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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

♫ Mark Knopfler - Money For Nothing - Interview - 1958 Gibson Les Paul Standard Sunburst Electric Guitar ♫

I found this interview with Mark Knopfler very interesting, it's from a BBC documentary and we get to hear Mark talk about how he came up with that unique sound we hear in the song Money For Nothing.

Mark was the lead guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter for the British rock band Dire Straits from 1977 to 1995. As a solo artist and composer, Knopfler also recorded and performed with many prominent musical artists, including Chet Atkins, The Chieftains, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Jools Holland, Sonny Landreth, and Van Morrison. And even produced albums for Tina Turner, Bob Dylan, and Randy Newman.

Are you ready for a guitar lesson in songwriting? Now for you that have attempted to compose your own music, you probably have found out pretty soon that it's not that easy. I have found that there are two types of songwriters / composers. The ones that can sit down and make a great song with a great sound in a few minutes and have the whole thing done in a few hours in the recording studio. And then there are those that can spend weeks and months on a single song. I am the later type..

Well I can't really speak much on the matter because I only have a few acoustic instrumentals under my belt that I would perform if I was asked to. However there is one factor to take into account and that is how much of a perfectionist you are, and if you are willing to cut some corners to make a deadline.

But I don't approve of that, when it comes to music, there is so much crappy music out there today, I mean really turn on the radio and have a listen and tell me that you don't hear this horrible monotone music all over the place. If you are a songwriter today or thinking about making some of your own music, do yourself a favor and avert your ears from the radio and put on some Bach or Beethoven first. Get your basics straight beforehand because I fell that otherwise you will only end up with something that sounds like crap.

I stress this very much because it's the music that we listen to and play ourselves that define and inspire us when we do sit down and try to compose our own music. And to rise above this crappy music we need to simply tune it out of our minds so when we do sit down and "fiddle" we are not limited in our minds. 

Sometimes just like Mark Knopfler says in the interview: "When people say how do you get those sounds? Usually I don't know, you know I just fiddle about with the amp until I get something that works".

I can relate to that, because this is how many great songs get made. You find this nice little sound and you build on that. Hopefully you end up with a great song.


You might notice in this interview that Mark Knopfler is playing on his Gibson Les Paul Electric Guitar. This is his 1958 Sunburst Gibson Standard. Mark is also left-handed, but plays right-handed, and fingerpicks (using a personal variant of the clawhammer style) instead of using a guitar pick. 

Fingerpicking is usually done with the acoustic guitar, but Knopfler usually (though not always) plays an electric guitar. He revealed during a French interview once that he uses a pick for his rhythm work during recording sessions. He surprised the interviewer by pulling a pick out of his pocket and saying that he usually carries one. 

Even though Mark has long favoured Fender Telecaster and Stratocaster Electric Guitars. During the 1980s he came to appreciate the tone of the Gibson Les Paul and his original Sunburst 1958 Gibson Les Paul and has been used it regularly in the studio and on stage since. For you that are fans of Fenders and particularly the Stratocaster Electric Guitar, Fender carries a Mark Knopfler Artist Series Stratocaster in their line.

And you got to have a look at this live performance of Money For Nothing by Mark Knopfler on his Gibson Les Paul, Eric Clapton on the Fender Stratocaster with Phil Collins on the Drums and Sting doing the Vocals.





Guitar Pro 6: chord diagram, digital tuner, guiitar fretboard HideMyAss.com

Some thoughts about guitar courses and guitar lessons online

Pointers when you buy guitars like electric guitars and acoustic guitars with all the guitar gear avaliable


Nowdays you can find electric guitars for sale and acoustic guitars for sale on the www. You can even find some nice pa speakers and guitar gear if you want. But back in the day and probably even still today, it's a common thing that you would look around, maybe in the newspaper or go to town to look if you could find an acoustic electric guitar for sale that you like. Most would go to a music store that have electric guitars for sale or acoustic guitars for sale and then spend some time in the music store playing before they make the decision and buy a guitar. Now let me tell you that going to a music store would probably be best for a beginner because he or she would then also get advice from the store about what guitar gear and guitar accessories that would be best to look at also for the beginner guitar player.


But we guitarists that have been playing now for many, many years are more and more starting to look on the www when it's time for us to buy guitar however we are not always after new ones though. I have been having my eye on one acoustic electric guitar for sale now for some time, it's a Yamaha but it's the handcrafted one and it's got a great guitar sound. However if I go ahead and buy guitar at the local store that would cost me a bit more, so that's why I have been turning more to WWW music stores that have this acoustic electric guitar for sale. Most of the time. However because it's a handmade guitar few stores have it in stock. So I'm still searching but maybe someday I will find a place that have my acoustic electric guitar for sale so I can be happy with my buy.


