#1
Hi,

(Apologies if this has been asked a million times before. I'm not looking for tabs as such, I'm looking for advice. I tried to parse all the information in the other forums, but you'll agree there's a lot to parse. If this thread belongs elsewhere, then apologies in advance, and do feel free to move it to the correct location.)

I've had my electric for a while (Squier strat, a nice cheap model with decent strings that sounds good enough for my own twiddling around at home), and I pick it up now and then, fiddle with some chords, string bends, get bored running up and down a scale or two, and generally try and remember where things are on the fretboard. Entirely something I really enjoy fiddling around with from time to time, but never for long enough that I get really good at it.

As yet, I've not really cared to sit down and go through an entire song in one go. I can just about get through that old worn down Pink Floyd song, Wish You Were Here, if I stick to the really simple parts. I've decided, however, that it's time to really dig in with one particular song, to really learn about what's being played, what could be played, and really learn not how to play a song, but learn how the song can be played. If that makes sense?

I'm thinking of this as a case study, or reference song, if you will, which I'll keep revisiting and practising. I'm going to see Mark Knopfler when he plays Edinburgh next year, so I recently picked up Dire Strait's "On the night" to start learning the bits of his back catalogue I'm not familiar with. This album which has an excellent live version of Brothers In Arms -- a gorgeous song in the first place.

The video version of the same can be found here: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1jtb4_di...s-in-arms_music; I think it's only spoiled by the solo at the end going on a bit too long -- they could have stopped just before the slide guitar comes in. But, no matter.

Basically, some of the guitar parts in this song are slow enough that I can play them already. Some of them are too fast for me to be able to pick out, but the song seems to strike a balance between playable and challenging for me.

So, I'm curious. I'm looking for the guitar aficionados to help me out here. I'm probably going to ask some braindead questions here too, but I'm really just looking for pointers to help me out on my way. It's not quite enough for me to be able to play the song by rote, I want extra info so I can play around with some variation... :-)

So, questions. What key is the song in? I could probably figure that out if I sat down with it for a while. What sort of scales is he running up and down during his guitar parts?

What sort of guitar tech does Knopfler generally use, and what is he using here? Guitar types, amps, effects. Which effects are in use on this song? I can't hear many. But how does he get that guitar noise? It's sort of angry, but a nicely constrained angry. Indicative of a sort of yearning, not fierceness.

Any other pointers? :-)


Cheers,
-S.
#3
I recommend you download the following two free apps.

http://www.harmony-central.com/Software/Windows/easyscale.html
http://www.xs4all.nl/~mp2004/bp/

Best Practice will allow you to slow down the song and learn the solo parts. Easyscale will allow you to look at your transcribed solo and match it to the best scale. Between figuring out the scale that fits best and lookign at the chord progression you can figure out the key. I'm guessing it should match what johnny_tapia posted. So that's a good test.

There is a commercial app called Amazing Slowdowner that is better than Easyscale but I think it's about $50.
#4
Great song, good choice. If you download a program called Power Tab (which is free) it'll help you out a lot with timing and such. Also another good one to get is Guitar Pro but that one you'd have to pay for unless you don't mind using Limewire and getting it that way

Good Luck
#6
Thanks for the info guys, really helpful!

Quote by fly135
I recommend you download the following two free apps.

http://www.harmony-central.com/Software/Windows/easyscale.html
http://www.xs4all.nl/~mp2004/bp/

Best Practice will allow you to slow down the song and learn the solo parts. Easyscale will allow you to look at your transcribed solo and match it to the best scale. Between figuring out the scale that fits best and lookign at the chord progression you can figure out the key. I'm guessing it should match what johnny_tapia posted. So that's a good test.

There is a commercial app called Amazing Slowdowner that is better than Easyscale but I think it's about $50.

I'll take a look at the free stuff first, hopefully over the weekend.

