Sult ans Of Swin g

He’s got a clean­ish tone, he’s do­ing al­right

Total Guitar - - BLACK PEAKS -

Pl ayer Mark Knopfl er Al bum Dire Straits (1978)

While it’s def­i­nitely ap­pli­ca­ble for all the ex­am­ples in this fea­ture that a sig­nif­i­cant de­gree of the tone is in your hands, that adage is es­pe­cially rel­e­vant here. Of course there’s a recipe for Mark Knopfler’s clean­ish tone here with es­sen­tial in­gre­di­ent, but equally im­por­tant is the re­la­tion­ship be­tween his pick­ing hand and the strings. And that’s go­ing to take time – but the pay­off could open new doors for you. For now, let’s start with the gear…

The song goes right back to the roots of the band – it was present on their first demo, telling the story of a Lon­don jazz pub band in Knopfler sig­na­ture la­conic style, it was com­pletely at odds with the new wave and punk bands of the time. The bal­ance of space and de­tail in Knopfler’s play­ing nods clearly to his Amer­i­cana in­flu­ences

– in­deed it was orig­i­nally writ­ten in open tun­ing on a Na­tional Steel gui­tar that would later be­come syn­ony­mous with the band for 1985’s Brothersi­n­arms. Things changed when Knopfler bought his red ’61 Strat in 1977 and tried it again in stan­dard. And the tonal­ity of the Strat is all over this song - it’s one of the great recorded Fen­der tones.

“It’s just a Fen­der Twin and the Strat,” Knopfler told our US sis­ter mag Guitar­world, “with its three-way se­lec­tor switch jammed into a mid­dle po­si­tion that gives it its sound, and I think there were quite a few five-way switches in­stalled as a re­sult of that song.”

Then there’s that finger ap­proach. The outro is fin­ger­picked, and that can seem daunt­ing go­ing at the 148bpm tempo but ev­ery­thing with gui­tar can be ap­proached in a man­age­able way by build­ing your speed up slowly with the four note pick­ing pat­tern; thumb the first note, pull-off to the sec­ond note, thumb-pick the third note and use your first finger to pick the last note.

thetone­sul­tan Knopfler’s fin­ger­style touch is as im­por­tant as his clean tone

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.