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The Wisdom Of John McLaughlin

Posted by Juliana Tessaro on

John McgLauglin is hands down one of the greatest musicians to ever walk the face of this earth. If you’re a guitar player, he is someone you should look up to. Many guitar players cite McLaughlin as an influence, and a huge fan of his is Zakk Wylde.

Image via Ragas And Sagas

For those who are not familiar with any of his work, McLaughlin formed the Mahavishnu Orchestra, a jazz fusion band in 1971. He has played with Miles Davis, and Jeff Beck regards him as the greatest guitar player alive. His style is aggressive, FAST and sophisticated harmonically. He is known for playing in unusual time signatures and a variety of different scales.

This quote by McLaughlin was posted by none other than Zakk himself, pointing out the importance of knowing your scales, not just the pentatonic. A lot of people say theory is not as important as a lot of people claim, but you know what? It is. There is a difference between a player who can play through chord changes and a player who just plays. Theory is hard, but doable. All the great players may not have studied theory extensively but they all knew what they were doing. Learning scales, will help you tremendously, as you will understand how everything works.


Don’t be discouraged or lazy, playing well and knowing your stuff is extremely important, so expand your knowledge a little, study your modes, learn your intervals, learn jazz chords, jam over chord changes. Every little thing you learn will influence your playing and set you apart from other players. Take some time to learn how scales work, I guarantee you, it will take your playing to the next level.

Which scale will you learn today?

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