Newsletter Vol. 1 # 4 – January 26, 2001

Dear Guitar Player,

Welcome to Guitar Noise News, the weekly update for Guitar Noise. We have a bizarre news story to start of this week’s issue. Enjoy!

Bizarre-toothed dinosaur named after Dire Straits lead singer

Ageing rock stars are called dinosaurs every day. But until now, no dinosaur was named for an ageing rock star.

Ladies and gentlemen, give it up for Masiakasaurus knopfleri, a 70-million-year-old carnivore with hooked teeth whose moniker was inspired by Dire Straits lead singer Mark Knopfler.

A team of U.S. paleontologists selected the British musician because it felt his music brought it luck while digging in tropical Madagascar, off the east coast of Africa. Not only is the fossil a new species, the dinosaur is believed to be a part of a new genus that lived during the Cretaceous period.

Traditionally, dinosaurs are named for their physical characteristics, then translated into Greek or Latin. But with more than 500,000 known species of insect, fish, mammal and fossil, original names are growing scarce.

“To my knowledge, none has ever been named for a singer,” said Dr. Phillip Currie, curator of dinosaurs at the Royal Tyrell Museum in Drumheller, Alta.

The new dinosaur, pronounced mah-SHEE-kah-sawr-us nawp-FLAIR-ee, is believed to be a near cousin of fossils found in Argentina and India. Its first name comes from “masiaka,” the Malagasy word for vicious, the second from the singer’s surname.

“To help pass the time excavating fossils under the baking Malagasy sun, expedition crews played and enjoyed a great deal of Knopfler’s music,” the researchers said.

Mr. Knopfler said through a spokeswoman he considered it an honour to have a dinosaur named after him. “The fact that it’s a dinosaur, is certainly apt, but I’m happy to report that I’m not in the least bit vicious.”

Reprinted from The National Post January 25, 2001

Also of special note this week, our friends over at have put together a page on buying a new guitar. A lot of people have been asking for help choosing a guitar so you can click here to see what they have say about buying acoustics and electrics.

New Lessons

Putting Things Together – Guitar Column by David Hodge
A lead is simply the guitar playing a melody of sorts. Over the next few months we’re going to be examining how melodies and chords work together. I’ve called these columns “workbooks” because not only will we look at specific examples from all kinds of songs, we’ll have exercises to try out original ideas as well.

Jazz Lesson by Palle Pesonen – “Pentatonics”
Here are some ideas for you to work on, real “boxfriendly” for guitarplayers, these ideas might actually help you if playing in boxes is ALL you do. But as you move along TRY to play not ONLY in boxes.

Site News

Coming Soon! The Other Side!
While there is no doubting that women have played an important role in music through the ages, there has been a lack of attention on women who play guitar. Not only are there few websites spotlighting women who play guitar, there are no resources for women who want to play guitar. We have been listening, and next week we will be launching our new page for aspiring female musicians and guitarists. It is called The Other Side and you can see it right here on Guitar Noise beginning next week.

New Reviews

This week we recommend for the serious guitarist the Pat Metheny Songbook.

Now for the first time ever, all musicians can play and study nearly every note Pat Metheny has ever written in this amazing new book that he deems his ‘most exciting project since (his) first album.’ Over a decade in the making and done with Metheny’s intense involvement every step of the way, the Pat Metheny Songbook is a complete collection of this genius guitarist/composer’s songs from the recording of Bright Size Life in 1975 to today. This comprehensive tribute includes compositions from all of his solo records, group records, collaborations with Lyle Mays and others, and more – 167 songs in total in its more than 400 pages!

Have your music reviewed on our site and appear in this newsletter for free! Send us a copy of your disc or MP3 and we will review your music for the thousands of musicians that already belong to the Guitar Noise community. Get the details here.

Email of the Week

Rather than taking a question this week, I have selected a user comment for the “Email of the Week”. We often receive kind words from many of you and this visitor’s letter is typical of the kind of stuff that keeps us going.

I just wanted to say thanks for your site. I finally decided to really learn to play the guitar that i have been the owner of since 1982. Thats right, I have had my ovation that long and don’t know how to play. ( sad ) I can play a little of house of the rising sun, and finger pick a little of dust in the wind, and some stuff that i made up myself but i can’t play. I do learn very fast and just could not find anyone to seriously teach me. I learned horse with no name in about 5 min. That little you have given me has made me want to come from behind the mic and finally learn how to play this old thing. Thanks again. Shawn.

You can check out the lesson Shawn is talking about in our Easy Songs for Beginners lessons.


Paul Hackett
Executive Producer