The thing is that when you do come across a place that let you buy acoustic guitars and you find your acoustic electric guitar for sale or a place that have a lot of different electric guitars for sale you start to look at what more they got in stock. Like oh lets see, I could use new pa speakers and some guitar gear would be nice. I don't think you could have to little guitar gear because you are kind of limited in your guitar playing otherwise. Well I think it's like with everything else that in the end you come out with an even more expensive acoustic electric guitar or whatever it was than the one you had you're eye on.


Want the hear something silly? Did you know that now you can even get guitar jewelry I mean what is that? They didn't have guitar jewelry when I grew up, or at least it wasn't that "big". When I was a kid you would be lucky if you got a music stand or guitar case to go along with your new guitar. I think this have more to do with the fact that a lot of artists today have rap jewelry or music jewelry that they wear. You know there are also gold guitar picks now.. Well I don't think gold guitar picks are somethig that new but if you start to look at the whole picture. You begin to see with all this guitar jewelry and music jewelry with gold guitar picks and, did I leave something out? Oh yeah rap jewelry is not to be forgotten. So you know there is a lot of stuff out there.


Now I don't think you can have enough of either acoustic guitars or electric guitars but because you now easily can buy electric guitars on the www and easily buy guitars on the WWW you might want to think a bit about which guitars you want before you go on a spending spree. Make up a plan, look at your style of playing and go from there.


So now you have your guitar and guitar gear but how do you play?



Well everyone started out somewhere didn't we. I however did not take any guitar courses when I started out. Well actually now that I think about it I did take a basic guitar course back in middle school. But this was a few years before I really picked up the guitar and made a effort to learn to play guitar and play my first songs. And back then we only played some really easy chords, you know simple stuff. Now more than 13 years on looking back at how I have evolved as a guitar player I do see that I could have very much evolved quicker with guitar lessons online than without them.


However back then we didn't good guitar lessons online that you can get today. There are even some good free online guitar lessons out there now that would be suitable beginner guitar lessons for you young people. However I know that there are a lot of you "old" guys and gals out there that also want to learn how to play guitar and just because your not young and "nimble" does not mean you can't learn to play guitar also. I know there are some very good musicians out there that didn't start to play until they were middle age and it turned out that they could play really good.


When it comes to guitar lessons online you should not get turned off if you come across guitar lessons online that don't suit you. Because we all learn different. Some of us are quick learners and other (like me) it takes us a bit longer. And how well we learn to play guitar is not only up to you but also the guitar teachers. If you are lucky you find some guitar courses with guitar teacher that you like and stick with them.


But again we all learn different so what works for some might not be what works for you. Me on the other hand I tend to play guitar as a hobby, and because of that I don't like to play if I'm not in the mood. That's another thing that's great with online guitar courses because you get to decide when it's the best time for you to learn to play guitar not the other way around. Otherwise you would need to keep an appointment to your guitar course and be "forced" to play even though not really in the mood. On the other hand playing guitar makes me in a good mood, so don't get too upset about you sending your kids away to their guitar courses


You should look around at what guitar courses are available and if your a beginner then some beginner guitar lessons are where you should be looking for first. And even though you know a little how to play guitar already. I'm sure it would be good for you to start out with a beginner guitar lesson first because there are always something that you can learn. You would not want to "play wrong" for a number of years only to find out way later that you should not move your arm when you strum the guitar now do you? Well Steve Vai does that, and he's pretty good you know, but that's one thing that guitar teachers point out that you should not do. Move your wrist instad, that gives you better control. It's the small things like, holding a guitar pick and sitting straight that you miss out on without some good guitar lessons and I'm not kidding.


Something like that could happen to you if you don't get your basics right from the start. So go ahead and look around for some good guitar lessons online I have a selection on this page at the top if you are interested. And remember it should be fun, but it will take some practice but that's one thing that good guitar teachers should be able to help you with.

Songwriters and music producers usually started out after learning guitar

So now you have you're guitar and know how to play


We all evolve, with anything we do we get better and sooner or later we start to seek more challenges. The natural step for a new guitar player would be to either join a band or start a band. However some of you will go on and make your own music and become music producers or songwriters full time. There are a few things that differ though. If you're in a band, probably a small one.. What you really need is recording labels or a record deal to get you onto the big stage. Someone to promote music that you make, of course you can promote your music yourself. One thing you can do to promote your band is to join a music contest instead. That will help PROMOTE MUSIC because it will get people talking if you are good enough. There are some major record labels accepting demos that you can go to but if you promote your band doing music contests and win you might even get music promotion companies to get their eyes / ears open to your music and contact you.


There's no secret that music agents and music publishers are present in the crowd from time to time, and if you do good this will get you offers from recording labels for sure. If you're a songwriter or lyricist you probably want to sell music and the big question is how to sell music to record companies if your an unknown lyricist. There's no big secret really, if your music is good and you make yourself seen chances are you will get in contact with independent record labels and if you start to get out there and get yourself known, then upcoming bands will also be in contact with you.

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