Quote by DSOTM80
Great song, good choice. If you download a program called Power Tab (which is free) it'll help you out a lot with timing and such. Also another good one to get is Guitar Pro but that one you'd have to pay for unless you don't mind using Limewire and getting it that way

Thanks. I know, it's an excellent song. I was quite pleased when I thought about using it for guitar practice

Quote by johnny_tapia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brothers_in_Arms_%28song%29

That should get you started. It is in G# Minor

Good point, I'm surprised I didn't check the Wikipedia page first!

Btw, fellow scotsman, eh? The internet really is a village.
#7
the closest i can get to mark's sound is on my MIA strat with neck and middle pickups on and the amp (fender deluxe) on clean.
I've been imitated so well I've heard people copy my mistakes.
- Jimi Hendrix
#8
Quote by fly135
There is a commercial app called Amazing Slowdowner that is better than Easyscale but I think it's about $50.
I meant better than BestPractice. It does a really good job of slowing down the song without screwing up the quality. Plus other features are better,
#9


From 'Mark Knopfler Guitar Styles Vol. 1/2':
1984 Gibson Les Paul, serial 90006 re-issue, modified so that the central position on the pick-up selector connects them 'out of phase'.

From John Suhr, 1/15/04:
I refretted the Les Pauls that Mark and his Guitar player Jack Sonni recieved from Gibson in the 80's for Brothers and Arms and I can assure you they were not out of phase. Someone might have made this mistake at a later date I dont know.

Some say it sounds reminiscent of Clapton's Wine Red Les Paul ("the red Les Paul that Clapton gave to Harrison was a 57 Gold Top refinned by Rick Derringer - who gave it to Clapton. It is in a new book coming out called Beatle Gear.) through a Marshall Bluesbreaker combo recorded on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps".

This dog says the Les Paul's "howl" is the result of the Marshall tubes melting rather than an "out-of-phase" pickup configuration.

Additionally, Knopfler's "nasal" Les Paul sound is greatly tamed and molded by the use of the volume pedal, played in what is known as the "violining" style.

Not to be confused with:

1986 Gibson Cherry Sunburst Les Paul Standard re-issue

Signal chain:

Les Paul, Ernie Ball volume Pedal, TC 2290 Delay, Marshall JTM45, Marshall 4x12 loaded with EV speakers.
#10
Just forgot to add, the part in BIA that pulls a tear every time I hear it, is the inverted M7 arpeggio after the line "every man has to die". It sounds so unexpected, so unearthly ... it's gotta be a call from above.
#11
Quote by sodsto
Hi,

What sort of scales is he running up and down during his guitar parts?



MK hardly limits himself to scales, i.e. pentatonics, as hardly as he attempts to lay down "modal textures" ala Satriani, Vai, Scofield, Metheney.

You could say his playing evolves from playing M, M7, m, m7, blues scales, but mostly from the music he listened to when he started playing, country/blues/rock.

You could say his playing is not chord based ( Keith Richards ) or arpeggio based ( Brian Seltzer ) although he'll occasionally throw a few of each in songs for dynamics.

His soloing talent is really years of "noodling" on themes and picking up bits, digesting them, and making it his own by adapting it to his finger-playing style and his own melodic interpretation.

He uses a lot of pick-tap-pulloffs combinations, (by opposition to picking every note played), bends often (the country style influence), curiosouly doesn't slide very much from phrase to phrase.

His playing is very interlocked with the backing arrangements. His basic playing of a song is the playing of an arranger. I think he leaves very little room to the band securing the theme behind him, feeding in the cues. As a soloist, he really breaks free and lets the years of noodling take control, telling whole lengthy stories with a great feel of call and answer, climax building phrases. Definitely a melodic soloist, playing like a sax or a jazz trumpet. A lot of fill-îns he throws are inspired by "horn sections".

I'll end here saying If there are any guitarists whose playing reminds me occasionally of MKs, that would be JJ Cale, Jimmy Page, and Steve Hackett.
#12
Quote by ColdGin
Just forgot to add, the part in BIA that pulls a tear every time I hear it, is the inverted M7 arpeggio after the line "every man has to die". It sounds so unexpected, so unearthly ... it's gotta be a call from above.

That is an amazing part of the song
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