Jazz Fusion guitarist. JohnMc1953atyoohoodotcom
Who'd have thought it? A second jazz fusion guitarist from Whitley Bay called John McLaughlin! We were both brought to Whitley Bay as children by Scottish parents. I believe he left for London just about the same time I set foot in Whitley Bay in 1959.
I am looking for a drummer comfortable with complex time signatures and able to drive the band. Also looking for a keyboard player similarly comfortable with complex time signatures and twelve tone music. The ability to improvise is paramount.
Loads of tracks (1227 to date) can be heard on SoundCloud - https://soundclouddotcom/john-mclaughlin
As well as playing the guitar I also dabble on keyboards to create MIDI sounds from my DAW (Cakewalk Sonar X3 Producer), sometimes mixing them with guitar and other times just creating sounds with synths.
- Screen name:
- Member since:
- Apr 25 2016
- Active within 1 week
- Level of commitment:
- Very Committed
- Years playing music:
- Gigs played:
- 10 to 50
- Tend to practice:
- More than 3 times per week
- Available to gig:
- 1 night a week
My namesake, Frank Zappa, Allan Holdsworth, Alex Machacek, Scott Henderson, Jeff Beck, Frank Gambale to name a few.
- Lead Guitar:
Custom built guitars: Merlin Custom by Guy Harrison & G Signature Venus (US luthier unknown)
Ibanez S470DX, Fender American Standard Stratocaster, Vintage Gordon Giltrap signature acoustic.
Amps: H&K TubeMeister 36, Carvin Nomad 112
Pedalboard with Eventide PitchFactor, Yamaha UD Stomp, Boss RPS10, Morley PWV, Maxon OD9, Xotic RC Booster, Hermida Audio Zendrive, Moog MF Ring all controlled by a Moen GEC8 Live Looper.
The Blank Page Drum Solo
The Blank Page Drum SoloSo much for having lots of free time when you retire - I have been busier than ever with no time to play the guitar. We are finally getting around to replacing our 40 year old central heating boiler; I have been asked to double the days I work (it helps to pay for item 1); I bought a 4k UHD smart TV and have been exploring that hooked up to 5.1 surround system. So, no time for guitars! This was just a fun, spur of the moment thing where I called up two drumkits and a percussion vst. I then decided to add an alto sax, tenor sax and a bass clarinet, just for the hell of it. As nothing was (or ever is) written down, I came up with the title - a tip of the hat to FZ.
The Nightmare Before Halloween
The Nightmare Before HalloweenI was listening to one of the Halloween tracks I made last year and liked the MIDI sounds I had used, so I copied it over, made some changes to the plug-in synths and then recorded a new session. I added some wav file sound effects and called it a night. This morning, I thought some guitar might be in order and added a lead track mixed into the background. It is The Nightmare Before Halloween!
EffeffessAnother half hour snatched on the guitar. This has 3 tracks: the looped drums and guitar; the faux bass; the wacka-wacka / lead / multi-voice. The title came from my reaction of using another drum loop 4/4 rhythm. Where is 19/16 when you need it?
Footerin' AbootI am not getting much of a chance to play the guitar these days. I had a half hour free this afternoon and recorded this. Two tracks - the first has the Eventide PitchFactor adding all the weird stuff; the second is just clean guitar. Both tracks were played on my Harrison Custom Merlin with the pickups coil-tapped. The title "Footerin' Aboot" is Scottish for fidgetting.
One Take Shoot Out 1
One Take Shoot Out 1I set out today with the objective of creating a track that was performed with one take and no overdubs. This is it. There are three patches from theWaves Flow Motion plug-in synth all being driven by the guitar playing the lead. The total recording time to create this was 5:49 - the length of the track. I recorded two different tracks using the same set up - this is the first. Towards the end I use a kill switch to turn off the MIDI input, leaving just the guitar.
Slowin' DownOver the past few weeks, I have plugged in my guitar, played something and went "bleugh!". Today, I thought I would try something different, although it is really the same. I used my NUX Loop Core to play a drum pattern and slowed it right down. I played a few chords over it and then added some lead. The title is a reflection of my current status - slowing down to a crawl: metaphorically rather than physically. Old farts take long to clear away!
