Back To Tupelo | Mark Knopfler Songbook

Back To Tupelo | Mark Knopfler Songbook

This slow ballad may seem easier at first than it really is. When you try to strum along with the record you can notice this peculiar rhythm on Am chord (technically Bm), which is hard to follow. First of all, the simplest strumming pattern possible here is just like in Baloney Again, starting with fast scratching with fingers up and down, and added bass line with a lot of accents. If you play the accents only, it would sound like this… Add a couple of upstrokes and you almost there. If you want the exact moves, it would be thumb, down, up, down, thumb, down, up, down, thumb, up, down, up. It’s one way to play it. We can go even further and play the downbeats only, this way you can learn the whole verse like a piece of cake… The genius part is additional beats to fit the lyrics. You can get it easily if you count it in 4/4 time with four beats to the bar. Like it starts in the basic 4/4, but on the second line it switches into 2/4 time for one bar. Same thing with the fourth line. And this is the general pattern in the verses — a couple of words in the each sentence endings gets an additional two beats. As in… “Around the time of Clambake, movie NUMBER TWENTY-five”. “Number” and “twenty” is the additional beats. “You and the lying Dutchman are still in overdrive.” Here “still” and “over” is an additional beat. So the first four bars of the verse would sound like this: 1, 2, 3, 4 1, 2 1, 2, 3, 4 1, 2 1, 2, 3, 4 The goal here is to accommodate the strumming to fit the additional two beats. I like to to play it like this — thumb, up, down, up. Or if you just continue the pattern, it would sound like this… If I was overthinking it like they do in schools, I’d say it gives the song the dynamics and push it forward, but, in fact, it really is. Then by adding G bass you go to the chorus. The chorus is F, Dm7/F, G, C, F, Dm, G, C7, F, Dm7/F, G, C, F, Dm, G. The bridge is Dm/A, G, Cmaj7, F. In true The Police fashion, the verse is much harder than the chorus, but it sounds as unnoticeable as it can be. Thanks for watching!


  1. GeereBeer13 says:

    Thanks you man, I've been waiting for this one

  2. Martin Kapalka says:

    Great playing. 🙂

  3. Evgeniy NeutralMusician says:

    Hell yes, one of my favourites. Good job, Pavel, as usual.
    Продолжай в том же духе 😉

  4. Anish Yelekar says:

    Fantastic as always, and a highlight of the day as usual too! Cant wait to learn these two gems today.

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