Download Guitar - John Mclaughlin's Indo - Jazz Fusion PDF

TitleGuitar - John Mclaughlin's Indo - Jazz Fusion
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Page 2

John llllslaughlin
York Even though they’re not primarily derived
from Indian music, both recordings have
related features worth noting. Our primary

Ex. 1

kca. 184 Bml l/E C#ml l/E Bml i/E C#ml l/E
Elm. gtr.

focus will be McLaughlin’s improvising in an
odd time signature with relatively complex

Ex. 1 profiles the intro to “Follow” from the
/EQversion. Fist, let’s deal with the 1118 time
signature (a non-traditional Indian meter that
was brought into vogue by Ravi Shankar). To

concentrate on your playing instead of your
counting in an odd time signature, you need
to find a relaxed way to feel it. Instead of count-
ing beats one through eleven at tempo and

eventually passing out for lack of air, try count-
ing the first eight beats as quarter-notes at

Bml l/E Gsus4 D Bml l/E D A

1 2 9 ?
half tempo, and then the final three as eighth- 2 1 ? 2 2

T ? n 9 ? 1

notes at regular tempo, like this: “1,2,3,4, l- A ? n n
-9 n 9

? ? n n
2-3.” Or you might count all the eighth-notes

n n

like this: “1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and l-2-3.” Ex. 2
Now let’s look at the chord vamp in the first

,- E Mixolydian ~-,

measure. These voicings are reminiscent of
those Bill Bvans introduced on the Miles Davis
standard “So What” and those of Herbie Han-
cock on “Maiden Voyage.” One way to get a
handle on them is to think of the Bmll and
C//ml1 as substitutes for the I chord (EJ in
the Mixolydian mode. Both chords contain
notes from the parent scale and from vari- Ex. 3 Em1 1 Dmll Ex.4 El 1 or Bml l/E
ous extensions of an E7chord: The Bml I is like
an E7with a sus4 and a 9, and the C#mll has
the 6th and 9th scale degrees in the bass and
an E triad on top.

Other chord subs help expand the tonal-
ity of “Follow” and keep things fresh. In mea-
sures 3 and 4, the Gsus4 to D change implies
the key of G, and the chords work as tritone and
relative major subs for C#m and Bm respec-
tively. The D to A change in measure 4 makes
sense as a quick move to the IV chord in E, with
the “V of the IV” (0) as a lead-in.

Ex.2 shows a two-octave fingering for E

Ex. 5
Harmonized E Mixolydian


Bml 1

C#mll El1 G#dim7add4

Dmaj7#11 F#mll

Page 3


. .

Ex. 6 relationship to the chords.”

Gtr. 1 Bml l/E C#ml l/E Bml i/E . C#ml l/E
Now let’s compare the “So What” voicings

of Ex. 3 to the “Follow” chords in Ex. 4. You
can analyze the chord as both Eli and Bml I-
it all depends on what you hear as the root.
Ex. 5 lists all of the chords in the mode in this
type of substitute voicing. Notice that the two
from “Follow” are among the least dissonant.

John’s melody and rhythm work in mea-
I sures l-4 of the 12-bar head is the subject of

Ex.6. As in the intro, he substitutes rhythm
chords in the 3rd and 4th bars, this time bulld-
ing tension by climbing the fretboard through
inversions of Dand @iads. These lead nicely
to the substitution of Em1 1lAfor the IVchord
at measure 5.

Bml l/E DED E DED Emil

Farrell played the melody on tenor sax on
his]lQalbum, but we’ll explore Johns octave
approach on acoustic guitar from the MGB
recording. Notice how he effectively uses


of four notes in theme and variation phrasing.
In the solo department,

Page 4

John McLaughlin
and seven more strings set diagonally across

the soundhole, McLaughlin was able to develop

a new technique: “I wanted to be able to play

chords without stopping my single-line solo-

ing. What was important to me was to extract

the chord that was the most expressive of the

emotion that I felt was embodied inside the scale

or the mode of the raga we were playing.”

(Guitar Player, Aug. ‘78.) ?tyo 13-strings were

built, the standard-body prototype in 1975,

and a cutaway in 1976.

Bml i/E

Follow Your Heart by John Mclaughlin 0 1974 Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. All rights
reserved, used by permission. Warner Bros. Publications U.S. Inc., Miami FL33014

Ex. 8

J = ca. 40, freely Em
* .

Concurrent with the arrival of the first

model ln 1975, McLaughlin formed the acoustic

Indo-jazz fusion group, Shakti. The name

means “creative intelligence, b,eauty, and

power.” McLaughlin was joined by fellow I U
virtuosos L. Shankar (violin), Zaklr Hussain

(tablas, percussion), and T.H. Vinayakram

(Ghatam, percussion). The group recorded * Chord arpeggio from upstroke ACROSS
7 string harp section of 13.string guttar.

three ground-breaking albums between 1975

and 1977. The piece we’ll look at here is “India”

from their third album, A Handful [email protected]
I E Minor -,

it’s out of print, but you’ll find the song on

Best ofShakti (Moment).

