John Mclaughlin “Shakti” Guitar Lesson

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In this Shakti Raga/Fusion Guitar Lesson, we look at how jazz/fusion guitarist John Mclaughlin builds “Raga’s” through the Harmonic minor scale. The key to this style and lesson is to build 4 note groupings of 16th notes called “Tetrachords”. In this lesson we use the A harmonic Minor Scale and employ John Mclaughlin’s specific guitar fingering which turns and propels the Raga forward with strict alternate picking.

A HARMONIC MINOR RAGA STYLE GUITAR SHAKTI LINE

shakti 22222222

Keep the alternate picking rhythmical and tight as you tap your foot and count in groups of four 16th notes [Tetrachords] for fluency and good timing.

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John Mclaughlin guitar lesson how to play through “Altered” chord changes

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In this jazz/fusion example we have,

Dm7 to G7altered  to Em7flat5 to A13 flat 9 to D+maj7#11.

If you play through the TAB/MUSIC below the video you will find the way that I play through to be very interesting.

Also, I stick to the principle of our other lesson by employing tetrachords and strict alternate picking.

John Mclaughlin lesson” Playing through altered chord changes,

Music Tab for altered jazz fusion harmony

DM 11 blogger etc

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My Top 5 music educational books I use!

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When it comes to learning music I still love to lean into the old dusty trusted paper. Man, I still really love paper!  

The smell of candle fragrance, coffee and paper makes me want to enter into that private world of knowledge and digest!

I love the feel of a book. the allure and all that awaits like a beautiful women. To enter that secret world where magic happily appears and all that was old and grey is transformed into the fresh and colourful.

Paper always brings with it a sense of peace and stress relief from the distractions of computer learning. A book is a place where texts and messengers and news feeds have no place.

A book is a place where the mind is still and childlike filled with curiosity but all the time knowing  that it will eventually absorb the magic that is presented before it and turn the pages of stardust into living breathing art. Man, I love paper! 

Here are the top 5 music education text books and scores I use at the moment,

5] Twentieth Century Harmony -Vincent Persichetti

51GuXELSvOL

 

4] John Mclaughlin Improvisations [Transcriptions]-Mediastarz

pdt-1367312188-00front

 

3] Exploring Jazz Piano Book 2- Tim Richards

41guC3WxaAL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_

 

2] Jazz composition theory and practice-Ted Pease [Berklee press]

jazz_comp_hi-res

 

1] A chromatic approach to jazz harmony and melody-Dave Liebman

511-P62qKeL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_

 

Arnold Schoenberg 12 tone “Concepts” for Jazz Fusion

A BASIC OVERVIEW OF THE 20 CENTURY CLASSICAL IDEA:

Arnold Schoenberg created a system using all 12 tones in a row. Below is the 12 tone row from OP 25.

Schoenberg 12 tone row suite OP 25

The next idea is to use the notes in reverse order. This is called “Retrograde”

Retrograde 12 tone row Schoenberg

We can also take the original tone row and “Invert” it. This is called “Inversion”. We do this by inverting each interval. For instance if a note goes up a perfect 4th in the original set then it is inverted by coming down a perfect 4th, if it goes up a minor 3rd then it comes down a minor 3rd, etc

Inversion 12 tone row schoenberg

We can also take the Inversion of the original tone row and play the notes in reverse order. This is called “Retrograde Inversion”

Retrograde Inversion schoenberg 12 tone row

These ideas from 12 tone serialism are excellent for Jazz riffs, Composition and Improvisational ideas and concepts.

