Money For Nothing Guitar Lesson – Dire Straits – Famous Riffs

The opening guitar riff to Dire Straits' Grammy award winning number one smash hit "Money For Nothing" is probably the most recognized guitar riff of the 80's except for maybe the intro to "Sweet Child O' Mine".

Adding to this riff is the guitar sound in which guitarist/singer Mark Knopfler apparently tried to emulate Billy Gibbons' of ZZ Top guitar sound.

That combined with a unique fingerstyle approach makes this riff one of the more unique guitar riffs you will ever learn.

This Money for Nothing guitar lesson video will demonstrate how Mark Knopfler plays all those little two note chords and harmonics. The riff is acutally kinda intricate and may take some time to fully grasp.

Getting the right guitar tone is obviously essential to making this guitar riff sound right. I will be doing a guitar tone lesson to show you how to get that "Money For Nothing" guitar tone within a week or so. 🙂

If you aren't very adept at playing fingerstyle, you may want to try hybrid picking the riff. But I do suggest trying to play it like Mark Knopfler does, it is just too hard to make it sound right with a pick.

In any case, hope you guys enjoy it! Carl..

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Money For Nothing Guitar Lesson


  1. Ray on June 8, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    Hi Carl,

    I just started learning electric guitar and caught your lessons on youtube. You’re awsome bro…..I was wondering, would you mind showing how to play “Guitar Town” by Steve Earl. I love the song, but what I’m most interested in learning is the electric riff to the song…..also, my wife is wanting me to learn the “Pretty Woman” riff by Roy Orbinson….alot to ask I know,I’d appreciate it and by watching you, I know you can handle most any song…thanks…: )

    • Carl Brown on June 9, 2014 at 7:34 am

      Hey Ray, thanks for checking out my lessons!

      I am not familiar with “Guitar Town” but will definitely check it out.

      As for “Pretty Woman”, I just recently shot a lesson for that for Fretlight so it is still quite fresh to me. I will put it on my to-do list. 🙂

      Thanks again! Carl..

  2. crazylegs on December 19, 2014 at 10:55 am


    I’d love it if you finished the rest of this lesson! Thanks for considering.

  3. Sithu Kyaw on August 24, 2015 at 8:51 am

    your lessons are really help. You are the best online guitar teacher I’ve seen so far. Really appreciate your effort and also your guitar 365 web is really nice.
    Thank you.

  4. Tony Wilson on December 19, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    Yeah…… Currently at 652 likes, hopefully you will do soon. I love this song. 🙂

  5. Ritwik Mishra on June 18, 2017 at 10:53 am

    Hey Carl! Love your lessons. Really helped me grow as a guitarist. If I may make a request, can you please teach “Romeo and Juliet” by Dire Straits? I’ll be very grateful. Thanks, and keep up the good work! 🙂

  6. Anita Harris on January 26, 2021 at 12:39 pm

    Just started learning this song. I have the Positive Grid Amp and tuned it to the Dire Straits Money for Nothing Tone Preset which sounds good.

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