John McLaughlin – This Is The Way I Do It
Aug 25 2014
Leave it to John McLaughlin to revolutionize how guitar improvisation is taught to the masses. This is the Way I Do It is a DVD landmark. It is the first music instruction DVD to use the full capabilities of the medium. Displayed for all of the chapters are three camera views, the left-hand, the right-hand and a score so that the player can follow along. Subtitled in five different languages for worldwide application.
This three DVD set is not for beginning guitarists. You will need to have a working knowledge of scales to take advantage of the instruction right out of the box. This DVD is designed to help all guitar players, beginning improvisers and even the best professional players, find their own improvisational voices. Each DVD introduces a new level of skill. To master each level, and thus each DVD, will require the student at least one year of his or her time. This is not some video game. It is serious teaching. Yet, the instruction is presented in the most personal of ways. You will get to know John McLaughlin. (This is especially true after you have viewed the hilarious bonus outtakes). Filming was aided by many capable people including technicians and advisers from Apple Computer. It is beautifully filmed and recorded, cogently correlated and even has an interface with McLaughlin’s website. Its format will become the gold standard of instructional DVD’s. The video includes 12 chapters:
- The Basic Modes
- Rhythmic Development of Basic Modes
- Modal Fluency Development
- Introduction of Linear Triads
- The Symmetric Scale
- The Harmonic Minor Scale
- Melodic Minor and its Development
- Mel. Minor +2:5:1 Movement
- Odd Time Signatures
- Odd Time Signatures and Harmonic Development
- Advanced Harmonic Improvisation with odd and even Time Signatures
This is the best instructional DVD package (or book) for getting a musician up to a high level of improvisation that I’ve encountered yet. There are a lot of similar instructional materials that provide a list of scales, modes, etc., and some chord progressions and exercises to go with them, but these often leave the student high and dry, without a good demonstration and analysis of how the modes can be used to create real music. This DVD provides a multitutde of superb improvisations by John McLaughlin himself using the modes and chord progressions at each stage, and an analysis of how each improvisation relates to the modes, chord progressions, and exercises provided for the student. Not just for guitarists – although it’s designed with guitarists in mind, any instrumentalist can learn a lot from this DVD package.
This Is The Way I Do It is not an instructional set for the faint of heart. To take advantage of the lessons presented here requires at least a high-intermediate level of skill as well as a good amount of patience and dedication. It is most definitely not aimed at beginners, but is rather one of the very few instructional DVDs that can offer a wealth of information to even the most advanced players. Some may be put off by the relatively high price of the set but the amount and quality of information (which will take most players years to fully take advantage of) makes it well worth it to those who are serious about taking their playing to the next level.
Running time: 3 h 40 mins
Video: MPEG2 PAL 4:3 (720×576) VBR
Audio: Dolby AC3, 2 ch
Booklet: Yes (PDF)
Size: 3.7 Gb + 2.8 Gb + 4.1 Gb