Sultans Of Swing by Dire Straits | electric rhythm & solo
An electric guitar lesson on how to play “Sultans Of Swing” by Dire Straits from their 1978 debut album.
I found this great Classic Rock article that tells you everything you've ever wanted to know about this song, the writing, the recording and how it came to be such a massive worldwide hit. It's a really interesting read.
This is such a classic guitar song and Mark Knopfler is an excellent guitar player. Learning this is a master class in how to play the guitar.
His style incorporates a lot of chord tones, arpeggios, minor and major pentatonic scales, some cool double and triple stops, some country type bends and a ton of sixth intervals.
He's very knowledgeable of the fretboard. Once you learn this, it's going to open up a lot about how the guitar works for you. It'll help you to see the chord shapes up and down the neck.
Other than a few pentatonic licks, most of the playing in this tune is based on the chord shapes.
What really makes it though is his phrasing and that's something that will be unique to every person, it's that intuitive, creative element that can't be taught and that's really what separates the great players from the just OK ones.
He plays the whole thing with his thumb and fingers and has a unique style that's very Chet Atkins influenced. Most of the licks aren't difficult to play other than a couple of the ones in the end solo, especially the last one.
You could play all of this with a pick, but it's just not going to sound the same.
I usually like to keep my demos short to avoid boredom, but since this tune is more or less one big guitar solo, I actually demoed the entire song! For experienced players, that might be all you need to get these parts.
Learning all of these licks was a real project, but It was also a lot of fun to do.
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