Cruising In The Fjords
Cruising In The FjordsI made this track a fortnight ago (2-Sep-19), not long after we came back from a cruise to the Norwegian Fjords. It has been a busy few weeks and I forgot all about this. Busy due to lots of reasons, including celebrating 40 years of marriage. I am now officially a grown up! The track was put together using a number of recently acquired freebies (Izotope Iris 2, Voltage Modular, Spitfire Labs London Atmosphere) and a few existing ones. It gives the impression that we had a rough crossing and terrible weather, but the opposite was true. I managed to find the time to play the guitar today - track up next.
Just Another Day At The Freak Show
Just Another Day At The Freak ShowThe fourth track from today. I used the same electric piano combination as on "It's Avant Garde...", but played it with my guitar: both the guitar chords and the Rhodes sound were played at the same time. The lead is heavily overdriven and played in "lazy" style with slow bends, etc.
It's Avant Garde, But Not As We Know It
It's Avant Garde, But Not As We Know ItThe third track from today is all MIDI. I have three different Rhodes pianos playing together as the backing and then added the lead comprising of a tenor sax, a Loom patch and an AAS patch from the Masala soundbank, all playing together. This falls under the category "It's Jazz, Jim, but not as we know it".
Angels -v- Guitars
Angels -v- GuitarsThe second of four tracks recorded today. This feature MIDI choir voices with two separate guitar tracks. I used another freebie here - Izotope Iris 2: a sample synthesizer - using 4 different voices played together.
Keep It Simple
Keep It SimpleI had a three hour session on my guitar this afternoon and knocked out four tracks. This is the first of them, comprising of a looped backing track and a lead track. The title came from a memory of the keyboard player in my first ever band in 1971, who kept shouting "keep it simple!" The picture is me after I have been FaceApped!
Catch The Wind
Catch The WindThe second sneaked in track recorded today. Similarly to the previous one, this has a swell chord backing, but this time recorded direct to my DAW. Rather than repeat what I did for the last track, I chose a clean lead - Harrison Custom Merlin played with the neck pickup (Seymour Duncan Jazz) in split coil mode. The sound suggested sailing on the sea. The picture is one I took yesterday of a cruise ship leaving the Tyne.
Howling At The Moon
Howling At The MoonThe first of two guitar improvisations that I managed to sneak in today while Mrs. M was out. The backing track was made up of a series of swell chords that I looped. The lead was, as usual, a first take improvisation. The title came from the fact that my guitar seemed to howl through this.
The Sun Has Come Out
The Sun Has Come OutI recorded that almost a week ago (2-Aug-19) and forgot about it. It features electric piano, double bass and muted trumpet (MIDI) and my guitar. You can tell from the photo that I am as pleased as punch that the sun has come out!
A Remastered Frenzied Vacuum Cleaner Sunrise
A Remastered Frenzied Vacuum Cleaner SunriseDeeply Dazzled (https://soundcloud.com/user-255798998)has recently being posting some of his old stuff that had previously been deleted and I came across this one: https://soundcloud.com/user-255798998/frenzied-vacuum-cleaner-sunrise. I did not recognise it and could not remember playing the guitar lead on it. I spent about 20 minutes trawling through my PC looking for any evidence of it and then found the component parts - DD's original track that he sent me and my guitar track. I have re-assembled them here and added some imaging (DD's track given a wide profile and the guitar track more centre focused using Izotope Ozone Imager); EQ (Newfangled Equivocate to bring out the drums); mixing (bringing out the bass with Izotope Neutron Elements); and finally mastering (Izotope Ozone 8 Elements to maximise the loudness). May I present to you the recently rediscovered track, created by Deeply Dazzled with a liberal helping of Frank Zappa and a smattering of noodles from the North-East Noodle Factory,
You Can Tell It's Summer - The Rain Won't Stop
You Can Tell It's Summer - The Rain Won't StopThis one has been video recorded - https://youtu.be/wTQJLOuH-kg What do you do when it is supposed to be summer, but it is pouring wet? Plug in your guitar and have a noodle. From the home of noodling - The North-East Noodle Factory.
Madder Than A Bag Of Monkeys
Madder Than A Bag Of MonkeysThis is the second of two tracks recorded today (21-Jul-19). I am waiting for the video of the first track to finish uploading before posting that. This track has some wacky sounds from the Eventide PitchFactor plus a really naff rhythm track from my Nux LoopCore. I don't know if you would class the rhythm as 2/4 or 4/4, but it was so banal that I thought I had to try to play with it. Are there no rhythm generators that play complex rhythms? 13/16? 29/32? That's why I generally don't have drums on my tracks.
