Just another “Quick” fire lick today from legendary guitar great John Mclaughlin!
This is a short lick doubled in unison with strings [or synth] and played in double time. It employs strict alternate picking starting on a down stroke. The lick exploits two “Dominant” chords, D7#9 and D7#9#11.
John Mclaughlin Guitar Lick:
Ascending John employs a simple pentatonic scale that exploits both the #9 [F natural] and the Major 3rd [F#]. Descending he employs the F melodic [jazz] minor scale.This is because the second dominant chord exploits the #11 [Ab]. It also creates an augmented flavour with the #5 [Bb] note]. This finally resolves to GMaj7#11 with an F#m9 arpeggio that finishes on the C# note [#11 of Gmaj7#11].
Although this line follows musical logic it is also slightly ambiguous which in turn creates an interesting and more original sound:
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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