Alternate Picking John Mclaughlin acoustic guitar exercise

This exercise is another simple John Mclaughlin [Shakti] right hand guitar exercise employing alternate picking with the plectrum moving “down” and “up” in a strict alternating manner.

This is a short simple exercise but is really good for getting ideas in how to extend alternate picking patterns for longer lines:This happens when you become aware of the rhythmic pulse of the exercise and the left hand fingering of the fretting hand.

Start with a “down” stroke but be aware of your “Up” stroke because this will propel the lick forward rhythmically.

John Mclaughlin alternate picking lick
“Shakti” alternate picking guitar line

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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.


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 Mclauhglin Shakti Indian Raga lesson “How to” do it!

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This little exercise works on the development of another basic guitar fingering idea. This fingering [as you will find out when playing through the notation/tab] lends itself well to the rhythmic development of John Mclaughlin’s alternate picking guitar technique. This in turn makes Indian Raga style of music very playable and gives way to creating your own raga’s!

John Mclaughlin SHAKTI Indian Raga Guitar EXERCISE/FINGERING LESSON Music and Tab


As always keep the alternate picking rhythmical and count in groups of four 16th notes called “Tetrachords”. Or, count in the Indian   Konokol rhythm system “Ta Ka Di Me”. Accent the first beat of each 4 note grouping with the guitar pick. Alternate picking will then give a fluid consistency  to this raga phrase/lick. Thanks for watching and please Subscribe to our youtube channel CLICK FOR YOUTUBE