#1
I'm after some help with the Rhythm bit of this I'm playing it on an acoustic but it just doesn't sound no where near good enough I know the strumming pattern learnt it off of justinguitar on YouTube but it still don't sound that good. The original sounds Spanish sort of is it a different style of strumming as opposed to just using index to do it. (As justin showed)
Last edited by BassBen93 at Feb 27, 2015,
#2
I'll have to look up the original again, I haven't listened to it in a while but I think the rhythm player might be using a pick. I learned it on acoustic and finger picking, it isn't easy to get it to sound right electric or acoustic, but electric does work better. Still, it can be done on acoustic and should sound pretty good, you probably just need to practice it a bit more. The main problem, especially finger picking is getting it to sound smooth enough. I had trouble with it sounding too choppy until I worked on it for a while.

Try clawing it with thumb, index and middle finger instead of just one finger. That's how I play it. I find that works better. Thumb the root note then the rest of the chord, not all notes at the same time for the first 2 chords, then all at the same time for the rest.

Try it with a pick also, I've never asked a rhythm guitar player to try and finger pick that one. I do the leads and fills and a lot of the rhythm all finger picked, and let the rhythm guitar go at it with a pick.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#3
Well,I don't know how Justin plays it, and I'm not exactly sure I could copy it exactly if I wanted to.

Anyway, I hear each measure of the cadence strummed differently, not really a set pattern.

I think if you spend a little bit of time to study the Animals version of,"House of the Rising Sun", and Joan Baez, "Diamonds & Rust", you'd get a bit of practice with the sweep arpeggio, (particularly "House", as that's done with a pick),

Anyway, the verse of "Sultans" is a straight forward "Andalusian Cadence", and the progression alone can give it that, "Spanish sound". So, you can goof around with the bass line between Bb & A, and/or use a "Phrygian Dominant Scale", once you get to the A major chord, to break up the monotony.

Which really isn't anywhere near as complicated as it sounds. You're just playing the notes of the 2 major chords, Bb & A and taking advantage of the 1/2 step difference between them, to get a more exotic sound.

Try placing a "mini barre" across the inner 3 strings of A major, and use your other finger(s), to noodle around with the notes of Bb major, ahead of it.

Quote by Paleo Pete
..[ ]...Try it with a pick also, I've never asked a rhythm guitar player to try and finger pick that one. I do the leads and fills and a lot of the rhythm all finger picked, and let the rhythm guitar go at it with a pick.
Actually, Mark Knopfler's brother was the rhythm guitar player on, "Dire Straits", and I've heard him panned for, "not having his heart into it". The pure rhythm isn't that hard to play, but since I always toy with the song by myself, I like to add some licks between the chords to keep myself interested.

I think Knopfler himself hammers on F maj @ the 5th from a mini barre of C maj @ 5 also, to get that triplet "dah da, dah, da, da, dah". (Sorry about the lousy tab ).

Although I have a confession to make. Sometimes when I run into the A > Dm back to the top of the cadence, I very often get sidetracked into, "Paint it Black".
Last edited by Captaincranky at Feb 27, 2015,
#4
OK I thought it was Mark's brother that played rhythm but couldn't remember for sure. I knew his brother was in the band, but couldn't remember what he played.

Just looked up pa live version from 1978, rhythm guitar player is using a pick. You can see it about :45 or so he's strumming and pretty obvious it's with a pick. Not sure if that's his brother or not, seems I remember he didn't last too long.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BX0Bhga_2vs
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#5
Dear lord, was that actually way back in 1978? I remember being at work saying, "he sort of sounds like Dylan", the day the album dropped.

Anyway, let's all take a few minutes and try to channel Gabriella's, "el estilo del ventiilador", ("the fan"), and move this into pure flamenco territory. Well OK, it might take a lot longer than a few minutes.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-qgum7hFXk

I'd be willing to bet Mark wouldn't throw her out of the band...

OK, I'm being a bit silly, but you can see where the flamenco finger rolling technique would blend perfectly with,"Sultans"
Last edited by Captaincranky at Feb 27, 2015,
#6
Assuming you are referring to the first chord...you roll it. Dm at the 5th fret, Thumb on A, Index on D, Middle on G and Ring on B. Set all them down at once. Start with the thumb and stagger all the fingers. It takes some practice to get it smooth. He is using all 4 digits. No pinky.
#7
I just see an interview of him and it's such a weird style he was using thumb to play bass and then up strum going index then middle then ring to much the triplet sound.

I always thought you'd do a down strum like that but he doesn't up which keeps the sound less harsh.

I suppose no one will get it like him so I'll just mess around with it it still sounds good with a pick or finger and thumb pinch you can still get a triplet sound when you strum fast.
That's how I get that sound at the moment I'll have to work on the thumb and 3 fingers but it's a lot for just one song and I don't ever play Spanish stuff so it's not worth me spending forever on.
#8
Quote by BassBen93
I just see an interview of him and it's such a weird style he was using thumb to play bass and then up strum going index then middle then ring to much the triplet sound.

I always thought you'd do a down strum like that but he doesn't up which keeps the sound less harsh.

I suppose no one will get it like him so I'll just mess around with it it still sounds good with a pick or finger and thumb pinch you can still get a triplet sound when you strum fast.
That's how I get that sound at the moment I'll have to work on the thumb and 3 fingers but it's a lot for just one song and I don't ever play Spanish stuff so it's not worth me spending forever on.
OK first, Knopfler's playing is fairly sparse and somewhat intermittent. He isn't the rhythm guitar player. If you want to play Sultans of Swing as a solo acoustic number, you pretty much have to ignore what he's doing, and come up with a solid rhythm framework for the tune. Either that, or loop the tune, then play over it. Plus, I thought we'd already determined that the song's actual rhythm track, IS done with a PICK.

That's all the rhythm guitarist is doing, distilling a flamenco technique / rhythm down to a pick style accompaniment. Listen to the Jerfferson Airplane's "White Rabbit". It's got the same Phrygian dominant movement from I > II. (Instead to II >I as in Sultans. With a pick.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Feb 28, 2015,