In this week’s guitar lesson you’ll learn to play a slow, dark lead on acoustic guitar (although this could be played on electric as well). I’ll show you a few easy ways to connect notes to chord shapes so that you can start improvising in this style. You’ll also hear several classic Mark Knopfler style blues licks in this.
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Fab. Cheers Brian
Henry G says
Another great presentation Brian. Thanks again. Haven’t yet watched and listened through the entire lesson yet, so my apologies if you have answered this question in your comments on line. Specifically, can you comment on your tone? It’s always very good, and just perfect, IMO, for this current piece. I’m guessing that’s a mahogany top Martin; I suspect that’s a good part of it, but what kind of amp and what settings/effects might be involved as well”
Thanks for your feedback.
Brian, don’t know if you know him but this lesson’s melody and arrangement sounds very T-Bone Burnettish…he and I grew up together and played in a combo when we were in high school. Love the lesson! Sam Moore
wow, that’s great. T-Bone Burnett is a big hero of mine. I absolutely love everything I’ve heard of him – and yes, definitely has some of his style in there. Very cool Sam
Thierry Noel says
Another great tasty lesson, thanks Brian. It shows us that LESS is MORE! Sometimes there is no point to reap out shredding solos! We just need to let the song breathe as you said rightly so…The fills remind me of Paul Weller in Wild Wood.
Steve P says
Can we have a Fort Worth chapter within Brian’s school?
The Stephen Bruton Chapter maybe?
Hi Brian, this lesson is just amazing. Even my wife, who never ever compliments my guitar playing, said she loves it.
I wonder if you have any other lessons in this direction?
Easy enough for me even.
Alan B says
Where/how can I access the jam track please?
The lesson E280 was also great.
Darrin T says
Hi Brian – do you have the tab for the backing track to this available anywhere? I really like the progression and would like to be able to play that as well.
Chuck L says
I think you know Brian I have been a pretty long term fan. I am 80 and never have time to practice. But this is inspiring, as I like to play similar but more Spanish style. BUT i will be playing this very soon, it is right up my alley. I have 2 martins, 1 regular and one small martin for travel. Anyway I love this style and what you played. I am playing this on my Cordoba. Sounds great to me and my lady loves it, thanks, I am a hero again. . . . . Our large boat is in Ensenada and you are invited whenever ? Just let me know and have some fun. P.S. I hope you come up with more things like this, thanks again. Captain Chuck
Jimmey M says
I want to know how to strum the song just like the recording?
great feelan vibe.
Julie B says
Yes Yes! Could you do a lesson on the rhythm part? Or is it in tab form somewhere? It is beautiful and haunting.
What better therapy after a stressful week than hearing Brian’s new lesson on Friday . . . . I think this is one of the most beautiful melodies you have come up with, Brian, absolutely intoxicating! And I love that it is also easier for beginners (well, I take your word for it, we’ll see about that 😉 ) Love the Mark Knopfler flavor and that dark mysterious mood… Your song writing talent is undeniable, thank you for this soulful music and for teaching us how to play like that. ❤️
Can’t wait to start working on this , I love how as I’m listening for the first time, and I’m thinking the melody should go one way and you take it totally different direction. Another great song/lesson.
Michael Allen says
Absolutely beautiful! Thanks Brian
Beautiful! Nice one Brian.
Aussie Rick says
Really like this style of improvising by connecting the notes to the chord shapes. Thanks Brian for another great lesson and a absolute gem of a composition.
John D says
David K says
Finally broke down and became a premium member . Still have alot to learn mainly timing and rythem ideas,and being more melodic.really enjoy your tutorials thanks.
Brent C says
I love the process of tryng to write/play solo’s & fills. I know better but seems like I so often end up playing fast licks or just feeling like I need to fill every half-beat with “something” and its usually just too much. What an excellent lesson to remind me how less can be so much more. Slow down, hold a note before you jump to the next one, smooth out that vibrato, feel the tone improvement, ALL things I need to work on. Dude-you’re an amazing talent & an even better instructor. Thanks so much for sharing!!!
Martin P says
Thanks Brian, looking forward to getting started on this.
I love the MK style also, with this tune you can really appreciate the tone of the guitar.
North Essex UK
Ricardo V says
Only two chords, and so much to learn.. Thanks mate
Another fine lesson Brian. I expect this is tricky to emulate in some parts. I shall be glad to practice it thanks.
Raymond P says
Nice break away to a fun to play as well as listen to.
