John Mclaughlin “QUICK” Lick #1

Today we will take a look at a John Mclaughlin jazz fusion acoustic guitar lick in the style of the “Belo Herozonte” C.D/LP.

It consists of a “Pentatonic scale” and an “Arpeggio” fingering.

John Mclaughlin Quick Lick #1

alternate picking John Mclaughlin guitar lesson
“Belo Herozonte” John Mclaughlin style guitar lick #1

Notice the 2 finger Pentatonic ascending shape and the Arpeggio Descending shape

Shakti John Mclaughlin guitar lick lesson
“Pentatonic” 2 finger guitar shape and “Arpeggio” shape

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Alternate Picking 16ths Acoustic Jazz/Fusion Guitar Lesson

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THE FOUR MAIN ALTERNATE PICKING GUITAR RHYTHMS FOR CREATIVE ACOUSTIC GUITAR JAZZ/FUSION IMPROVISED LINE SET-UPS

John Mclaughlin right hand  alternate picking rhythms pattersns
Basic Rhythms

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.
Alternate Picking Guitar Set-up

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
Alternate Picking Guitar Set-Up for Jazz/Fusion Improvisation

THE 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
Off-Beat Alternate Picking Guitar Acoustic jazz/fusion set-up

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
Alternate Picking 16th’s Guitar Jazz/Fusion Rhythmic set-ups On the beat

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.

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
John Mclaughlin “Belo” Acoustic alternate picking Jazz/Fusion Masterpiece!

“MUSIC SPOKEN HERE” JOHN MCLAUGHLIN THE TRANSLATORS

McLaughlin_Music_Spoken_Here

John Mclaughlin Acoustic Alternate Picking “Music Spoken Here” C.D. brilliant Compositions, Improvisations and Alternate Picking Guitar Technique.

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Metronome BASIC ideas #1

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The keys to start metronome practice on the first basic level.

1] Hear the first Beat of the bar

2] Hear the group of 4 notes [Tetrachords]

Western Classical tradition

SEIMIQUAVERS 16TH NOTES

Konokol

Konokol Counting 16th notes

Hear the difference between 8th notes and double timed 16th notes

8th Notes [Quavers]

16th Notes [Semiquavers] Same exercise but twice as fast [Double Timed]

Exercise to “Connect” 4 note [Tetrachord] Motifs. Hear the connection “On” the beat as you go from the first to the second bar.

16th note double timing metronome tetrachord connecting motifs exercise

How rhythms work against the metronome pulse.

Basic metronome Rhythmic groupings for understanding time development

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alternate picking 2 Finger guitar Arpeggios #2

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Alternate Picking guitar arpeggios #2. Right hand technique and rhythmic precision.

Examples below in notation and tab. Also, remember to subscribe to us on youtube, thanks!

Arpeggio 1

Arpeggio 2 Variation

Arpeggio 3 Pentatonic

Arpeggio 4 Variation

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Alternate picking guitar technique Blog.

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ALTERNATE PICKING FOR GUITAR IMPROVISATION:

Alternate picking is a strict Up/Down or Down/Up Picking Movement as opposed to a hammering on and pulling off technique. We do this by employing a relaxed wrist motion plucking up and down or down and up from the WRIST. Never do we pick from the elbow, forearm or shoulder!. We sometimes use a floating motion across the strings and sometimes a pivoting or anchoring technique by resting our palm lightly on the bridge of the guitar. The exercise below demonstrates the basic “Down Up” and “Up Down” Strict alternate picking movement.

Alternate picking up stroke and down stroke diagrams

When Holding the pick [plectrum] the thumb needs to be “Rigid” but not tense [Flexible is the best definition]. There must be zero tension in the hand either.
[ With a loose thumb it is easy to drop the pick and lose fluidity.]

Ex.2 Simple exercise for holding the Pick:

How to hold the pick

Put out your hand as if to shake hands

How to grip the plectrum

Bring the fingers in as if to hold a cup

Holding the pick with the proper plectrum grip

Bring down the thumb. It can remain “Flexible” but not wobbly and helpless.

Inside of the hand of the plectrum grip

Inside of plectrum grip. [Fingers Lightly Folded In]

How to hold the guitar pick

Basic Grip with the THUMB as the “Powerhouse” [Never the arm/elbow]

Angle of the hand holding the guitar pick

Ready to Play! Although the thumb is gripping the plectrum firmly there is no tension in the hand or wrist.

 

The Classic Plectrum Grip [My Style]

The hand is closed but it is not tense. The fingers are lightly tucked in. The wrist is loose. This is a very common grip. This is a really excellent grip if you are having problems with your picking hand . This is the grip as used by the great improvisers like John Mclaughlin and Al Di Meola.

alternate picking plectrum right hand grip

 

Other Plectrum picking Grips:

alternate picking guitar plectrum grips examples and demonstrations

Different players grip the pick in different fashions. I use the classic John Mclaughlin grip because I feel it is the best one when it comes to jazz/fusion improvisation and complex rhythms. Whichever grip you choose always remember that regardless of how you hold the plectrum the Principles remain the same. The Thumb being the powerhouse that takes any “Pressure” as we “Pluck/alternate with the wrist”.

John Mclaughlin style Grip Lesson

THE MECHANICS!

If we look at the diagram below we can see what is PHYSICALLY taking place when we are crossing the strings.

