Money For Nothing Guitar Tone Tutorial – Dire Straits

In this Money for Nothing guitar tone tutorial we will try to discover what setup Mark Knopfler is using to create such an iconic guitar sound like the one heard in Money for Nothing.

This video lesson will demonstrate  how he sets up his amp and pedals and the little guitar tone knob trick that gives this tone it's signature honkish sound. Is that a word??

Once again as always I will just be using amp and effect models to demonstrate the actual gear he used. You can use your own modeler or pedals to get the same effect. Remember, you don't have to always have the exact same gear that Mark Knopfler does to still get that signature tone.

Another big part of this sound is the fingerstyle technique that Mark Knopfler uses throughout. I suggest trying to play it like that as well since that gives the sound a lot more snap than if you were using a pick.

If you haven't checked out my lesson teaching the famous Money for Nothing riff just check out the link below.

Money for Nothing Guitar Lesson - Dire Straits - Famous Riffs

As unique as the Money for Nothing guitar sound is you may be asking yourself, "Where in the world would I use this sound?".

Hopefully, as a by product of learning how to get this guitar tone you will discover a few things about it that you can use in your own music without feeling like you are totally ripping of Mark Knopfler. 🙂

Download the PDF below to see all the exact settings I mention in the video.

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Money for Nothing Guitar Tone Tutorial PDF Download

Money For Nothing Guitar Tone Tutorial


  1. Ron T on October 1, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    Carl you keep me jamin !!!! So groovy lol .. I see some of the other online help people ( definitely not as good as u) give amp setting on all their songs could u give amp settings or axe FX II XL too ?? On top of all that work u do now ( which is outstanding) I’m almost afraid to ask ..

    • Carl Brown on October 2, 2014 at 11:08 am

      Thanks Ron, from my experience with YouTube videos, most people get very frustrated if I don’t quickly getting into teaching the song. People can be pretty impatient these days.

      However, I do hope to continue this guitar tone series and perhaps after I have more of these tones lessons available I can point people in the direction of the appropriate tone lesson video to get the same sound I am using in the lesson. 🙂

  2. Dave on November 1, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    I really enjoy these tone tutorials as well as the other resources on the site. I’d like to see maybe tone lessons on different music genres (e.g. surf, funk, punk, reggae, etc.). Thanks!

  3. Tony Wilson on December 9, 2015 at 3:36 am

    Hello Carl,

    I found these tone lesson extremely helpful. I find I struggle getting the correct tone, but once you have it. It almost makes the song easier to play LOL. I hope you continue making more as they are just as awesome as your other lessons.

  4. duncan fraser on December 19, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    Hi Carl
    I have just started out with learning at the age of 59, finding it hard to find tutoreals on acheving the right tones, I have Guitar Rig 5 on my laptop and also a Peavy Viper 30 modeling amp my Guitars are a Schecter Omen FR Extrem and a Westfield pro Strat to start out with, thank U for covering tone setting as it greatly helps guys like me.
    Best regards from Inverness Scotland

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