Former Dire Straits leader Mark Knopfler is, as we all know, a great lead guitarist. His fingerstyle leads allow him to incorporate some Flamenco-style rolls to his bluesy playing. But don't overlook his rhythm playing.
Playing as a solely fingerstyle guitarist in an electric guitar world really allows him to get sounds that no one else is getting. Playing rhythm and chords without a pick means he can choose specific notes from chords to create really unique rhythmic passages.
In this lesson we’re going to check out four chords that you can use to get some Knopfler voicings into your playing.
The opening chord for the track Going Home is this D/F#. This is a really useful inversion of a 5 string major barre chord. This chord can also be easily transposed.
In this chord you play the major third of the chord on the A string instead of the root. The root is still present, but higher in the chord.
In the track Money For Nothing, Knopfler uses a lot of double stops in the tracks iconic riff.
This particular chord is not actually played as an entire chord in the track, it is played as a double stop on the G and B strings followed by a single note on the D. Playing fingerstyle allowed Knopfler to hold down a chord shape and rhythmically play fragments of it.
In the Knopfler solo track Sailing To Philadelphia, this Dadd2 chord is used. This is quite a tricky chord to play. This is the C shape played rooted from a D, but using all 4 fingers to transpose the whole shape up a full tone. You also let the high E string ring up, this is the add2 note.
This is another fragment chord, this time from the chorus of the track Sultans Of Swing. This is played in the place of a full D minor chord. The chord is essentially a D minor triad with the A note as the lowest note.
Mark Knopfler would often use fragments of chords this way to give chord changes a more melodic sound, as heard in the chorus of this song.