In the first example we see a minor pentatonic pattern moving in groups of three notes that displaces the rhythm. This creates a unique fresh sound to the most used scale on the guitar. The rhythmic displacement also pushes the rhythm along. Also notice the use of the interval of a perfect 5th.
Eric Johnson 3 note Guitar Pattern lesson example:
In the next example we can see how Eric Johnson uses 4 note guitar patterns. He also uses the interval of a perfect 4th which creates motivic movement.
Eric Johnson 4 note Guitar Pattern lesson example
This next example shows how Eric Johnson takes the most overused cliche on the guitar [the minor pentatonic] and exploits the intervals to create a fresh and unique sound.
Eric Johnson intervallic manipulation:
In this last example we can see how Eric Johnson employs the interval of a perfect 4th again, but, this time with arpeggios and inversion that creates a melodic sound to the ear. Again this moves us far away from the minor pentatonic cliches.
Eric Johnson 4ths and arpeggios guitar pattern
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This 1st example is quite demanding to play but it demonstrates the power of manipulating the intervals to create a unique sound and style. [Notice that the interval of the 7th crops up a lot along with 6ths and 3rds].
The 2nd example is a bit more straight forward, but, because Eric Johnson manipulates the interval of a perfect 4th he creates a fresh modern sound. Also notice that there are arpeggios. These arpeggios create melodic content to the example and draw the listeners ear into the music.
Although this is only a short lesson there is plenty to take from these two examples because they contain the key to unlocking an original approach to the most basic and most used thing in guitar the minor pentatonic scale. The way that Eric Johnson exploits the intervals in this scale is a real eye opener, oh, and a real ear opener!
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Today we will look at a John Mclaughlin alternate picking Jazz/Fusion improvisation cadence employing the altered dominant chord! Please watch the video below and then try it out yourself.
As you will see this cadence employs the Altered scale. It is a 2 [minor 7 flat 5] going to 5 [ “Altered Dominant”] 1 [major 7th]. This being Dm7 flat 5 G7 altered resolving to C major7.
I also employ a flat 5 substitution on the Dm7 flat 5. All of this resolves though and slips nicely into the altered dominant 5 chord. I also use pentatonics within the altered scale for rhythmic flow. Please look at the TAB/MUSIC below and play through it yourself to see and feel how it all “Naturally” unfolds. I employ alternate picking the same as John Mclaughlin.
John Mclaughlin alternate picking altered scale line Music/Tab
VARIATION With an A flat Pentatonic shape replacing A flat minor/Major Arpeggio for the flat 5 substitution.