. . . Hey, how are you doing, Justin here. In this lesson today we are checking out the fabulous Romeo and Juliet by Dire Straits, played for us of course by Mark Knopfler. Beautiful, beautiful, sounds great on acoustic guitar, originally played on a Dobro guitar, so it sounds a little different on an acoustic guitar, but I think that it sounds just as nice. First really important thing is that it is in open G tuning with a capo at the third fret. So the tuning would be – if I can get this right – starting at the thickest fret would be an F, B flat, F, B flat, D, and F. So starting from the fifth string, you end up having a B flat chord, with an F bass if you put on that thickest string. So that’s the first really important thing. Make sure that you tune up with the capo on, yeah? That’s really, really important, and make sure you never tune down from a note, especially with a capo on. So, you want to always go too low and then tune it back up. I find that even when I tune with a tuner in this tuning with a capo, it’s invariably not quite right, so I end up kind of fiddling a little bit and just kind of tweaking the notes a little bit, normally just by doing this, and playing the open B flat chord, just to try and make sure it’s in tune, because it is pretty important, and it kind of sounds funny if you don’t get it quite exactly in tune, so that’s the first thing that you want to have a mock around with. Open G tuning, capo at the third fret, let’s get to a close-up. . . . So there’s only three chord shapes in this one. It starts off with this f chord (strums). Obviously it doesn’t really look like an F chord because of the tuning. We’ve got the first finger barring the thinnest five strings. It kind of looks like a B minor seven bar chord, with the little finger going down in the fourth fret, like four frets higher than the capo. So if I name that we’ve got open, second, fourth, second, third, fourth. So second finger, second string, third fret.
Little finger, fourth fret, thinnest string, and third finger in the fourth fret of the fourth string.
And that’s the main first chord. . . . And then just simply a straight bar on the second fret. . . . to open . . . It doesn’t get much simpler than that. . . . Then a little bar at second fret (strums) and then hammering the second finger on at the third fret (strums), and then back. . . . Second time . . . So you’ve got that funny sweep that we’re going to go through in a second, we’re going to have a look at a close-up of the plucking hand. The little finger flicks off to the second fret (plays). The second finger lifts off (plays), and we play that note that’s under the bar, also the second fret (plays). And then open . . . The fun really is what order to pick the strings. So we’re starting off here with the thumb playing the thickest string, and the third finger playing the thinner string . . . Now, those first, then thumb moves over to the fourth string, first finger plucking the thirds string, second finger plucking the second string, third finger plucking the thinnest string. . . . Then first finger plucking the third string and thumb playing the fifth string. . . . A bit of a weird pattern that one. Just takes a bit of practice like everything else. . . . Then there’s a little strum. I’ve got a feeling he uses his third finger. I don’t know why. . . . Just seems to look like that on videos I’ve seen of him doing it, but maybe it’s the first finger, I’m not a 100% sure. It doesn’t really matter. I’m tending to use my kind of second finger and third finger together for a little, little, just a very light little strum. Just down up… on the thinnest kind of strings – not all of the strings, just the top couple. . . . Now we’ve got thumb plucking the fifth string, third finger plucking the thinnest string at the same time, then first finger plucking the third string, second finger plucking the second string, and then third finger plucking the thinnest string. . . . A whole lot of plucking in this song eh? . . . Then it just starts off with the third finger by itself playing the thinnest string. . . . Then thumb on the fourth string, first finger second finger, third finger, first, then bass note. It’s a bit weird. . . . And then that little strum again. . . . Third finger, thumb, one, two, three, one, thumb down on the fifth string, strum, strum. . . . Now here I’m plucking… thumb is playing the fifth string. I’m kind of rolling it when I do it slowly, but I don’t think I do at normal speed. And then second and third fingers playing the second string, third string, and then I’m using a little, . . . little flick. I’m using my third finger there definitely. Really I’m aiming for the thinnest string, but it doesn’t matter if you get the other ones. . . . Then . . . This is the one bit that’s… it’s kind of hard. . . . It’s the bit that most people have trouble with, and to tell the truth, I had trouble with it myself, but I’m going to share with you my secret.