It's Just An Excuse For A Blow Out
It's Just An Excuse For A Blow OutThis is an outing for my Ibanez S470DX. Of all my guitars, this has my favourite whammy bar, allowing from a whole tone rise to a flapping string dive-bomb. The weaker pickups seem to work a treat too: this has an HSH configuration and was played in the 4th position on the pickup selector.
A Muggy Day
A Muggy DayI recorded this yesterday and left it overnight to see if it sounded any better. What do you know? A new day and a different perspective! The backing for this is chord noodles played through my Eventide PitchFactor. The lead uses my "Feedback At The Drop Of A Hat©" technique.
A Thin Layer Of Air
A Thin Layer Of AirI remember some time ago reading an account of one of the astronauts looking back on Earth and realising how thin the atmosphere is. There is really very little between us and a vacuum - a scary thought! This is an improvisation comprising of 4 MIDI plug-ins, a guitar backing track and a guitar lead track. After recording it and looking for a name for it, as it seemed quite a dour atmospheric piece, the image of a narrow band of atmosphere surrounding the planet popped into my head. Don't have nightmares!
1. The Adventures Of Black Leg John
1. The Adventures Of Black Leg JohnThe name for the suite of improvised ditties comes from the fact that following my tumble in Malaga three weeks ago, much of the bottom half of my right leg has been sporting black bruising. I thought it sounded like it should be pirate-related, which it isn't. 1. The Adventures of Black Leg John This comprises of two tracks: swell chord backing and lead. I managed to play the lead without going into shred mode and sticking to long notes in line with the swells.
2. Black Leg John Hops To It
2. Black Leg John Hops To ItThe name for the suite of improvised ditties comes from the fact that following my tumble in Malaga three weeks ago, much of the bottom half of my right leg has been sporting black bruising. I thought it sounded like it should be pirate-related, which it isn't. 2. Black Leg John Hops To It This has a mixture of guitar and MIDI tracks. I started off creating the loop with the simple bassline adding the wacka-wacka guitar part. Next I played some backing synths on keyboard and turned them down low in the mix. The muted trumpet came next, then finally the guitar lead. A bit of reverb here and there, some mastering with Izotope plug-ins and that was it.
3. Black Leg John Prepares For Hostilities
3. Black Leg John Prepares For HostilitiesThe name for the suite of improvised ditties comes from the fact that following my tumble in Malaga three weeks ago, much of the bottom half of my right leg has been sporting black bruising. I thought it sounded like it should be pirate-related, which it isn't. 3. Black Leg John Prepares for Hostilities A bit of a cheeky borrowing of the Mission Impossible theme! Apart from the guitar lead towards the end, everything was recorded in a single take. The guitar part you can hear was also driving the MIDI parts. As the Sonuus i2M audio to MIDI converter is monophonic, it did not pick up the frantic, tinkly guitar bit two thirds of the way through.
4. Black Leg John Gets His Comeuppance
4. Black Leg John Gets His ComeuppanceThe name for the suite of improvised ditties comes from the fact that following my tumble in Malaga three weeks ago, much of the bottom half of my right leg has been sporting black bruising. I thought it sounded like it should be pirate-related, which it isn't. 4. Black Leg John Gets His Comeuppance This is a strange one! I loaded up a few plug-in synths, playing them with the guitar. When I say playing, there was lots of string scratching, random over the fretboard tapping and a general avoidance of playing the guitar properly. This was all recorded in a single take.
Malaga FunkI have managed to snatch half an hour between chores to quickly put together this funky little ditty. Looped drums, faux bass and chunk-a-chunk chords to the left and lead to the right. The picture is one of those "stick your head through the hole" photo opportunities taken at the bullring museum at Mijas - the same location as yesterday's track photo.
Been For A Break
Been For A BreakIt has been a while! In the past few weeks I have had two breaks: Northumberland and Malaga. I almost had another break in Malaga when I stepped out of the shower, missed the mat and stepped onto the floor tiles with wet feet, beginning my old codger's association with falling down. As I lay on the floor assessing the situation, my right leg was so badly deformed that I was sure it was broken. Oddly enough, there was no pain, so I gingerly stood up and tried to put weight on it - so good, so far - then managed to get dried and dressed and headed downstairs for some help. It turned out to be ligament damage, but I can still get around unaided. This is the first time I have picked up a guitar in four weeks as they were all packed away out of sight. A bit rusty, but I hope to get back in the swing soon.
