How to Create “SHAKTI” John Mclaughlin Indian/Western Guitar Lines

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How to Create “SHAKTI” John Mclaughlin Indian/Western Guitar Lines

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Hi Guys,

Today we will look at how to develop “Shakti” John McLaughlin-esqe Indian raga lines with alternate picking guitar technique.

To begin with we will take this Scale as our Raga Base: [This starts on a “Down” stroke for alternate picking]:

how to-createshakti-john-mclaughlin-raga-guitar-lines

This base is a sort of Lydian sound with the tonic note as F and the B natural as the #11

In this first example we will employ arpeggios to create a chord pair effect:

how to-createshakti-john-mclaughlin-raga-guitar-lines

Here is the full line: Notice how we go from a “Western” concept of chord pairing to a more non diatonic scalic raga answering phrase

how to-createshakti-john-mclaughlin-raga-guitar-lines

The next concept exploits repetition: This is common in raga’s and is very good when alternate picking to get the tempo and rhythmic groove into your right hand picking so that the following phrase will be rhythmical!

how to-createshakti-john-mclaughlin-raga-guitar-lines

Here is the full Phrase:

how to-createshakti-john-mclaughlin-raga-guitar-lines

We can now add slurs and slides: “On” the beat:

how to-createshakti-john-mclaughlin-raga-guitar-lines

“Off” the beat:

how to-createshakti-john-mclaughlin-raga-guitar-lines

Full line/phrase with “Slide”:

how to-createshakti-john-mclaughlin-raga-guitar-lines

Another useful concept is to repeat the semitones in the scale and create a phrase/lick:

how to-createshakti-john-mclaughlin-raga-guitar-lines

PENTATONIC POWER!

The most common thing found in creating “Raga’s” from a western point of view is the employment of pentatonic scales. In this example we will build up a pentatonic line:

how to-createshakti-john-mclaughlin-raga-guitar-lines

This time we will start on the 6th guitar string: Notice, the 4 note groupings of 16 notes [Tetrachords]

how to-createshakti-john-mclaughlin-raga-guitar-lines

INTERVALS:

In the next example we will start a phrase with the interval of a 4th and a bit of repetition. Again, this is useful in order to set the tempo and prepare the fretting hand fingers to get in position to play a fast phrase rhythmically.

how to-createshakti-john-mclaughlin-raga-guitar-lines

Here is another example:

how to-createshakti-john-mclaughlin-raga-guitar-lines

GROUPS OF 5:

Groups of 5 notes create “Odd” patterns when alternate picking. But, 2 groups of 5 will go back to an even pattern, meaning that you will be starting on a down stroke again and back to familiar alternate picking territory.

This exercise works easily because the second group of 5 starts on an upstroke on the first string:

how to-createshakti-john-mclaughlin-raga-guitar-lines

GROUPS OF SIX [Sextuplets]:

It’s a good idea to barre a chord or an interval group [if possible] when playing 6’s [Sextuplets] as they will be very fast when picking and you will need to be in control of the rhythm. It’s also a good idea to repeat any notes or phrases that are at hand :

Example:

how to-createshakti-john-mclaughlin-raga-guitar-lines

Classic John mcLaughlin Improvisation Tool:

This next concept uses an arpeggio and 4ths. This crops up in lots of Johns improvisations:

how to-createshakti-john-mclaughlin-raga-guitar-lines

One last concept is that of quoting another melody, phrase, or famous lick into the Raga. Here we will use the old jazz favourite as a reference:

how to-createshakti-john-mclaughlin-raga-guitar-lines

Notice how this weaves back into the Raga:

how to-createshakti-john-mclaughlin-raga-guitar-lines

Finally, in order to create your own raga it’s a good idea to take a form:

In this case we could take a 16 beat cycle and times it by 4 to create a 16 Bar Structure:

how to-createshakti-john-mclaughlin-raga-guitar-lines

Notice the turn around in bar 16: At this point everyone will know where they are in the composition/raga so it can start back to the beginning and repeat itself for improvisation:

