How to Create “SHAKTI” John Mclaughlin Indian/Western Guitar Lines

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How to Create “SHAKTI” John Mclaughlin Indian/Western Guitar Lines

Please watch above video for detailed analysis:

Hi Guys,

Today we will look at how to develop “Shakti” John McLaughlin-esqe Indian raga lines with alternate picking guitar technique.

To begin with we will take this Scale as our Raga Base: [This starts on a “Down” stroke for alternate picking]:

how to-createshakti-john-mclaughlin-raga-guitar-lines

This base is a sort of Lydian sound with the tonic note as F and the B natural as the #11

In this first example we will employ arpeggios to create a chord pair effect:

how to-createshakti-john-mclaughlin-raga-guitar-lines

Here is the full line: Notice how we go from a “Western” concept of chord pairing to a more non diatonic scalic raga answering phrase

how to-createshakti-john-mclaughlin-raga-guitar-lines

The next concept exploits repetition: This is common in raga’s and is very good when alternate picking to get the tempo and rhythmic groove into your right hand picking so that the following phrase will be rhythmical!

how to-createshakti-john-mclaughlin-raga-guitar-lines

Here is the full Phrase:

how to-createshakti-john-mclaughlin-raga-guitar-lines

We can now add slurs and slides: “On” the beat:

how to-createshakti-john-mclaughlin-raga-guitar-lines

“Off” the beat:

how to-createshakti-john-mclaughlin-raga-guitar-lines

Full line/phrase with “Slide”:

how to-createshakti-john-mclaughlin-raga-guitar-lines

Another useful concept is to repeat the semitones in the scale and create a phrase/lick:

how to-createshakti-john-mclaughlin-raga-guitar-lines

PENTATONIC POWER!

The most common thing found in creating “Raga’s” from a western point of view is the employment of pentatonic scales. In this example we will build up a pentatonic line:

how to-createshakti-john-mclaughlin-raga-guitar-lines

This time we will start on the 6th guitar string: Notice, the 4 note groupings of 16 notes [Tetrachords]

how to-createshakti-john-mclaughlin-raga-guitar-lines

INTERVALS:

In the next example we will start a phrase with the interval of a 4th and a bit of repetition. Again, this is useful in order to set the tempo and prepare the fretting hand fingers to get in position to play a fast phrase rhythmically.

how to-createshakti-john-mclaughlin-raga-guitar-lines

Here is another example:

how to-createshakti-john-mclaughlin-raga-guitar-lines

GROUPS OF 5:

Groups of 5 notes create “Odd” patterns when alternate picking. But, 2 groups of 5 will go back to an even pattern, meaning that you will be starting on a down stroke again and back to familiar alternate picking territory.

This exercise works easily because the second group of 5 starts on an upstroke on the first string:

how to-createshakti-john-mclaughlin-raga-guitar-lines

GROUPS OF SIX [Sextuplets]:

It’s a good idea to barre a chord or an interval group [if possible] when playing 6’s [Sextuplets] as they will be very fast when picking and you will need to be in control of the rhythm. It’s also a good idea to repeat any notes or phrases that are at hand :

Example:

how to-createshakti-john-mclaughlin-raga-guitar-lines

Classic John mcLaughlin Improvisation Tool:

This next concept uses an arpeggio and 4ths. This crops up in lots of Johns improvisations:

how to-createshakti-john-mclaughlin-raga-guitar-lines

One last concept is that of quoting another melody, phrase, or famous lick into the Raga. Here we will use the old jazz favourite as a reference:

how to-createshakti-john-mclaughlin-raga-guitar-lines

Notice how this weaves back into the Raga:

how to-createshakti-john-mclaughlin-raga-guitar-lines

Finally, in order to create your own raga it’s a good idea to take a form:

In this case we could take a 16 beat cycle and times it by 4 to create a 16 Bar Structure:

how to-createshakti-john-mclaughlin-raga-guitar-lines

Notice the turn around in bar 16: At this point everyone will know where they are in the composition/raga so it can start back to the beginning and repeat itself for improvisation:

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John McLaughlin iii Vi ii V7 I Acoustic Jazz Guitar

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John McLaughlin iii Vi ii V7 I Jazz Guitar Line/Alternate Picking Exercise Lick

Please watch above video for detailed analysis:

Hi Guys,

This is a concept for creating longer alternate picking improvisation lines. What makes it more useful and more enjoyable is the fact that you can substitute the iii Vi ii V7 I chords.

EXAMPLE:

iii Vi ii V7 I-jazz-guitar-mclaughlin-lesson

There are lots of variations on this. For instance we could add Db7 or DbMaj7 in bar 5 and have it resolve down into a CMaj chord.

iii Vi ii V7 I-jazz-guitar-mclaughlin-lesson

Here is the first bar: Notice the use of 4ths and side stepping. The scale is A melodic minor based.

iii Vi ii V7 I-jazz-guitar-mclaughlin-lesson

Bar 2: Notice the use of chromatics which are originally set up like approach notes. These are easy to finger and alternate pick rhythmically.

iii Vi ii V7 I-jazz-guitar-mclaughlin-lesson

Bar 3: This is pentatonic based whilst highlighting the #11 note:

iii Vi ii V7 I-jazz-guitar-mclaughlin-lesson

Bar 4: This bar employs an Ab melodic minor leaning for the G altered sound:

iii Vi ii V7 I-jazz-guitar-mclaughlin-lesson

Final Bar: Notice that this bar resolves to a B natural for the CmMaj7 chord:

iii Vi ii V7 I-jazz-guitar-mclaughlin-lesson

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Diminished 7th and minor 7 Flat 5 Melodic Harmonisation guitar shapes

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Diminished 7th and minor7Flat5 Melody Harmonisation shapes

Please watch above video for detailed analysis:

Hi Guys,

Today, we will further our approach with simple harmonisation of a melody.

Again, we will use two easy to remember guitar chord shapes: The minor7b5 and the diminished 7th.

But, first let’s look at a useful concept when the melody has 1 whole step to harmonise.

diiminshed7th-guitar-harmony-lesson

Above, we can see how melodically this harmonisation falls easily into place.

This in turn is also a useful tool for sequences as it can be replicated:

diiminshed7th-guitar-harmony-lesson

Another and more common voicing for the minor 7th chord [in this case Em7] is this voicing:

minor7th-guitar-chord-voicing-shape

From this shape it is also very easy to create a cadence:

diiminshed7th-guitar-harmony-lesson

Another concept from this is to repeat the melody note in three different chord voicings.

diiminshed7th-guitar-harmony-lesson

Now, lets look at a simple chord shape that’s easy to play and to remember on the 2nd string of the guitar.

minor7b5-guitar-chord-shape

This is the minor 7 b5 shape which moves easily for melodies starting on the 2nd string: Let’s take this simple melody:

minor7b5-guitar-melody-2ndstring

Now, we will harmonise each note with the minor7b5 shape:

minor7b5-guitar-chord-jazz

Finally, we will mix all of this together by harmonising a simple D minor arpeggio.

diiminshed7th-guitar-harmony-lesson

Here is a variation ending with a D minor 11 chord:

diiminshed7th-guitar-harmony-lesson

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