John McLaughlin – The Gateway to Rhythm

Dec 04 2022

John McLaughlin – The Gateway to Rhythm

Konokol is the universal system of mastering rhythm without drums. Guitar legend John McLaughlin, who has advocated this system of learning rhythm for over 30 years, brings it all together with Konokol master Selvaganesh Vinayakram, one of the foremost percussionists from India. Divided into six chapters, the student moves from basic understanding of rhythm into the wonderful world of improvisation.
Exercises are explained and demonstrated followed by improvisations which include all the exercise material of that particular chapter. You will learn through this course how to improvise rhythmically and how this system can help in your compositions. Following this, John McLaughlin explains and demonstrates on the guitar the benefit Konokol has had on his improvisations, and its usefulness in his compositions over the past 30 years.
This is a very clear, well-thought-out video course on konokol: a traditional Indian system of singing a rhythm, sometimes a very complicated rhythm, against the “metronome” of your own clapping. Konokol allows the musician to superimpose one tempo and time signature (in the singing) against another (in the clapping), and hear the two together. You can also use it to sing drum solos – if your tongue is as fast as Selva’s is in this DVD!
Unlike a lot of instructional DVDs, this really is a TEACHING video. The six lessons lead you progressively from the simplest concepts to complete tongue twisters, subdivisions of 5, 6, and 7, and odd time signatures. All the exercises and vocal “solos” appear in Western notation on screen as they are sung, so if you read music you have an additional teaching aid.
As a bonus, John McLaughlin gives a few brief examples of Mahavishnu Orchestra riffs that grew out of Konokol patterns. The camera is mostly on his left hand on the neck; I don’t know if this will be frustrating to guitarists. In any case, this really isn’t a guitar video. McLaughlin is more the MC, introducing Selva’s performances of the exercises and solos.
In a world overflowing with guitar constructionals and hot licks videos, here comes an educational DVD from The Master – the way it is supposed to be. This DVD deals with the South Indian(Carnatic) system of recitation called ‘konokol’. In John’s words, it is the simplest and most effective method of mastering rhythm in the world. Konokol requires absolutely no playing ability as it is all about counting, division and mathematics- the building blocks of rhythm. the DVD starts from square one, teaching syllables and the basic language and moving on to more challenging aspects like odd time signatures – John’s pet love for many years. As with John’s previous educational DVD ‘This Is The Way I Do It’, there is a continuous scroll of notation moving along the bottom of the screen, which greatly enhances the impact of the lessons. The DVD contains six chapters, each chapter ending with a demonstration of the material by Selvaganesh Vinayakram (who plays south indian percussion along side John in Remember Shakti) followed by John’s demo of the application of konokol on the guitar. Watch out for the Finale in Chapter 6, where they get together to create a beautiful guitar-konokol conversation.
Learning this system helps build a bridge between percussionists and melodic instrumentalists. An ensemble or a band conversant with konolol can articulate musical ideas very precisely to each other. Someone who has been in a band will immediately appreciate how difficult it is to get the bloody drummer to play what you want him(her) to! It is not an exaggeration to say Shakti would not have been what it is hadn’t it been for konokol. The level of the music they came up with in a very short span of time would not have been possible without konokol.
Finally, please remember this is not only for drummers and percussionists. This is not only for students who play indian instruments, or wish to learn indian music on their western instruments. This truly is for everybody. Infact, it will be of value even if you do not play any instrument and want to become a knowledgable audience of Indian Classical Music. That John McLaughlin went ahead and made this DVD reveals how strongly he feels about it, and how important he thinks konokol is to save the world!

Language: English
Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish
Year: 2007
Country: USA
Running time: 82 mins
Quality: DVD5
Video: MPEG2 PAL 16:9 (720×576) VBR
Audio: AC3, 2/0ch, 192Kbps
Booklet: Yes (PDF)
Size: 3.6 Gb

John McLaughlin - The Gateway to Rhythm

John McLaughlin – The Gateway to Rhythm

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  1. doniahl /

    in Iran we don’t have any good facility in music. we don’t have any good method for solfeg rhythm and i jast could download dante agustiny solfeg method from internet to improve my solfeg rhythm . but unfortunately in internet i could jast download part 1 , 4 and 5 from that book. it was a very good method but without part 2 and 3 it was partial and i was very upset about it a long time until i find The Gateway to Rhythm in fast strings and now i’m not upset any more because i improve all of my free space of solfeg rhythm knowledge with this method. i recommend to every one who wants to be very excellent on solfeg rhythm download this method because this is the best one. and thanks a lot fast strings because in Iran we don’t have any facility and we are boycott too and if you don’t exit we couldn’t progress in music like now. thank you very much for every things.

  2. doug floyd /

    Excellent video, love McLaughlin

  3. Redpepper /

    Amen Bro…
    You didn’t just write,
    You preached!
    But I’ll still take it free when I can 😉

  4. drumstudio /

    I think there is easy acces to education. Course, if you want to study in berklee college, well….it will be a little expensive..but if people can pay their internet connection, they can pay a good teacher too, or a dvd, dont you think?
    Think it this way. If you dont pay to a teacher, o dont buy his dvd (most dvds requires years of knowledge, and a lot of time and money to make it)…there will be less teachers, or poor quality dvds or methods out there…because teachers will have to drive taxis or do office work to pay his bills, and will have no time and mastery to do great lessons anymore…
    So, a dvd isnt expensive. A teacher isnt expensive. An iPAD is expensive, and people buy it just for fun. I have no problem to pay for knowladge, do you? So, pay for a good music method will Keep the teachers alive, making great books and music.

  5. viana /

    Education should be free!

    I agree with you completely.

    “Liberdade e acesso ao conhecimento, um direito Humano”!


  6. Asim /

    Education should be free. And let me tell you my friends, you are doing a great deed.

  7. neybahia /

    This video is perfect to me. Many thanks admin.

  8. jules /

    Looking forward to watch it!
    Thanks a lot for making it possible!
    Knowledge for all!!

  9. lilligruber /

    many thanx admin :rockin:

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