Alternate Picking 16ths Guitar lesson like John Mclaughlin!

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John Mclaughlin right hand  alternate picking rhythms pattersns

The first alternate picking rhythmic set-up employs the 8th note and two 16th notes. This is a useful rhythm as it gives your picking right hand a moment to set up the “Up stroke” and fire the phrase forward leading to a  smooth alternate picking lick/line.

John Mclaughlin alternate picking guitar right hand patterns.

The next rhythmic set up employs a dotted 8th note and a 16th note. Again this slight delay before the phrase takes off gives your right hand time to flick up and fire off the phrase with confident alternate picking.

John Mclaughlin right hand alternate picking patterns for guitar

This phrase below is the “Off-beat” phrase and is one of the most important because it creates anticipation and syncopation in your alternate picking which is essential for jazz and fusion guitar playing. [As I suggest in the video you will find this a lot in the John Mclaughlin album/CD called “Belo Herozonte].

John Mclaughlin off beat syncopated alternate picking guitar pattern

Finally we have basic alternate picking 16ths starting on the beat. I sat on the down stroke with the plectrum on my guitar for this phrase.

John mclaughlin alternate picking on the beat guitar pattern

All of these phrases use a simple pentatonic scale because this is the best way to get these rhythms precise when starting out with alternate picking.

Recommended listening:

“Belo Herozonte” John Mclaughlin the Translators


“Music spoken here” John Mclaughlin the Translators


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