Feedback OvertureI plugged my guitar in this afternoon and created this - lots of feedback. It has been a bit hectic the past couple of weeks, so I have not had a chance to do much. This was produced in a snatched free hour. The feedback comes when I switch to the lead channel at about 2:35. These days I can feedback at will. Will is not too happy about that.
Heavenly VoicesVideo - https://youtu.be/yZFOs67oygM I recorded the backing track for this using a swell guitar and also two choir plug-ins triggered by the swell guitar. Once I had recorded that, I set up my smartphone to record the video for the lead at the same time as recording the audio on my DAW. The picture to accompany this has been slightly modified.
I Think You Are Asking Too Much Of Me!
I Think You Are Asking Too Much Of Me!Here's a little rocky number. As I was thinking of a title, I thought it was a "balls out" track. That reminded me of an incident about 30 years ago, when a Project Manager, keen to see his project get off to a flying start, said "we need to go balls off!" I replied that he was asking to much of me - balls out, but not balls off. The picture is of an old governor with a pair of big, shiney, brass balls, that were there to prevent the turbine going into overspeed. This has three tracks: the first was the looped chunky chords and drum rhythm, the second, the faux bass, and finally, the wah-wah lead.
For Fawkes' Sake
For Fawkes' SakeMy SoundCloud buddy, PFawkes pointed me in the direction of a website giving away freebies. I love freebies. I recorded this as a test of the sounds and am impressed with them. I recorded three separate tracks individually: Choir, String Quartet and Strings. Using my "I haven't got a bloody clue what I am doing" technique, I managed to pull this one out of the bag. I downladed this picture of Guy Fawkes, as it seemed appropriate to both the title and the state of our Government: Theresa May sacks her Defence Minister as she has no confidence in him. Nobody has any confidence in her - why can't she be sacked?
Riding A Wave
Riding A WaveI had about an hour to spare this lunchtime before going out and managed to record this. It seemed to suggest a sea swell, hence the title. Backing and lead recorded using my Harrison Custom Merlin guitar.
Steve The Mad Drummer With John The Mad MIDI Guitarist
Steve The Mad Drummer With John The Mad MIDI GuitaristI downloaded a copy of Steve Mauro's track "Solitary Drummer 4-24-19" (https://soundcloud.com/user7828480/steve-solo-4-24-19) and added some MIDI mayhem and some wailing guitar. This is the result. Steve is such an inspirational drummer - I have been collaborating with him since my first year on SoundCloud - 2010. I decided to break it up into three sections and played the backing for the first section, consisting of several plug-in synths, with the drums turned off! This is probably an example of xenochrony, as developed by Frank Zappa. The middle section was added and then the final section. I added the muted trumpet lead to the first section and then the guitar lead to the final section. Finally adding some mastering to finish it off. The final part was the composite picture of Steve and me playing in front of cheering fans. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
The Return Of The Oxymoron
The Return Of The OxymoronA couple of months ago, I was made aware of The Bizarre World of Frank Zappa tour coming to the Sage, Gateshead next month and I thought "nah, it's Ahmet - it'll be rubbish". Last week I noticed a few promo videos talking about a hologram of Frank Zappa playing and a bunch of his alumni playing with him and thought "maybe I have been too hasty!" The tour started on 20th April and sure enough, videos of the shows are being posted on YouTube. After watching a few, I came to the conclusion that Ahmet is a buffoon and the so-called hologram is just a fake facsimile projection that doesn't move anything like the way Frank did. On top of that, there are a lot of cheap graphic projections similar to what the Old Grey Whistle Test used to show when they did not have the band in the studio. I can't fault the musicians (Mike Keneally, Scott Thunes, Bobby Martin to name a few), but they are literally pushed to the sides of the stage to make way for Fake Frank and the cheap graphics. Ahmet has the audacity to skip about at the front of the stage, ruining some of the songs and fist-bumping the members of the band. I won't be wasting my money on this. I saw Frank the two times he came to Glasgow ('76 and '78, I think) and would rather keep my memories of those shows. So, in a long-winded preamble, this is dedicated to Ahmet: The Return of the Oxymoron!