Arranged like a raga, “India” follows an

ABCB pattern. Ex. 8 covers the opening phrase

. . - 3 - ---
,5- z- -e l

degrees: I 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 1 2 b3 4 5 16 b7 1

of the A section, or alap, traditionally a slow and
1 <

T ? n < _ d

serene solo exposition without meter. John
A ‘1 n 4 - d


begins with bend-release figures that resem-

ble the expressive phrasing of the sitar, at the Ex. 10
same time strumming the seven accompani- Em >
ment strings, which are tuned to an Emadd2/4.

Indian sitar players typically pull their strings

down to bend, and this is John’s approach as

well l?y that technique here and in the following

related examples whenever practical.

Eminor is the primary tonality of “India,”

and Ex.9 shows a two-octave fingering of the


Page 5

Ex. 12


. .

abbreviated version of the final phrase of the

alup, a more developed look at John’s Indian-

style phrasing. Notice how almost every note

is connected by an embellishment-this is

one of the main stylistic differences between

Indian and Western melodic styles.

Ex. 12 is a melodic sequence exercise

derived from beat three of Ex.11. Similar in

approach to FX. 10, this time it’s fingered up the Ex. 13

J= Cadd9 #4

ccl.144 BmGadd4
Next up is the B section, or dadru, where a

moderate 614 tempo is introduced as the

theme and arpeggiated chords are played by

violin and guitar, respectively. This alternates

let ring throughout with soulful, rapid-fire unison lines by guitar

and violin, a pattern that is developed many

times in this section. One pass of the chords

is notated in Ex. 13.

Beginning with cadd9/#4, John starts things

A7sus4add6 A7add6
off with a smooth substitution for the previous

alap tonal center of Em7add2l4. As usual, it

works due to the common tones between the

two chords: E, G, D, and F#. Such arranging is

an example of the East/West fusion within

Shakti’s music, a key element introduced by

John to the traditionally non-chordal Indian


One Truth

Am7add6 Am7add /$3 After Shakti disbanded in 1977, McLaughlin

formed the primarily electric-oriented One

IYuth Band with L. Shankar and others. The

opening track from their 1978 Electric Dreams

(Columbia/Legacy) features an acoustic duet

with Shankar, “Guardian Angels.” Departing

from the raga form, it consists of an Indo-

blues style theme over a set of modallypivot-

ing chord changes. Like Ex13, it’s based on shift-

ing time signatures, and arpeggiated inver-

sions allow for melodic voice-leading between

chords. For the rhythm part, John plays a 12-

string acoustic.

Ex. 14 covers the Brst 12 bars of the melody

and chords. Instead of emphasizing the Indian

melodic style alone, it blends it with basic

Western blues figures to create a hybrid. Orig-

inally recorded with violin and six-string

acoustic cutaway in unison, the theme is


India by Lakshminarayana Shankar and John Mclaughlin 0 1977 Warner-Tamerlane
Publishing Corp., Basque Music Inc., and Ganesh Music. Au rights o/b/o Basque Music, Inc.

administered by Warner-Tame&me Publishing Corp. All rights reserved, used
by permission. Warner Bros. Publications U.S. Inc., Miami FL 33014

Page 6

John Mclaugnlin
Ex. 14

arranged here for guitar only
It’s the phrasing that matters most. Fist of

all, it’s melodic and flowing, regardless of the
continual time signature changes. Secondly,
notice how it starts with a short question in
bars l-4. Then, on the last beat of the fourth
measure, it follows with an answer that might
normally have ended on beat two of mea-
sure 8. Instead it continues, trailing off through
bar 12 like the tail of a comet.

h = 2~ Cmaj7IE D6 NC# C

The Wish ensemble

Our fInal examples are taken horn Johns great
1995 concept album, The Promise (Verve).
With”this recording John set a new standard
for himself, not only gathering musicians
together to play in various styles from through-
out his career, but writing and arranging
music to highlight and inspire some of the
worlds best players.

Here we’ll take a look at Johns nod to India

in his composition, “The Wish.” The follow-
ing examples are notated in C#major to cor-

respond to the C# tuning of the sitar. While it
is customary to publish this music in C, using
the actual key will help in playing along with
the recording.

Returning to the raga form, Ex. 15 gets us
going with a look at the first pass of the sec-
ond movement (ior) theme of “The Wish.” The
theme is repeated by the sitar in unison with

John’s electric guitar and followed each time
by a ill1 in 6/4. This 18-beat cycle (or r&a) of
three measures of 414 and one of 614 runs
throughout the piece.


I I I I - I

*Violin arranged for guitar.
“%&SttitPQ ilM)UStiC gUitW.

Bm6 csus#4 Bm Am

WG# F#ll

Ex. 16 shows the C# Lydian-mode fin-
gering that is used in Rx.15. To get a feel for the
tonality implied by the theme, try the C#nzzj7
and C#muj9 chords illustrated in Ex. 17.

Try practicing studies of any three- or

Finally, Ex. 18 demos John’s solo phrase
at 654, a jazz-style phrase played over a back-
ground that combines percussionist Trilok

Gurtu’s Indoljazz swing groove with a tradi-
tional Indian rhvthrnic feel from Zaklr Hussain.

four-note figures you like, and (with this and
all the examples above) practice with a
metronome, starting at a comfortable tempo.






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