If you pluck UP on your 1st string you will have to SKIP OVER the second string before plucking DOWN on it.

So when we are plucking across the strings we are in a way string skipping. Most people I have taught are completely unaware of this. This is why so many people find/assume that alternate picking is difficult.

From the "outside" of the strings it is Up skip over pluck down pluck up

[DOWN SKIP OVER PLUCK UP-reverse


From the “Inside” of the strings it is Down skip over pluck up.

[UP SKIP OVER PLUCK DOWN-reverse

The mechanics of alternate picking when the guitar pick crosses the strings

 

VERY COMMON EXAMPLES/EXERCISES

Down skip over pluck up-when crossing

Michael Angelo Batio sextuplets guitar exercise for the up stroke

UP skip over pluck down-when crossing

Paul Gilbert alternate picking guitar exercise for the up stroke

Coming UP on the Up stroke Exercises

These 3 simple exercises emphasise the coming “UP” on the upstroke creating a rolling effect. These are “EVEN” groupings meaning that the picking pattern repeats itself.

Exercise 1

2 strings crossing repetition alternate picking “EVEN” Groupings

alternate picking guitar exercise crossing the first 2 strings

Exercise 2

2 strings crossing and left hand shifting whilst alternate picking “EVEN”Groupings

alternate picking guitar exercise number 2 for beginners

EXERCISE 3: JAZZ DOUBLE TIMING 16ths Semiquavers

Start with a downstroke and feel the last stroke in the group of 16th notes which will be an upstroke. Use this to be aware in order for you to pluck and accent the 1st stroke in the next group of four 16th notes. Repeat the pattern.This is essential to get the double timing 16th notes rhythmic and precise whilst alternate picking.

alternate picking guitar  1 string exercise

The exercise/lick below on a 2 5 1 is built on 4 note groupings of 16ths called “TETRACHORDS”.Take it slowly using the rhythmic method from the 16ths exercise above.

Alternate picking guitar exercise tetrachords jazz fusion guitar line

 

 

Exercise 4: GROUPS OF 6 NOTES “ODD” Groupings

Start on a DOWN STROKE and then come “UP” on the second group of triplets and follow the sequence. These are repeated patterns but are “ODD” Groupings meaning that on every 3 notes the picking pattern changes, e,g down 2 3 Up 2 3. [Although as a group of 6 it would be an even grouping].

FREVO “Rasgado” INTRO By John Mclaughlin/Paco De Lucia

frevo Rasgado guitar trio John Mclaughlin Paco De Lucia guitar intro lesson

ALTERNATE PICKING ALIGNMENT

In the diagram below we can easily see the right hand crossing the strings picking each string naturally as it comes. We can also see that the right hand is always aligned with the string it wishes to pluck.

Aligned with the 6th string Open E

alternate picking plectrum alignment

Aligned with the 5th string Open A

pick alignment 5 string

Aligned with the 4th string Open D

pick alignment 4th string

Aligned with the 3rd string Open G

plectrum alignment for alternate picking on the guitars 3rd string

Aligned with the 2nd string Open B

plectrum alignment for correct alternate picking

Aligned with the 1st string Open E

1st string plectrum alignment

 

BE AWARE!

If you do alternate picking properly and pluck each string and each note of a phrase with a loose wrist and and relaxed arm/hand then you will avoid injury.

But if you just do a tremolo and hammer on then you will put yourself at risk.

The principles outlined in this short book are very simple and easy to understand. They are not only here to help you  progress but also to help you avoid injury.

Correct wrist technique when alternate picking at the guitar

PALM ANCHORING/FLOATING

Anchoring means pivoting on the bridge lightly

Floating means not resting on the bridge for support. Although this support could come from resting the arm on the body of the guitar [mainly acoustic].

Below is an example of what I do which is a mixture 70% FLOATING with 30% Anchoring.

Floating and pivoting when alternate picking guitar demonstration

alternate picking lesson

Angling the pick

Some people prefer to angle the pick. Some people do this naturally.

Angling the guitar pick for alternate picking

 

It is best to use a “Hard” Plectrum for alternate picking. [Jim Dunlop do some very good hard plectrums].

guitar picks

METRENOME

metronome   digital metronome

Employing the metrenome is the only way to learn quickly and effectively. This amazing device will have you alternate picking smooth and precise rhythms on your guitar. Wether it’s jazz, fusion, improvisation or heavy metal the metronome is the best way to achieve mastery with the guitar pick.

 

Conclusion:

This website page is only a guide and was written for the main purpose of helping a beginner/or anyone struggling to understand alternate picking and avoid injury whilst learning it.

 

Alternate Picking "Triplet" Style   Al di Meola  CLICK
Al Di Meola REH Guitar video

Alternate Picking Jazz Fusion Improvisational Style of John Mclaughlin  CLICK

John Mclaughlin This is the way I do it

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Alternate Picking Guthrie Govan-“Upstroke”-Off-Beat

Off-Beat: Notes in between being on the “UP STROKE”

Guthrie Govan Alternate Picking guitar

Rhythmic Groupings: quarter note. eighth note. sixteenth note.

Screen Shot 2020-07-12 at 13.47.37

“Up” skip over pluck down-OFF-BEAT on Upstroke.

Guthrie Govan Alternate Picking guitar

For Original Video please Click below!

Guthrie Govan alternate Picking guitar

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