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HOW TO PLAY SULTANS OF SWING

how to play dire straits

sultan of swing chordsSultan of Swing is the first single by Dire Straits. Dire Straits were a British rock band, formed in 1977 by Mark Knopfler (lead vocals and lead guitar), his younger brother David Knopfler (rhythm guitar and backing vocals), John Illsley (bass guitar and backing vocals), and Pick Withers (drums and percussion).

Album "Dire Straits" by Dire Straits
Album: Dire Straits
Released: 1978
Charted:
4
8

How to Play Sultan of Swing



The song Sultans of Swing got popular as a demo cut when Dire Straits introduced them on Radio London and the great demand from the audience helped the band grab the attention of studio executives.

Dire Straits created a niche for themselves during the 1970s after the punk era. Their song had a laid back sound combined with a bluesy style and conscious lyrical composition which made it one of the bestselling in their history. The band continued their success with Money for Nothing, So Far Away and Romeo & Juliet.

Know How To Play Sultans of Swing By Dire Straits

The main chords used to play the song begins with A7 Open and continues with A#/Bb Root5, C root5, Dm root5 and F root6. The step by step instructions provided will make it easy to learn the song.

Why Sultans of Swing by Dire Straits is a Great Song?

  1. The song features the most memorable guitar solo of all time which has been officially recognized by Rolling Stone and Guitar World as the best extended solo.
  2. The laid back rock sound is excellent.
  3. A stream of conscious lyric writing style by Mark Knopfler is amazing.

The Sultans of Swing is a song which features an extended solo which is hard to master and ideally suits advanced guitarists. The bluesy sounds and the laid back rock sound makes it a great song to learn for intermediate and advanced guitarists.

Learn More About The Dire Straits

The British rock band Dire Straits became famous during the late 70s with their bluesy style songs which revitalized the pub rock genre. The band had Mark Knopfler as the lead vocal and guitarist while his younger brother David handled rhythm guitar and backing vocals. John Illsley as the bass guitarist and Pick Whithers handled drums with percussion.

The band shot to fame with the help of MTV, which was a rising music channel then and the revolution made by compact disc helped them sell 30 million copies worldwide. They have won multiple awards during their era including MTV music awards, four Grammy awards and Brit awards.

The Album Sultans of Swing Came From

The song Sultans of Swing comes from the debut album of the band titled Dire Straits. It was released in 1978 and continued to be in the top five in the U.S. billboard charts till 1979. The song repeated its success in the UK charts and sold over four million copies in the European continent.

 

Sultan of Swing Guitar Chords

Dire Straits - Sultans of Swing

  Dm                               
e-------------------------------------5-8-5----------------
B-------3--3-3------------------6----6-----6-5h6p5---------
G---2-2-2--2-2--5-5-5-7-----7----7--7-------------7--5-7---
D-0-0-0-0--0-0--5-5-5-7--5h7---7------------------------7--
A-0--------------x-5---------------------------------------
E----------------------------------------------------------

          Dm                      C              Bb           A          A7
  You get a shiver in the dark, It's raining in the park, but meantime
e------------------------------------
B---4b6-6r4b6r4----------------------
G------------------------------------
D------------------------------------
A------------------------------------
E------------------------------------

Dm                             C          Bb        A   
  South of the river you stop and you hold everything
e----------------------5-
B-----10---10-11-10----6-
G-------------------9--5-
D-2s11--11-11----------7-
A------------------------
E------------------------

F                                 C
  A band is blowing Dixie double four time
e------------------------------------
B--5---5-6-5-6-5--3------------------
G--5---5-5-5-5-5--3------------------
D---x-x--7--------3------------------
A------------------------------------
E------------------------------------

Bb                                            Dm            Bb  C
  You feel all right when you hear that music ring
e-----------------------------------
B-------6-----x-3-6--x-3s5----------
G----7---7s2--x-3-3--x-3s5--------5-
D-5h7-7-------x-3----x-3s5-----5h7--
A---------------------------5s7-----
E-----------------------------------

                Dm                  C         Bb           A
  Well now you step inside but you don't see too many faces
e------------------------------------
B-10--10---10-11-10-10-8--8--6------
G------------------------------------
D---11--11-11-11-11-------9--7------
A------------------------------------
E------------------------------------

Dm                      C                Bb        A
  Coming in out of the rain to hear the jazz go down
e-10p9-------------------------------
B-----10-----------------------------
G-------9p7p6------------------------
D------------7-5---------------------
A---------------7--------------------
E------------------------------------

