Mark Knopfler says his guitar skills have “deteriorated a little bit” since the pandemic

“If a song wants to be born, then I try to let it happen, but I think the playing has deteriorated a little bit…”

Mark Knopfler on stage playing a red Stratocaster

Image: Francesco Prandoni / Getty

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Mark Knopfler has spoken honestly about how his ability to play has “deteriorated” a little bit over recent years since the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Dire Straits guitarist says it’s partly to do with finding the motivation, and assures that he hasn’t forgotten how to play, but just feels rusty.

Despite feeling that the “musician part” of himself is “reduced”, he feels the “writer part” within him is still just as strong as it’s ever been.

Speaking to Guitarist in its latest print edition, he says, “Well, I’ve certainly been writing more songs and I don’t know whether that was [specifically] to do with the pandemic or not, or because I just had more time. But it certainly hasn’t helped my playing any.

“The musician part [of me] is much reduced, I think, but the writer part is as strong as ever. If a song wants to be born, then I try to let it happen, but I think the playing has deteriorated a little bit… I’d [find I’d] be ready to sit down and look at a song on the computer, but I wouldn’t be playing enough,” he says.

“But that’s just something that seems to have happened recently, and I should really take steps to spend more time behind the instrument, to just get playing. It’s not that I’ve forgotten how to play it – I’m just rusty.”

In other Knopfler news, the guitarist recently released a charity single to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust and Teen Cancer America. The song, Going Home: Theme of the Local Hero, is a reinvention of his 1983 instrumental of the same name, and features 60 of his guitar heroes. It also marks the final recording made by Jeff Beck before his passing.

Check it out below:

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