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Watch the McLaughlin's Vishnu online guitar lesson by TrueFire from Play Rock Guitar 7: Style Diversity

McLaughlin's Vishnu - Lick 1 is a video guitar lesson presented by James Hogan and is sourced from 50 Jazz Rock Licks You MUST Know.


John McLaughlin is one of the greatest and most important guitarists in history. In fact, Jeff Beck refers to McLaughlin as the "best guitarist alive."

While guitarists like Larry Coryell, Frank Zappa, Jerry Garcia, Jimi Hendrix and bands like Cream and The Grateful Dead may have been experimenting with jazz rock as early as 1966 -67 it is with Miles Davis' landmark albums "In A Silent Way" and "Bitches Brew" where the genre really took off. Of course, John McLaughlin was in integral part of both of those brilliant works. In fact, Chick Corea has stated that "what John McLaughlin did with the electric guitar set the world on its ear. No one ever heard an electric guitar played like that before, and it certainly inspired me. John's band, more than my experience with Miles, led me to want to turn the volume up and write music that was more dramatic and made your hair move."" With statements like that John McLaughlin's importance in the world of jazz rock fusion cannot be overstated.

This lick features a trademark sound from McLaughlin's Mahavishnu era playing. It is based on the E Dominant Pentatonic Scale. (1 - 3 -4 -5 -b7) John frequently plays this sound over Dominant 7th chords. Like McLaughlin, I'm using alternate picking here.