F                           C
  Competition in other places
e----------------------------------
B-5-5--6-6-5-3---------------------
G-5-5--5-5-5-3---------------------
D-5-5--7-7-5-3---------------------
A----------------------------------
E----------------------------------

Bb                                    Dm            Bb  C    
  But the horns, they're blowing that sound
e----10-8----------------------------
B----10---10-x--3-6-x-x--3s5-5-5-----
G----10-9-10-x--3-3-x-x--3s5-5-5-----
D-x-x-----------3-3-x-x--3s5-5-5-----
A------------------------------------
E------------------------------------

                  Bb   C 
  Way on down south
e------------------------------------
B----x-3-6--3s5----------------------
G--5-x-3-3--3s5----------------------
D-5--x-3----3s5----------------------
A------------------------------------
E------------------------------------

                      Dm         C  Bb
    way on down south London town
            C                    Dm    C Bb    C 
e-------------------------------------------------------------------
B---6-5-3---6--6p5-x-5-------10-8-8-8--6-5-3--6--6p5-x-5------------
G---5-5-3---5-5----x-5--5s10-10-----9--5-5-3--5-5----x-5----------5-
D---7-5-3---7--7p5-x-5-----------------7-5-3--7--7p5-x-5-------5h7--
A---------------------------------------------------------x-5s7-----
E-------------------------------------------------------------------

                Dm           C   Bb      A             A7
  You check out Guitar George,  he knows all the chords
e------9-8-9------10-10--------------
B------8-7-8------10-10--------------
G------9-8-9--10--10-10--------------
D-1s7--------------------------------
A-1s7--------------------------------
E------------------------------------

Dm                          C                    Bb      A         F
  Mind he's strictly rhythm he doesn't want to make it cry or sing
e-----5------9---------9-7-----------------8-------------
B----5-5-8b10--pbr8(10)-----8b10r8b10r8b10--pbr8(10)p6---
G-7b9----------------------0-----------------------------
D--------------------------------------------------------
A--------------------------------------------------------
E--------------------------------------------------------

                              C                  Bb
  Yes, and an old guitar is all he can afford
e------------------------------------
B----8-8s6-6-6-6---------------------
G-7s9--9s7-7-7-7---------------------
D------------------------------------
A------------------------------------
E------------------------------------

                                               Dm         Bb C
  When he gets under the lights to play his thing
e-----10-8---------------------------------------
B----------10-10-x-3-x-6--3-3s5-5----------------
G-9s10---9-10-10-x-3-x-3--3-3s5-5-------5-5-5s7--
D------------------3-x----3-3s5-5----5h7-7-7-----
A---------------------------------5s7------------
E------------------------------------------------

Dm              C       Bb           A              A7 
  And Harry doesn't mind if he doesn't make the scene
e------------------------------------
B---8-let-ring--8--------------------
G-7b9r7b9r7b9r7b9--------------------
D------------------------------------
A------------------------------------
E------------------------------------

Dm                  C      Bb         A       A7
  He's got a daytime job he's doing alright
e------9---------------5---8----------
B-12b14--10--------------0-8b10-------
G----------9h10p9--7-6-4-0------------
D---------------------7---------------
A-------------------------------------
E-------------------------------------

                              C            Bb
  He can play honky tonk like anything
e------------------------------------
B--5--5-x-6-6-5-x-3------------------
G--5--5-x-5-5-5-x-3------------------
D--5--5-x-7-7-5-x-3------------------
A------------------------------------
E------------------------------------

                            Dm            Bb
  Saving it up for Friday night
e-----------------------------------
B------6-5p4---3-6-3-3s5-5----------
G----7------7--3-3-3-3s5-5----------
D-5s7-7--------3-3-3-3s5-5----------
A-----------------------------------
E-----------------------------------

C                 Bb      C
  With the Sultans,
e------------------------------------
B--x-3-6--3-3s5-5--------------------
G--x-3-3--3-3s5-5--------------------
D--x-3----3-3s5-5--------------------
A------------------------------------
E------------------------------------

                         Dm 
 with the Sultans of Swing
    Dm C Bb    C                    Dm    C Bb    C 
e------------------------------------------------------------------
B---6-5-3---6--6p5-x-5-------10-8--8--6-5-3--6--6p5-x-5------------
G---5-5-3---5-5----x-5--5s10-10--0-9--5-5-3--5-5----x-5----------5-
D---7-5-3---7--7p5-x-5----------------7-5-3--7--7p5-x-5-------5h7--
A--------------------------------------------------------x-5s7-----
E------------------------------------------------------------------