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“joy” by shakti- question-answer from different cultural perspectives

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“Joy” by Shakti/John Mclaughlin analysis from different cultural perspectives

PLEASE WATCH VIDEO ABOVE FOR DETAILED INFO:

The first part of “Joy” as a Four bar 16 Beat “Teen Taal” Fusion Cycle

First Bar

Joy, shakti, john mclaughlin, lesson, tab
“Joy” by Shakti/John Mclaughlin analysis from different cultural perspectives

Second Bar

Joy, shakti, john mclaughlin, lesson, tab
“Joy” by Shakti/John Mclaughlin analysis from different cultural perspectives

Third Bar

Joy, shakti, john mclaughlin, lesson, Raga, Indian, tab
“Joy” by Shakti/John Mclaughlin analysis from different cultural perspectives

Fourth Bar

Joy, shakti, john mclaughlin, lesson, tab
“Joy” by Shakti/John Mclaughlin analysis from different cultural perspectives

Full 4 Bars

joy, shakti, john, mclaughlin, guitar, technique, lesson, tab, music, notation
“Joy” by Shakti/John Mclaughlin analysis from different cultural perspectives

Joy, shakti, john, mclaughlin, lesson, guitar, technique, album, cover
“Joy” Shakti/John Mclaughlin Classic Album

Shakti (Shakti album)

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Shakti with John McLaughlin
Live album by Shakti
Released1976
RecordedJuly 5, 1975, at Southampton CollegeLong Island
GenreWorld fusion
Length52:00
LabelColumbia
ProducerJohn McLaughlin
Shakti chronology
Shakti with John McLaughlin
(1976)A Handful of Beauty
(1976)
John McLaughlin chronology
Inner Worlds
(1976)Shakti with John McLaughlin
(1976)A Handful of Beauty
(1976)
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic [1]
The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings[2]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide[3]
“Joy” Shakti/John Mclaughlin Classic Album http://www.jazzimproviser.com

Shakti with John McLaughlin is the first album by Shakti, described as “another brain blowing achievement” by Agha Yasir [1].

Track listing

Side one

  1. “Joy” (John McLaughlin/L. Shankar) – 18:13
  2. “Lotus Feet” (McLaughlin) – 4:44

Side two

  1. “What Need Have I for This–What Need Have I for That–I Am Dancing at the Feet of My Lord–All Is Bliss–All Is Bliss” (McLaughlin/Shankar) – 29:03

Personnel

Personnel – Production (Record)

  • John McLaughlin – Producer
  • Nathan Weiss – Manager
  • Joseph D’Anna – Engineer
  • Stan Tonkel – Engineer
  • Apeksha Bacciagallupi
  • Pranavanada – Photos
  • Gregory diGiovine – CBS Records
  • Danny Wong – Lettering
  • Marie de Oro – Design

Personnel – Production (CD)

  • Mike Berniker – Producer, Coordination
  • Larry Keyes – Digital Remastering
  • Gary Pacheco – Coordination
  • Penny Armstrong – Coordination
  • Tony Tiller – Package Coordination
  • Pete Cenedella – Package Coordination

Chart performance

YearChartPosition
1976Billboard 200194[4]
1976Billboard Jazz Albums37[4]
“Joy” Shakti/John Mclaughlin Classic Album http://www.jazzimproviser.com

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16 Beat Cycle “Teen Taal” Guitar Raga Lesson

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In this “Teen Taal” Harmonic minor scale Indian Raga lesson for guitar [Tabla/Tanpura/shruti] We will employ strict alternate picking starting on a”Down stroke”. Count time and keep the alternate picking rhythmical and tight as you tap your foot and count in groups of four 16th notes [Tetrachords] over the following below,

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

A HARMONIC MINOR 16 BEAT CYCLE “TIN TAL” [TEEN TAAL] RAGA NOTATION/TABLATURE.

Teen Taal Guitar Raga lesson 16 beat cycle
16 Beat cycle “Teen Taal” Indian Raga

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