Robert G says
I agree! Good job and great for a beginner like me to.
Mirabel S says
Brilliant music, from a brilliant instructor. Thanks Brian.
Jim M says
Nice arrangement to add chord punches, arpeggios or fingerpicking patterns over the rest areas thru out the arrangement. Brings out the rhythm of the piece.
As Always Thank You Brian.
William Leary says
Some of the licks in that song are beautiful! Looking forward to learning this.
Keith C says
A great example space between notes and phases, allowing a song to breath.
Great lesson and composition. Mark Knopfler and Dave Rawlings are two of my favorite guitarists partly because of their unexpected note choices, as you point out. You are doing a great job helping me evolve from a strummer to playing lead fills. The slow tempo made this lesson very accessible and it sounds great. Thanks!
I love this lesson, very much.
I wish to learn the backing too. Would be good to play with looper.
I’m diggin’ this one. Thanks Brian!
Mike W says
I think you dug up a Diamond! 😉
Don’t know why I’m attracted to long meandering haunting riffs, but I love this tune. Thanks for posting Brian. Keep ’em coming!
Brian this is so smooth !! So love the Dave Rawlings & Mark Knopfler influence.
Just great work
Thanks We appreciate You
Chuck M says
Very, very nice. New member. Glad I joined.
Kelvin Ross says
Got my attention! Awesome music…
Rajiv D says
Another awesome melody !
Merci beaucoup Brian. I love this lesson.
Rich F says
Just started watching this Brilliant lesson! Love it!
Just thought I’d break off from watching it and report my excitement ‘live’! I am at the 6.44 minute, learning playing around the B minor chord shape and the extension on the bass strings etc.. I am a pattern/ scale player, so I was just thinking, I wonder how this fits in with the B minor Pentatonic, and, as I thought that, you said that, if you are thinking B minor Pentatonic, this’s is pattern 4! You read my mind!
Can’t wait to watch the rest of the lesson: always exciting to see how your lessons unfold!
ken c says
Good stuff. Would like more like this.
Given that Mark Knopfler is my biggest inspiration, I am really excited about digging into this lesson. Before I even read the description, I knew I was going to plug in my compressor and get out my Strat! Great job with, as always, Brian!
Love it Brian,easy to play but something in me has to end it with a b note orBm chord rather than the pair of e notes. All the best from OZ
NICOLAS S says
Thanks for this great tune. Easy and addictive.
Made my day.
Excellent! This is going to go down as one of my favorite lessons. I can just hear Mark Knopfler’s gravelly voice singing over it. If I were a wordsmith, I would try to write some words for it.
Fantastic piece, Brian, as simple as it is beautiful. I re-subscribed because of this. Well done.
Aleksander F says
Absolutely love this piece, trying to improvise something on my own as well, brilliant lecture 🙂
Rick L says
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication…it requires a patience few men will ever master…a thinker’s piece…very nice, thank you
Jola mentioned the word therapy.. I just started this tonight on electric and played along and than decided with a smile to comment .. it really is a terrific light /easy and lot of classic bluesy pentatonic licks to improvise on ,, slow and easy yet enriched for fun practicing! Great lesson at any skill level but will certainly benefit beginners!
John s says
Same comment from me on every lesson: How in the hell can you do this every week? Rock on! Rip it up!
Another nice composition and lesson, I have to say that as someone who’s subscribed since day 1, all of this stuff is sinking in. It’s not second nature or anything that dramatic, but the logic of the guitar makes more sense than it used to.
Many thanks as always.
[email protected] says
Brian – been with ya a coupla years now. Gotta say: Tops – by a mile. Such a dreamy, intoxicating piece. Too many things about it I love to detail out here. Just know it invites, inspire, makes me want to learn it, makes me want to work on with my jazzbox AND my partscaster and everything in between. Also makes me want to hide in my basement with it till I’ve written lyrics to fit it.
Okay, my friend. The bar is now higher than ever. I’m hearing a soundtrack to a old timey western; a sultry, smokey blues; and a jazz club closer all rolled into one.
You ARE da man. More like this. And….. Thanks
Jimmy R says
Great achievable lesson, just joined and was great to see I could export it to my On Song App.
Crazy Mama says
Best teacher by a country mile.
The gift of communication is a wonderful thing and comes in large part from empathy.
Brian, you have that in spades.
I love this lesson, so powerful yet very accessible and great example of what brings people to your door.
Brilliant contribution as always, always motivating. More like this please. Moody, dark and slow!!