         Dm                         C            Bb         A     A7
  And a crowd of young boys they're fooling around in the corner
e-------12-------------------13------
B-12b14----pbr12(14)p10--------------
G----------------------12s14-14------
D------------------------------------
A------------------------------------
E------------------------------------

Dm                              C            Bb               A         A7
  Drunk and dressed in their best brown baggies, and their platform soles
e-12p9---------5------------------------
B-----10--------------------------------
G-------9--7-6-0-x---pbr12(14)-12b14----
D----------------x----------------------
A--------------------------15-----15----
E---------------------------------------

F                                  C                      Bb
  They don't give a damn about any trumpet playing band
e------------------------------------
B----8-8s6-6-6-6---------------------
G-7s9--9s7-7-7-7---------------------
D------------------------------------
A------------------------------------
E------------------------------------

                                     Dm        Bb
  It ain't what they call rock and roll
e------------------------------------
B--------------3-6-x-3s5-------------
G-----7--6-----3-3-x-3s5-------------
D-5s7-7-7-7s2--3---x-3s5-------------
A------------------------------------
E------------------------------------

C                  Bb
  And the Sultans, 
e------------------------------------
B--3-6-3--3s5-5----------------------
G--3-3-3--3s5-5----------------------
D--3-3-3--3s5-5----------------------
A------------------------------------
E------------------------------------

C                                    Dm
  yeah the sultans, they played Creole.  Creole.
    Dm C Bb    C        Creole      Dm    C Bb    C              ah ah
e-------------------------------------------------------------------
B---6-5-3---6--6p5-x-5-------10-8-8-8--6-5-3--6--6p5-x-5------------
G---5-5-3---5-5----x-5--5s10-10-----9--5-5-3--5-5----x-5----------5-
D---7-5-3---7--7p5-x-5-----------------7-5-3--7--7p5-x-5-------5h7--
A---------------------------------------------------------x-5s7-----
E-------------------------------------------------------------------

1. instrumental

Ah ah
e------------------------------------------------------------
B--8b10--8b9s10-8b9s10--pbr8(10)--6h8p6--5h6p5---------------
G------------------------------------------------------------
D----------------------------------------------------11------
A---------------------------------------------------x--------
E--------------------------------------------------x---------

e------9-12b13b14r12--10-----------------------------------------
B---10------------------10-------10-13-11h13p11--9-10---11-x-x---
G--9-----------------------10--------------------------x---------
D----------------------------12----------------------------------
A----------------------------------------------------------------
E----------------------------------------------------------------

e------------------------------13----------------12h13-12-------------
B-9-10-10--10----------13--------13----------------------13-----------
G----0--0---0-----12b14--12bh14----(14)r12-10-10-----------12-14p12---
D------------x-x------------------------------------------------------
A---------------------------------------------------------------------
E---------------------------------------------------------------------

e---------------------------------------13p10--10------------------
B-13-13--13b15-(15)r13--13b15-13b15r13--10---10---13b15-10---------
G---------------------15----------------------------------12-10s3--
D------------------------------------------------------------------
A------------------------------------------------------------------
E------------------------------------------------------------------

e--------------------------------------------------------------------
B---3-6-3---5-6s8-6-5h6s8s3---3-6-3-3s5-------------8----------------
G--3-------5-----------------3------3s5--5--7-5-7bh9-(9)r7-5-7-7s2---
D-3-------5-----------------3-------3s5-5----------------------------
A--------------------------------------------------------------------
E--------------------------------------------------------------------

e-------------------------------------------------------------------
B---6-5-3---6--6p5-x-5-------10-8-8-8--6-5-3--6--6p5-x-5------------
G---5-5-3---5-5----x-5--5s10-10-----9--5-5-3--5-5----x-5----------5-
D---7-5-3---7--7p5-x-5-----------------7-5-3--7--7p5-x-5-------5h7--
A---------------------------------------------------------x-5s7-----
E-------------------------------------------------------------------

Dm                       C        Bb            A
  And then the man he steps right up to the microphone
e----------------------------------------
B-------10----12s14-14---14s17--15---15--
G----------------------------------------
D--5s11-11-11-12s14----14--s17----15-15--
A----------------------------------------
E----------------------------------------

Dm              C                Bb     A
  And says at last just as the time bell rings
e----9--9---------------------------
B----8--8-let-ring------------------
G----9--9---------------------------
D-----------------------------------
A-----------------------------------
E-----------------------------------

F                     C
  goodnight now it's time to go home'
e------------------------------------
B-----8--8-8-----11------------------
G--7s9-9-9----10-10------------------
D------------------------------------
A------------------------------------
E------------------------------------