We will start with a few basic Jazz applications/Ideas

JAZZ APPLICATION; 1

Jazz application moving in minor 3rds in schoenberg 12 tone rows

JAZZ APPLICATION 2:

jazz application using 12 tone rows of Schoenberg

JAZZ APPLICATION 3:

Jazz application in 4ths to 12 tone Schoenberg tone row

JAZZ APPLICATION 4:

jazz improvisation applied to Schoenberg's 12 tone rows

Joining TONE ROWS/12 TONE LINES TOGETHER

Combined 12 tone rows applied to jazz fusion improvisation

combining 12 tone Schoenberg rows to Jazz as heads

Triplets and semiquavers 16ths applied to Schoenberg's 12 tone row musical system

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For other ideas on 12 tone concepts it is a good idea to visit John O’ Gallagher’s website. There is a really interesting book on 12 tone improv.

https://johnogallagher.com/book

A Method for using tone rows in jazz book cover

Alternate Picking 16ths Guitar lesson like John Mclaughlin!

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THE FOUR MAIN ALTERNATE PICKING GUITAR RHYTHMS FOR CREATIVE IMPROVISATION SET-UPS

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

John_McLaughlin_Belo_Horizonte

“Music spoken here” John Mclaughlin the Translators

McLaughlin_Music_Spoken_Here

John Mclaughlin Alternate Picking Jazz Fusion guitar lesson!

John Mclaughlin left hand fingering guitar Lesson and fingering technique “Secrets” for fast Jazz fusion guitar lines explained.

 

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JOHN MCLAUGHLIN LEFT HAND FINGERING LESSON MUSIC TAB
Corona short 14th dec

The key to getting fluidity and developing the ability to play long jazz/fusion guitar phrases up tempo relies on good left hand fingering. Most people focus on the right alternate picking hand and then find it impossible to join/link up the improvised line phrasing /rhythm

The phrases and guitar fingering get generally “Un-guitaristic” when weaving in and out of altered [Dominant] harmony on the guitar fingerboard. This is why it is essential to manipulate the “Left fretting hand” fingering. The fingering that John Mclaughlin employs in much of his jazz guitar playing is available to all as is shown in my two guitar tab/notation examples and video. The secret fingering is actually quite simple and logical.

John Mclaughlin talks about fingering a lot in interviews and even said to Larry Coryell that “Fingering is everything”. When the fingers can move effortlessly and weave in and out of the complex harmonic lines it does become natural to articulate musical phrases into improvisation that way.

THE “SECRET” JOHN MCLAUGHLIN ALTERNATE PICKING GUITAR FINGERING! Revealed!

Screen Shot 2019-02-10 at 12.59.10

Above, is a very common John Mclaughlin fingering that he employs to get through fast uptempo phrases. It is actually quite repetitive and very useful for building any scale regardless of that scales intervals or complexity. This is the key to his explosive and effortlessness when alternate picking fluid modern jazz fusion guitar lines. Also, with this fingering it is possible to display excellent chromatic mastery,approach notes and jazz encircling set ups with ease.

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Tremolo Picking Guitar Technique Lesson

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WHAT IS TREMOLO GUITAR PICKING?

A Tremelo is a rapid alternating motion [Think of Russian music or spy music]. Tremelo picking comes from a RELAXED wrist and NOT the forearm, elbow or shoulder.

Count 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & and let your “Wrist” lightly pick down and up on one note. You can then gradually build a rapid alternating speed. Also try “Accenting” the first note in each bar. [Always avoiding tension in the elbow].

1

1 STRING TREMOLO PICKING

Now play it by “Doubling” the speed and INTERNALISE [Feel] the “1e & a” Rhythm. Count it in your mind as you start with a down stroke and pluck down up, down up, down up etc .

2

CROSSING 2 STRINGS WITH GUITAR TREMOLO PICKING: “EVEN GROUPINGS”

First try this with 8th notes and then double the speed with 16th notes. Hear the internalised “1e and a” of the Sixteenth notes and as you tremolo pick across the strings you will always cross with the same “EVEN” stroke. This makes crossing the strings very easy because when you can cross 2 strings then you can SIMPLY REPLICATE this across all 6 strings.

EX.3

3

EX.4 TREMOLO PICKING SCALE ACROSS ALL 6 GUITAR STRINGS:

Just replicate exercise 3 with a scale this time ascending and descending across all 6 guitar strings starting with a down stroke creating “even” tremolo picking. [It will be smooth and musical and simple with even patterns].

4

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