Sultans of Swing: One man One Guitar | Beaufort County Now | “Your mission, Stan, should you decide to accept it, is… As usual, should you or any member of your BCN Force be captured or killed, the secretary will disavow any knowledge of your existence. This tape will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck, Stan.”

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Sultans of Swing: One man One Guitar

   I am aware that this post may have a very limited readership, but in view of the publishers quest to master the guitar, I felt it only appropriate to offer him some encouragement. I am also aware that this may in fact be a discouraging post for many budding guitarist who have yet to learn the main lesson to almost anything in life.


   Stan, Here is your challenge for the coming year.   I gave up on trying to mimic Mark Knopfler on his rendition of Sultans of Swing when I ran across this guy who covers the iconic song without accompaniment.  I quickly found out that Like Mark Knopfler, Yoni makes it look easy. I wondered what the missing key was only to discover that it was in fact the same thing I always knew:>>>>> TALENT!!!

   However, I was able to duplicate the rough basic chords thanks to his use of a Capo (5th Fret). The rhythm strumming was another matter but I did manage to get it into somewhat of a repetitive flow. The one thing about this song that I always enjoyed was the driving beat and arpeggio that Mark inter spaced so effortlessly. It was not until YouTube until I realized that Sultans of Swing was accomplished with only one rhythm guitar and Mark's virtuoso combination of Rhythm and Lead on a single guitar.

    So below, I offer you your challenge.

  • First is the Rendition by Yoni Schlesinger
  • Second is the right hand Tutorial
  • Third is the whole song which is long and detailed.
  • The final one is of course Mark Knopfler in a 1979 concert.

Click on the pictures below to see the Videos.

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Published on Oct 10, 2018

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Published on Dec 30, 2018

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Once you have mastered the acoustic version, I suggest you spend the next decade trying to master  Mark Knopfler's rendition on a Fender Stratocaster as show below from a 1979 concert.

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Well, now I know how I will spend 2019.

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( January 2nd, 2019 @ 1:01 am )
Thanks for the credit, because much of what I want to accomplish here is "show and tell" something different to different folks, and do it on a platform with the technical ability to go in all manner of directions at once.

That is why I appreciate all of your varied posts ... and Ted's and Kathy's and Alex's, and all the non northern Georgia folks as well.

Just like I turned you on the Dire Straights, you are turning on others to so much else, and that is pretty cool.
( January 1st, 2019 @ 7:17 pm )
Yoni, is an Israeli resident living in Tel Aviv. If one searches his name several background articles will come up in addition to his YouTube presentations. I was not aware that Mark toured with Bob Dylan nor that the Band played backup during his Electric phase until many years later.

One of the many benefits of being retired is the ability to revisit some of those musical gaps in my life while I was too busy trying to make a career and family. Now at the age of 73, I can marvel over the artistry of Knopfler as well as many others that were just background music on the first pass. I never knew the members of the many bands or anything other than a DJ's introduction when it appeared on Radio. The Eagles were one such group that I enjoyed their music, but had no clue about the names in the band. The Band also fell into my gap of musical knowledge, though I loved The Weight and The night they drove old Dixie down, but never bothered to learn anything about them..

By the time Dire Straits came along in 1977, I had long since lost interest in the day to day details of musical groups. It don't think that I even knew who Mark Knopfler was until I read your original post on Dire Straits in 2015 here on BCN. I don't have a specific memory of Romeo and Juliet prior to your post. Now, I often wonder who else I missed by not knowing the catalog of other groups.

I find it very fascinating how just a few years difference in age can mark our youth and musical influences. It may be just possible that I am missing out on some great current artist, but I have some doubts on that.

Here is the original post that opened up my fascination with Mark Knopfler.
( January 1st, 2019 @ 5:49 pm )
Yoni is the man. I bet he is an Israeli Jew. Impressive Dude.

The Dire Straits video was very raw, probably done when the band had very little experience together and before they got their outstanding keyboardist - Alan Clark.
( January 1st, 2019 @ 5:14 pm )
You know that Knopfler played with Dylan when Bob was going through his Christian phase in mid to late 1980s. The relationship wqs strained a bit, but, they are still collaborating.

Mark Knopfler has one of the widest ranges of musical creation in the history of classical melodies.

Here is an easy mark Knopfler song that I can even do, and it is still one of my favorites:

Of course I do the stripped down version. I am captured by the words being an ex-surveyor and since I know a good bit about history. It is a cool little story and melody.
( January 1st, 2019 @ 12:38 pm )
It may be perhaps a bit of both, but the proof would be if a I posted a video of my attempt which is far from possible at my current level of mastery. I doubt that I would ever master the lead portion and the Dylan influence on Mark's phrasing is most difficult. I'm willing to bet that you will find some time to tackle the basic strumming technique though.

It is somewhat infectious once you start the basic four chord repetition and then try to throw in an extra lick or two. Since Romeo and Juliet is in open G tuning, I have had a most difficult time trying to even get to first base.

I realize that you have posted and we have discussed Mark and Sultans of Swing before, but when I ran across this guy, it brought a whole new meaning to guitar virtuoso performances. Setting high goals can be frustrating but occasionally it results in a satisfaction that is the result of a minor improvement in skill level.
( January 1st, 2019 @ 12:15 pm )
I think it remarkable that you would even try. Bobby Tony, I don't know if you are trying to impress me or that you are just showing off, but, you certainly keep my attention.

I'm working on "Romeo and Juliet" in my own ham handed way, so, I you have impressed me taking on "Sultans of Swing"; a far more difficult song to master.
to take my grand kids to see the new "Mary Poppins", but tonight, I will go through your post and consider your challenge.

I'm still impressed with your consideration of what should become great consternation. But, Man my must dream of new frontiers ... always.

TMc: John Wesley CSA Letter May 1862 Artists, Dueling Hits, Best Music Ever, Music Reviews, Music, The Arts TMc:.44 Magnum


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