Which strings for the Sultans of Swing sound? – Comparing 010 and 009 strings

Listening to Sultans of Swing in 1979 was one of the reasons I started to learn the guitar. From this time on I wanted to get that magic guitar sound. One major component for a guitar sound is the right string gauge. I guess you all have heard about using heavier strings to get a fuller sound. On the other hand thinner strings are easier to play, and they give […]

Fender discontinued the 150 super light strings

After almost 40 years, Fender recently dropped the 15o SL strings from their product range. For me bad news because the 150 SL (pure nickel, 008, 011, 014, 022, 030, 038) are the strings of choice on most of my Stratocasters. 08-strings had their popularity peak surely some decades ago. They were favoured especially among country players since thin strings made all those fancy banjo-style rolls and licks easier and […]

Mark Knopfler licks on an acoustic – How to practice electric guitar on your acoustic

(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 […]

How to get that Sultans of Swing Sound – Mark Knopfler played 08 strings?

It cannot be answered with 100% certainty which string gauge or brand Mark Knopfler played on e.g. the first Dire Straits album or on Communique. There were a few interviews with major guitar magazines, but unfortunately none of these asked for strings. For a long time the earliest information was from the Making Movies tour book which listed Fender Extra Lights for this tour. However, this was late 1980 and […]