Ha ha, oh secret guitar things. So what’s happening is, instead of trying to play the thumb normally, at that normal angle, you see that I lay my hand down, because it’s easier to kind of stroke through the strings, almost like a strum, and I’m… I’m not sure… yeah I’m kind of… it’s ending up meeting my third finger, but the trick is just that shape… cha… kind of a change of hand position from here, just that second I lay it down, then back up again. That’s what I was practising doing,
and I’d probably recommend you do the same. Just going… lay it down, thumb, thumb, thumb, bring it back up, one, two three. Thumb, thumb, thumb, one, two, three. Okay let’s have a little look at both hands together here. . . . Just real slow. . . . Now as promised a look at the chords for the song if you want to play the rest of the tune, what the strumming is and stuff like that. A lovestruck Romeo… So that’s the F… You’ve got this chord which is going to be a C chord… And this… it’s kind of a D type of chord… no it sounds D minory… so it’s just ahm… it would be the fourth fret, fourth fret, fourth fret… D minor, it would be C# minor actually, I know I’m getting confused because of the tuning, I don’t know what it is, he, he… honest. So it’s the fourth fret above the capo, second finger, third finger, fourth finger on the fifth string, fourth string, third string and open thinnest two strings. Back to the bar. A lovestruck Romeo sings a street suss serenade. Back to the bar, F. He’s laying everybody low with a love song, open strings, bar the second fret, lift if off and put it back down, and then go to F. Bar, open. What you gonna do about it? Then there’s a… Middle strings, uhm… fourth fret, second, fifth fret, F. There’s a chorus… to the F… second fret to that little… fourth fret… open… second fret. Very simple. F… the bar chord… the little other one… open… second. The movie song… Then there’s this one… this is a little bit weird… second, nothing, second, open, open, second. Not positive about this, that’s just what I think it is that he’s playing. Then it moves up two frets, I think again. These are the two chords that I’m a bit uncertain of, so… When you gonna realize
that it was just that the time was wrong, Juliet. I really hope that you enjoy playing Romeo and Juliet. I think that it is one of the most beautiful guitar songs ever recorded, I think Mark Knopfler is a bit of genious, and this is a.. a really uhm… really beautiful song.
So enjoy it, have fun. It will take a little bit of practice, because it is a little bit odd, that little raking thing with the thumb takes a bit of practice, and because the picking pattern is a little odd, it might take you a little bit of work,
but I’m sure you’ll enjoy it, and it’s well worth the effort, because it’s such a great tune. See you for another lesson or song or riff or lick or something like that very soon, take care of yourselves, buhbye. . . . A lovestruck Romeo
sings a street suss serenade laying everybody low
with a love-song that he made finds a street light
steps out of the shade says something like
“you and me babe, how about it?” Juliet says: “hey it’s Romeo,
you nearly gave me a heart attack” He’s underneath the window.
She sings: “Hey, la, my boyfriend’s back” You shouldn’t come around here
singing up to people like that Anyway, what you gonna do about it? Juliet, the dice was loaded from the start,
and I bet, and you exploded in my heart. and I forget, I forget
the moviesong When you gonna realize
that it was just that the time was wrong, Juliet? We grew up on different streets
they both were streets of shame both dirty, both mean
yes and the dream was just the same And I dreamed your dream for you
and now your dream is real how can you look at me as if I was
just another one of your deals? When you can fall for chains of silver
you can fall for chains of gold You can fall for pretty strangers
and the promises they hold You promised me everything
you promised me thick and thin Now you just say oh romeo yeah you know
I used to have a scene with him Juliet,
when we made love you used to cry You said I love you like the stars above,
and I love you till I die There’s a place for us
you know the movie song When you gonna realise
it was just that the time was wrong, juliet?