John McLaughlin: The Gateway to Rhythm DVD

John McLaughlin: The Gateway to Rhythm DVD

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Konokol is the universal system of mastering rhythm without drums which was developed in South India. Guitar legend John McLaughlin, who has advocated this system of learning rhythm for over 30 years, brings it all together on this DVD with Konokol master Selvaganesh Vinayakram, one of the foremost percussionists from India. Through this course, you will learn how to improvise rhythmically and how this system can help in your compositions.

Divided into 6 chapters, the DVD takes the student from a basic understanding of rhythm into the wonderful world of improvisation that begins with simple 4/4 and 3/4 and goes into the more fascinating rhythms of 5/4, 7/4, 9/8, etc. All exercises are clearly explained and demonstrated and are shown in Western notation at the bottom of the screen during the lesson. The exercises are followed by improvisations which include all the exercise material of that particular chapter.

Konokol was developed in South Indian system for learning rhythms uses syllabilic sounds (short words) to represent rhythms. These are spoken or sung. For example, a series of eight 8th notes becomes “Ta-Ka Ta-Ka Ta-Ka Ta-Ka”. These sounds are easily learnt and the system can be practised anywhere. All you need is your voice and your hands (for the basic count).

Regular practise will give you a mastery of rhythms, enabling you to mix eighth notes and tripets at will and to improvise with confidence in 4/4 amd 3/4 complex time signatures such as 5/4 or 11/8.

View the Introductory chapter here:

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. He demonstrates its application in two of his compositions from Inner Mounting Flame, the first Mahavishnu Orchestra album: Dance of Maya (in 20/8) and You Know, You Know (in 12/8).

Free transcriptions of the exercises are available from the publisher, Mediastarz.

DVD, playable on all PAL DVD players, 82 minutes.
Subtitles : English, French, German, Spanish