Ps Any chance of some Tony Joe White swamp style?
Franz S says
Jerry S says
Thanks, Brian, I almost enjoy listening to this one as much as playing it!
Joseph B says
Hi Brian …. Thanks for Lesson 282 … Simple, but a great melody. Best of all I have a chance of mastering this one in a week. I’m a 75 year old Aussie Battler who after 40 years of poor tuition is about 1/20th as skilled as you are. I have learned more in 6 months on Active Melody than the prior 40 years. Your weekly lessons are fantastic, however they take me about 6 weeks to get to a reasonable level with them . Memorising, techniques and building the muscle memory . Way behind now with my homework . Be so great if every 4th lesson was a simple one like 282 so I could catch up . However , maybe I’m just slow. Anyway Brian, be proud of what you are doing . You are streets ahead of any other teacher/course in skills but mainly in your ability to demystify and impart knowledge . All happening too late in life but loving it . Thanks Buddy .
Terry H says
I like this a lot! You know, leaving time in there isn’t the easiest thing to learn!
Kurt P says
Hello Brian. I’ve gained so much from your free lessons online . You’ve helped me gain a lot of confidence thinking that I can actually do this.
I will be joining as a premium member soon for I have requested membership as a Christmas gift this year from my wife.
Thank you for your descriptive lessons
Lee S says
Yes please. As many of these types of lessons as you like.
A hauntingly beautiful piece that sounds good on acoustic or electric and that doesn’t require the dislocation of fingers to achieve the necessary notes/chords. Genuinely looking forward to mastering this one.
Francesco. ( Frank ) G says
Thank you Brian I really love your lessons your such a good teacher and one that can really play .
Stuart P says
Brian, love that you chose this for the member challenge. I’m hearing some Chris Isaac vibe, so I may get a little experimental with the reverb and delay. Great lesson as always, cheers!
This is the only one I’ve ever put on in my car just to listen to!
It’s just a beautiful melody. Addictive.
Absolutely love playing this.
Francesco. ( Frank ) G says
Thank you Brian the dark melody composition is the first song I’ve learned from start to finish I loved it . Frank.😀
Rick B says
Love this haunting dark minor tune, one of my all time favorites. I use to be a member but work overload gave me little time to practice. I have more time now but was procrastinating becoming a member again until I heard this tune. Brian you won me over with this one.
Absolutely cool lesson. Nice departure
This is perfect for me at my stage of playing (and age!!) and I just love it. This is exactly the type of music I want to play…..thank you so much. I will definitely become a premium member once we get the Christmas stuff out of the way. If you decide to expand on this type of playing, I will never be able to put my guitar down!!!
Rich F says
Hi Brian, Hi Sam,
Just re-visiting this brilliant lesson for next Weekend’s challenge.
Sam, you have introduced me to T Bone Burnett (always learning new info around the Blues from AM!)… I have just looked him up, and have just listened to my first T Bine Burnett song: River of Love… it very much reminds me of EP182! Same slow, dark, laid-back cool style. I love it!
It must have been great, playing with him, Sam. Do you have any recordings/video clips?
Okay , been here done it returned done it,, still returned doing it better! ,, The lesson here is basically how to keep count,, come in on the two.. and keep the foot working,, if you don’t get the count which in my opinion is the most important emphasis of this lesson.. you’ll not learn what this lesson is about.. and man it does look easier than it is,, okay! back to this lesson.. i rather do this lesson right before improvising,,not to throw anybody else off and really for nobody but for myself.. great timing lesson Brian,, smart for a challenge too!
Michael B says
Agreed! deceptively simple until you turn off the guitar in the backing track and realize you (MEANING I) don’t have the count down.
Peter P says
I’ll just pile onto the previous complimentary comments and thank you for your hard work and great music. I’m not a great guitar player, self taught with all the mistakes that self-taught players can make. Spent so much time trying to find a site that works with my level and challenges me without overwhelming me, and ActiveMelody is the best by far. It’s so satisfying to be able to play through this lesson, not that skillfully but with some work, perhaps, I’ll keep improving.
Thanks again for what you do and for sharing your music, your teaching, and your time.
Pius B says
Thank you, Brian for this lesson. This is my first comment on your site. I am very happy to have discovered Active Melody. Keep up the good work!
Robert B says
really like this lesson, but find the timing is challenging
James C says
Great song. Do you have tab for the rhythm part?
Is there direction for the backing???
