Brothers In Arms | Mark Knopfler Songbook

Brothers In Arms | Mark Knopfler Songbook


You know there’s not so many songs the moment you listen to it you really can’t help but think about the words “the. best. song. ever. written”. Who’s also in this club? Moon River? Bridge Over Troubled Water? Polovtsian Dances? I just wanted to include a Russian song here, I’m sorry. It’s hard to do the song like that justice in a little video like this. Or 10 videos. I won’t even bother to play it. Popularity of the song means lots of lessons and covers, too, and I strongly recommend you to check out the lesson by one and only Justin Guitar, it’s amazing. It covers all the chords, all the guitar licks, which really isn’t MY thing. I’m more into simple strumming. And Brothers is a very easy song for strumming. The first line of the song is taken from an old Scottish ballad and the whole song is like this old, folk ballad with basic chords: G, C, F, Am. And because the song is so much keyboard-inspired and is in such an odd key for guitar players (G#m), the only way to really make it guitar-friendly is to tune the guitar half-step down and play it in Am. Not only that, it makes soloing more visual and easier to grasp. Simple playing in Am like you do. Of course there’s a way to play it with a capo on the 4th fret in regular tuning, but I never felt that it really works for one guitar. It works great in the band situation. But as you can see, there’s no band. I’d say, if you want to play this song on your own, play it either without a capo, or like this. Tuned-down version works really well. All the nuances and the bottom end on Em — I like that. Even the intro bass line kind of works. It works beautiful and sounds great along with other amazing acoustic songs like P. Simon songs. Or even Mark’s own songs. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? This song is great enough to beat the laziness of retuning your guitar, really. The intro is Am, F, Dm, F, Am, F, Dm. Am, F, Dm, F, G, Am, F, Dm, Asus2, Am. Very straightforward and epic at the same time. With great songs you can almost FEEL the next chord, as if the song was written for you. The verse is: F, G. C, Csus4 (it sounds very folky to me) C, Em/B, Am, Em. F, G, Am, Em. F, Dm, Gsus4, G (folk again), Am, F, Gsus4, G. The main ingredient is all these nuances, for instance, take this Asus2 chord, you can’t play it as smooth in standard tuning, so as this Dm6 chord in the solo section. This one gives so much tension, and again is too hard to play in regular tuning. Don’t forget about Fmaj7 chord in the verse. You can also play more bass. Also, this part before the solo sounds amazing. I can’t say nothing revolutionary here, it’s just a great great song which is out there to inspire. You know people write to me things like “I played guitar a long time ago and never played it ever since and your lesson gave me inspiration to resume my playing”. THIS is my goal. It’s not a Lesson per se because I’m not a teacher, I just want you to retune the guitar half-step down and play this song in the best way it deserves after having real organ, bass and drums. And I can’t talk much about licks, because I think it’s more important to understand it, rather than just to play it. For instance, the verse begins and… There’s certain things Mark always play and just try to follow this. Like, combining this Am pentatonic with Em pentatonic in the verse when it goes to the Em chord or originally it’s actually D#m. This transition alone can make you play all night and day. Or using of Dm triad over this F chord. This is too technical for purposes of my video anyway. Great songs would always sound great at any scale, from one ukulele and a couple of friends playing to church organs and symphonic orchestras. As with 5:15 a.m., if you just play the full song with one guitar and a sheet of lyrics in front of you, it is so well written it gives you as many goose bumps as all the versions that we all love and watch millions and millions of times everywhere on Earth. I guess as a Russian I have a little responsibility for this song, if you know what I mean, and I hope you’ve learned something new. It’s truly amazing how Mark can find a place for dignity even in a war song like Brothers In Arms. Moreover, I think, the message of dignity and optimism, as always, is the key that makes his songs so successful and inspiring. Stop fighting, keep playing and thanks for watching!

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