridge on the Dire Straits Stratocaster: Japanese or Original?

You probably know the discussion started by John Suhr about the originality of Mark Knopfler red Dire Straits Stratocaster (the one with the maple neck, not the 1961 Strat with the rosewood fingerboard). John Suhr worked on Mark’s guitars in the early 80ies and stated that this guitar was not an original vintage Fender but a ‘fake’, probably a Japanese copy. I always used to be a bit uncertain what […]

A few remarks on the Tracker film by Henrik Hansen

The deluxe box set of Mark’s new Tracker album features a short film by the Danish director Henrik Hansen. It is already available on Youtube: I think it is a nice film which shows Mark at work, developing songs for the new record, and at leisure, walking his dogs. I am sure you will enjoy the film very much. With this blog post, I want to discuss a few guitar […]

Two ways to connect the string ground wire on a Strat

For better hum shielding, the strings on electric guitars are normally grounded, which means they are connected  internally to the ground of the guitar. For this purpose, usually a ground wire is connected somewhere to the guitar bridge, in the case of a Stratocaster with tremolo this is normally a wire from the case of the volume pot to the ‘claw’ that helds the tremolo springs. As the springs are […]

Tremolo Setup of the Sultans Strat

When browsing Adrian Boot’s Dire Straits photos, I found one from early 1980 that allowed a very rare view on Mark’s 1961 “Sultans” Stratocaster: a view on the back of the guitar. As the tremolo cover plate is missing on this  guitar – back then and still today – we can see the inside of the tremolo cavity. From some other pictures or video stills, I already got the vague […]

Custom Shop Fender Stratocaster resembling Mark Knopfler’s maple neck Strat

Some weeks ago I visited a local music shop – the Music Store in Cologne – who have a dedicated custom shop showroom. Lots of custom shop Fenders, expensive Les Pauls, and other fancy stuff. In the upper right corner of their wall full of guitars I immediately spotted a red Strat that looked nice – can’t help but red guitar always seem to attract my eyes quicker than any […]

Videos from a trip to Mark Knopfler’s sunburst Schecter Strat

Here are some videos with the Mark Knopfler Schecter Dream Machine Strat SN 8001, the guitar I had the chance to play a few weeks ago (see A trip to Mark Knopfler’s sunburst Schecter Strat ). The amp was a Tone King, not the Imperial but a Metropolitan combo, no effects except reverb from the amp. The strings were 09-42. In the following three videos I played some distorted sounds  and […]

New picture of the Sultans Strat before being refinished to red

Today I found a picture showing Dire Straits live in 1977, before they recorded their first album. At this time the famous red ‘Sultans’ Strat was not refinished to red yet but still had the bare wood finish in which Mark got it (probably earlier that year). There are a few pictures around that show the guitar with this finish but all of these are of rather poor quality (and […]