Gary T says
Love this lesson and learnt it with great satisfaction ,
I was wondering , can we do a stand alone on this lesson ,
Just sounds a little empty without the backing track,
Just thought you could work your magic on this great piece
Regards Gary (AUS)
I’m still working my way through this lesson…I’m a 60 year old slow learner….but this is such a great lesson and a pleasing piece of music to play. It’s just great!! Thank you 🙂
Marty T says
New to your site. First song and loving it. I can download the pdf but cannot download the mp3. The mp3 opens and plays but doesn’t download. What am I doing wrong? Thanks.
John M says
Try pressing the 3 dots on the right hand side next to the volume button. Hope it helps.
M G says
I must say 282 blew me away, that Beautiful minor sound is just so ear pleasing and melodic notes. Put together and very nice! You are da man. Thanks so much, Mike G.
Mark T says
Love it. Haunting, and can play around with it.
Alex D says
I just spent my ENTIRE DAY, literally hours upon hours practicing this. I finally got it down, now I’m just working on my tone and fluidity. Thank you so much for such wonderful lessons. Who needs to do chores when you’re practicing guitar, right…
Michael M says
Great and interesting lesson, Brian! I (and many others) would love to see a quick video for the backing track. Thanks!
Only just seen this one Brian. Really enjoying the vibe and it’s definitely an inspiring tune, it allows lots of ideas to come from it.
Thanks again for sharing.
isaac e says
This is great . Sometime s I think I do not Know enough. Especially trying to make sure my fingers do not get in the way when I am fretting. eg 9D7G,7B,7G,9D towards the end of Ep282 .
The Alphabets are the strings and numbertsare the frets.
isaac e says
Also that cool play 9G slide to 10G where are the two notes? is it the7B?. Help.
Charles J says
Thanks this song is exactly what I have been looking for.
What I find nice about that lesson is that it focus on the minor pentatonic and put an emphasis on the blue note, but it show how to play these notes with different phrases for a different scenario than the typical bright B.B. king type of blues.
Did you ever do a lesson on he rhythm part?
Joe C says
Great lesson Brian. Somebody mentioned T-Bone Burnett but I think this has a bit of a Mark Knopfler feel (think “Bluebird” from the Privateering album). Definitely going to try this out.
Walter S says
Definitely some Mark Knopfler sounds in there as well the song done with by Johnnie Cash, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Waylon Jennings called “Highwayman”.
Walter S says
Definitely some Mark Knopfler sounds in there as well the song “Highwayman” by Cash, Jennings, Kristofferson and Nelson.
Jerry G says
I only subscribed because of this song, it sounded so cool I had to see the tab for it, and I learned it on my acoustic in 2 days. Now I have to see how it will sound on my electric guitar. Thanks for the easy to learn song. On to the blues now!
GERALD Q says
Another awesome lesson, probably my favorite. Is there a lesson on how the chords underneath are played. I can get the first half playing a B minor but having a hard time figuring out how the G is played. Keep em coming Brian, you’re the best on here bar none.
Mark F says
Just getting into this one . But planning a trip to Big Bend National Park and this arrangement seems like the perfect vibe. I look forward to playing this song at my campsite while there! Thanks Brian!
Sumanto Banerjee says
Joined recently as a premium member. I am an adult beginner; tried this one. Just recording myself shows how much I lack in nuances, dynamics, timing and technique … nevertheless, it was an honest sincere effort.
John P says
Thanks Brian, please more in the style of Mark
Drew D says
another great lesson, thanks
RANDY M says
Very cool, thanks.
Kurt R says
Chapeau – I really like this little piece of music …
Li * says
My fav or your lessons! Coming back to it once agin for another layer of learning…
Mark P says
THIS is the lesson that convinced me to join this community!
This can fuse nicely with Shenandoah between the 3rd and 7th positions.
Michael M says
can anyone give me the chords, strumming , or tabs for the background? its fun to play along with a jam track but if I could know the how to do it myself and make a lop of it, it would be even more fun! Thank you:)
Steve (Ruffcutt) R says
Luv this and added to my favs library. Im gonna nail this one!
Walter S says
I recognize Mark Knopfler’s “Sailing To Philadelphia” and a bit of “Down To The Waterline” in this lesson.
Although “Waterline” is faster but some of the chords are the same.
Clive L says
Finally got round to spending time on this, timing caused a few problems especially for the silent parts. Love it.
Stephen J says
This is my favourite piece so far. As a beginner it took me a month to learn but have nailed it and love it. More like this anytime please.