Lessons from the world’s greatest teachers and schools...
Music editor Jason Sidwell rounds up another action-packed lessons section.
Our cover star Mark Knopfler demonstrates many of the attributes found in a 360° guitarist; he can seemingly do everything. Fame and fortune may have been the result of his music but the guitar is where his real treasure chest lies. With his trademark fingerpicking he has embraced many styles and guitars to create iconic moments in music: clean Strat chords and quickity-lick leads (Sultans Of Swing), thick Les Paul riffs (Money For Nothing) and lead melodies (Brothers In Arms), National picking (Romeo and Juliet) and cinematic nylon-string phrases (Private Investigations). It takes a curious mind and much playing to be so creative across such a broad stylistic palette, let alone to create music that pleases as many listeners as Knopfler has during his career.
We appreciate all music styles which in turn results in lessons that aim to make you an able guitarist and a flexible musician. You’ll see it this issue from the Knopfler analysis to the multitude of creative whammy bar approaches, a spirited Strat solo from Carl Verheyen to an exquisite solo guitar arrangement of Bellini’s Norma Casta Diva (you may have heard it via Jean Paul Gaultier adverts). Now you’re about to enter the Learning Zone, there’s even more to mull over; short licks and riffs, Eric Gales-styled blues soloing, Bryan Adams riffy rocking, Martin Taylor jazz soloing, Pete Townshend chordal acoustic work, slick jazz-rock Mixolydian and Pentatonic soloing, Mick Taylor slide playing, Lydian scale intervallic exercises and rippling 50s/60s styled arpeggios. All in, it’s a huge amount of material to get through - the typical reader can take many months to absorb each issue - so it’s worthwhile zoning in on areas that either interest you the most or indeed prove the most beneficial to your present situation. Be it hybrid-picking chords or accommodating large intervallic jumps when soloing, we recommend prioritising your time over the coming weeks (half an hour a night should get you started) to get the most out of these lessons and your creative playing. Enjoy the issue!