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Romeo and Juliet - Dire Straits

This video sample gives you an idea how the lessons work as I take you step by step through the piece.

It's not just a demonstration of the piece but a complete step-by-step lesson. We also include tabs for you to print off so that you can practise away from the screen.

Along with the video and the tabs, you'll also get a playable tefview© file. This means you'll be able to watch the tabs on-screen and listen to each section being played. You can slow-down with tefview and this will help you learn the piece even more quickly.

Skill Level: Intermediate/Advanced
Genre: Fingerstyle/Rock 
Chords Used: Open Tuning


Romeo and Juliet" is a song by the British rock band Dire Straits, written by Dire Straits singer and lead guitarist Mark Knopfler. It first appeared on the 1980 album Making MoviesAlchemy and On the Night, and later on Knopfler's live duet album with and was released as a single in 1981. The song subsequently appeared on the Dire Straits live albums Emmylou Harris, Real Live Roadrunning (though Harris does not perform on the track).

The song opens on an arpeggiated resonator guitar part played by Knopfler, who also sings the lead vocal. The instrumentation remains simple during the verses and moves to a full-on rock arrangement in the chorus sections.

The lyrics of the song comprise a description of a conversation between the two lovers of the title. In addition to the obvious reference to William Shakespeare's play of the same title, the song makes playful allusion to other works involving young love, including the songs "Somewhere" – from West Side Story, which is itself based on the Shakespeare play – and "My Boyfriend's Back". This song was written after Mark Knopfler broke up with Holly Beth Vincent, and most interpretations is that the lyrics is about their relation. Source wikipedia


Romeo and Juliet

This song was inspired by Mark Knopfler's broken romance with Holly Vincent, who was the leader of the band Holly And The Italians. Some of the lyrics indicate that Knopfler felt she used him to boost her career.

The line, "Now you just say, oh Romeo, yeah, you know I used to have a scene with him," came from an interview where Holly Vincent was quoted as saying: "What happened was that I had a scene with Mark Knopfler and it got to the point where he couldn't handle it and we split up."

Knopfler's younger brother David, how was rhythm guitarist in Dire Straits, left the band during the album sessions. Having two brothers in the same band caused tension and arguments. Said David: "I left because it was no longer possible for Mark and I to work in the same band. We'd be walking around in the studio with eyes averted to the floor. We no longer had a communicating relationship." Source: Songfacts


Mikes Notes:
The perfect showcase for Mark Knopfler to display his unique style in this hybrid picking/strumming tune. A new take on an old story of love found and lost under tragic circumstances.

It is a style quite different to anything else around and worth adding to your repertoire
for that reason alone. Mastery of this one shows true mastery of the guitar itself since
this very loose arrangement demands a confident approach.

Watch their ears prick when you strike up the first couple of measures of this one!

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The Complete Video Lesson
The Playable TefView File
 TefView Software
The Printable Tabs

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