Bb                                          Dm
  Then he makes it fast with one more thing
e------------------------------------
B------6-6--------3-6-x--3s5-5-------
G----7--7-7--7-x--3-3-x--3s5-5-------
D-5s7-7-----7--x--3---x--3s5-5-------
A------------------------------------
E------------------------------------

C                    Bb
  'We are the Sultans, 
e------------------------------------
B--3-6-x--3s5-5----------------------
G--3-3-x--3s5-5----------------------
D--3---x--3s5-5----------------------
A------------------------------------
E------------------------------------

C                         Dm
   we are the sultans of Swing
            C                    Dm    C Bb    C 
e-------------------------------------------------------------------
B---6-5-3---6--6p5-x-5-------10-8-8-8--6-5-3--6--6p5-x-5------------
G---5-5-3---5-5----x-5--5s10-10-----9--5-5-3--5-5----x-5----------5-
D---7-5-3---7--7p5-x-5-----------------7-5-3--7--7p5-x-5-------5h7--
A---------------------------------------------------------x-5s7-----
E-------------------------------------------------------------------

2. instrumental
e----------------------------------------------------------
B-8b10--8-6-8-6---pbr8(10)-8-5h8p5-3h5p3-------------------
G--------------7------------------------5h7p5-5---5--------
D---------------------------------------------5h7p5--------
A---------------------------------------------------5h7p5--
E----------------------------------------------------------

e-------------------------------8-------8-------8-------8---------
B--x-10p8--8------------8h10p8--8h10p8--8h10p8--8h10p8--8h10p8----
G-x------10-10-7--7--7h9------9-------9-------9-------9-------9---
D-----------------------------------------------------------------
A-----------------------------------------------------------------
E-----------------------------------------------------------------

e--8--------------------10-------------------------------------------
B--8h10-8-------------10--13p10--10---------------10-------10-----11-
G---------x-x-x--12b14---------12--12p10--------10--12----x----0-x---
D-------0-x-x-x-------------------------12-10h12---------x------x----
A--------------------------------------------------------------------
E--------------------------------------------------------------------

e-----------12-------10-x-x--13p10--10-13p10--10-13p10--10-13p10--10--
B-x-x-11bh13--(13)r11-------------10--------10--------10--------10----
G---------------------------------------------------------------------
D---------------------------------------------------------------------
A---------------------------------------------------------------------
E---------------------------------------------------------------------

e-13p10--10-13p10--10-13p10--10-13--x--15p12--12-15p12--12-15p12--12--
B------11--------11--------11------x--------13--------13--------13----
G---------------------------------------------------------------------
D---------------------------------------------------------------------
A---------------------------------------------------------------------
E---------------------------------------------------------------------

e-15p12---15p12--12-15p12--12-15p12--12-15---10-13p10--10-13p10--10--
B------13------13--------13--------13------10--------10--------10----
G--------------------------------------------------------------------
D--------------------------------------------------------------------
A--------------------------------------------------------------------
E--------------------------------------------------------------------

e-13p10--10-13p10--10-13p10--10-13p10--10-13p10--10-13--x-15p12--12-----
B------10--------10--------11--------11--------11------x-------13-------
G-----------------------------------------------------------------------
D-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A-----------------------------------------------------------------------
E-----------------------------------------------------------------------

e-15p12--12-15p12--12-15p12--12-15p12--12-15p12--12-15p12--12-15p12---15b17-
B------13--------13--------13--------13--------13--------13--------12-------
G---------------------------------------------------------------------------
D---------------------------------------------------------------------------
A---------------------------------------------------------------------------
E---------------------------------------------------------------------------

e--15b17r15-13---13--15bh17r15b17r15-12h15p12----------------------------
B-------------15---13------------------------13h15p13-10h13p10-----------
G-------------------------------------------------------------9h12p9-----
D-------------------------------------------------------------------15s7-
A------------------------------------------------------------------------
E------------------------------------------------------------------------

e-------------------------------------------------------------------
B---6-5-3---6--6p5-x-5-------10-8-8-8--6-5-3--6--6p5-x-5------------
G---5-5-3---5-5----x-5--5s10-10-----9--5-5-3--5-5----x-5----------5-
D---7-5-3---7--7p5-x-5-----------------7-5-3--7--7p5-x-5-------5h7--
A---------------------------------------------------------x-5s7-----
E-------------------------------------------------------------------
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Riff Richard is an IT person, a husband, a dad, a couch potato and a passionate guitar player

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