Guitar Solo Showdown: Mark Knopfler vs. Alex Lifeson

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Two different styles, genres, and influences. Who is better? Mark Knopfler or Alex Lifeson?

Mark Knopfler’s great compositions, his characteristic vocal style, and his way of playing the guitar without a pick are the hallmarks of one of the most successful bands in Rock History. 

Sultans Of Swing

Sultans of Swing is an incredible tune that also includes Knopfler’s most memorable solo on his Fender Stratocaster from about 3’20 “, and then some excellent fingerpicking, from around 5 ‘to’ fade ‘.

Telegraph Road

Telegraph Road is a significant 70-mile north-south road in Michigan, and Knopfler’s 14-minute number indicates this course, which he previously executed on the Dire Straits tour bus. Knopfler’s initial solo begins around 6 ‘but the final one, from 9’40 “, has a nearly cinematic nature.

Tunnel of Love

This track was penned exclusively by the Dire Straits frontman, whose initial 3’45 “solo is accompanied by a longer, more emotional 6 ‘piece. 

While Alex Lifeson is such an important figure in progressive rock music, in fact, he was one of the most influential for his music and guitar playing. The licks and solos landed Rush 7 different Grammy Awards (6 of which were for Best Rock Instrumental Performance), including Artist of the Decade and 9 Juno awards.


This epic tune that is 2112 is something to listen to – because of its utterly glorious solo. Lifeson in his unique style, with full vibrato, powerful runs, and method of the blues scale in so much un-bluesy ways.

Tom Sawyer

Lifeson himself would certainly acknowledge that the solo wasn’t created out in a completely reasonably based method. The solo of “Tom Sawyer”, is rather peculiar because it is performed in a 7/4 time signature.


The number one personal favorite solo of every Rush and Alex Lifeson fan – Freewill. It’s difficult to wrap in your brain throughout this solo after all of these decades, and once you hear that incredible guitar solo you know instantly: it is legendary.

Well, hands down, Alex Lifeson is a much better guitar player and soloist than Mark Knopfler. Knopfler though had his moments. There’s no debating this, Alex Lifeson would eat Knopfler alive if they contend into a real Guitar Wars.