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Mark Knopfler's "Sultans of Swing" Guitar Track

TigerTheFrog

Amphibiousician
This has almost a million plays on YouTube, so I am sure many of you have heard it, but for any of you haven't I think it makes for a very interesting listen. I've listened to him play this hundreds of times, but hearing it solo is a revelation for me. Among other things, I never realized he also played rhythm on this.

If you are short on time, don't miss the last minute. :)


 

MWMelis

New Member
One of the greatest guitar-centric songs of all time. Thanks for sharing. It sounds like three separate guitar tracks, with dry rhythm parts panned left and right and a reverb/chorus lead part in the middle.Mark's fingerstyle playing combines a great percussive attack on rhythm with silky smooth and lightning fast lead lines. A very effective combo.

As a side note, one of my childhood friends was offered a Gibson Firebird guitar by his uncle... on the condition that he learn and could perform a flawless version of Sultans of Swing. He got the guitar in the end... well earned if you ask me!
 

Hywel

I'm a musical nobody...
@Hywel, see my post above.
I'm sorry but I didn't really understand your post and if I may, my question still stands - Could Mr Knopfler have recorded what we can hear in the video in ONE complete take ONLY? I know he is a brilliant guitarist, so I wanted to know if it was possible or not for him to do this? My ears are telling me that it seems unlikely but I am willing to be amazed. The thing that makes me think it can be done is that neither rhythm nor lead are heard playing together.
 
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TigerTheFrog

TigerTheFrog

Amphibiousician
I'm sorry but I didn't really understand your post and if I may, my question still stands - Could Mr Knopfler have recorded what we can hear in the video in ONE complete take ONLY? I know he is a brilliant guitarist, so I wanted to know if it was possible or not for him to do this? My ears are telling me that it seems unlikely but I am willing to be amazed. The thing that makes me think it can be done is that neither rhythm nor lead are heard playing together.
Yes, they are never heard together, and if he did it in two takes I can't think of any reason why there would never be any overlap.

It is clear from live videos that he plays both rhythm and lead on this song at the beginning--so he is capable of doing it. I believe that's what comes naturally to him when he's singing the lyrics and it doesn't matter that there's also a rhythm guitarist on the stage.

Of course, in his live performance he turns this song into an extended jam, so he only plays lead through the very long solo.

 

ceemusic

Active Member
A classic. I remember when it was released, all the guitars players were raving about it. It still holds up, every new crop of players rave about it too.

This audio here is from 2 guitar tracks, sounds like the rythem gtr. was ducked by the lead or fader mixed/ soloed in-out.
 
Eventually, most guitarists come back to learn, or at least, recognize the masters' prowess. Knopfler is certainly one of them. In a time of speed demons, he stood out, and still does, for his musicality, taste and precision.
 
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TigerTheFrog

TigerTheFrog

Amphibiousician
One of my favorite scores ever is the one Knopfler did for Bill Forsyth's LOCAL HERO, which also happens to be one of my favorite films. I'll never forget the happy/sad feeling I had walking out of the theatre to this final theme.


I've listened to it hundreds of times since then, but it always gets to me.

I always hear his guitar phrasing in the saxophone part, but I'm going to be sacrilegious and say that I prefer the original to Knopfler playing the lead part himself.



But if you love this theme as much as I do, you will love hearing this even though it isn't Knopfler playing.

 

Kony

Bad ape
Reminds me of an old quote from Chet Atkins - when asked about Knopfler's quitar technique, he said something along the lines of "I don't know what he's doing but it sure works".
 
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TigerTheFrog

TigerTheFrog

Amphibiousician
I never realized until now how "Dylanesque" he sounds with his vocals.
That's the thing that everybody said about him when he first got attention. I bet he played a lot of Dylan songs growing up, and it's hard to not pick up a bit of that if you do that.
 
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