The Soporific Senoritas' Sonorities
The Soporific Senoritas' SonoritiesI selected 4 similar sounding plug-ins and played them on my keyboard. I added an electric guitar lead, but did not think it sounded right, so added an acoustic guitar track. The guitar is a Vintage VE2000GG - the Gordon Giltrap signature model (https://www.jhs.co.uk/vintage-gordon-giltrap-signature-electro-acoustic-natural).
Come Hell Or High Water
Come Hell Or High WaterI loaded 4 plug-ins to my DAW and used my Sonuus i2M interface to drive them with my guitar. I used the Steve Vai Ballerina patch on my Eventide PitchFactor and the Kill Switch to turn the MIDI on and off. The whole of the backing track is a single take with no overdubs. Finally, I added the lead guitar, playing only when the MIDI sounds were playing.
Put A Spring In Your Step
Put A Spring In Your StepI replaced the strings on my Harrison Custom Merlin today and gave the guitar a bit of a polish while the strings were off. It was nice to have it back in tip-top condition and this is a little celebration of that. I have always said the Merlin is a very vocal guitar and you can hear that at the start before the lead comes in. This track is the result of some patch twiddling (I think editing is the correct term) on the Eventide PitchFactor, for both the backing and lead tracks. The multi-voice lead patch has some interesting sounds - at the end, I let it ring out, while slowly pulling up on the whammy bar.
Heading For The Black Hole
Heading For The Black HoleMessing about with the Eventide PitchFactor, I created a patch using the Crystals mode and then added the Yamaha UD Stomp for good measure. The opening sounded a bit like Star Trek, so that got me thinking of the latest images of a black hole, but the picture wasn't very interesting, so I chose this NASA simulation instead. Both the backing and the lead were played on my Ibanez S470DX.
Exercise For The Old Folk
Exercise For The Old FolkThis was performed with one foot on a pedal altering the Ring Modulator frequency and the other on my wah-wah pedal, with both feet going up and down as the fancy took me. My aim was to get the wildest sounds available from my set up. As I played it, I was reminded of an exercise session at an old folks home - something that seems to be getting closer. Eeeek!!! This was played on my Ibanez S470DX.
If You Can't Beat 'Em, Beat 'Em Up
If You Can't Beat 'Em, Beat 'Em UpI used one of the drum patterns on my NUX Loop Core in the loop used here. I so hate 4/4 (and that's all that is available), that I decided to mess it up a bit. I started with arpeggiated chords playing in cyles of three; added a bass line playing in cycles of five and some random reggae type chords, all to try to disguise the time signature. This and the lead were played on my Strat as the first string snapped on my Merlin guitar.
We Didn't Make It
We Didn't Make ItAlthough I have had Chromaphone 2 for a few years now, I have only recently got into creating my own patches. The first four sounds that come in one after the other are examples. I added the double bass from Dimension Pro and then three violins (two from AAS Masala and one from Garritan Pocket Orchestra). The violins were recorded as one. There was a lot of pitch and modulation wheel action - keyboard whammy bar equivalents. The title refers to the lack of Brexit (or anything else you may find appropriate). The picture is based on a photo taken at the Royal Quays marina, with painted in figures.
An Eastern European Waltz For A One - Legged Dancer
An Eastern European Waltz For A One - Legged DancerA simple, one chord waltz, designed for someone with one leg.
Music For A Dreich Day
Music For A Dreich DayThis comprises of three tracks: a swell loop, an acoustic lead and an electric guitar lead. I have called it Music for a Dreich Day, as that perfectly describes the weather: grey and overcast. The picture is one I put together last night based on the infamous ladies toilet on North Shields fish quay bearing the legend: No Fish Boxes. The toilet was sadly demolished some years ago - probably just as well in these "enlightened times". The picture portrays some of the political leaders who have all had a hand in denying democracy. And yes, that is John McDonnell wearing fishnets on the fish quay!
Strictly PictishI started out playing about with Chromaphone, recording the first section. Then I added some AAS Player patches, then Dimension Pro and before you know it, there was a merry dance going on. I was going to make a title involving wode (mad) and woad (blue dye worn by the Picts), but ended up with Strictly Pictish. I hope you enjoy it.
Happy ClappyThis is a very simple ditty played on keyboard. There are 6 different plug-in synths all playing the same thing, with three additional synths coming in about half way through. One of the synths (BioTek) has a built in rhythm that drives the timing of everything. One or more other synths are arpeggiated. One of the last three to be added is the X-Files whistle. The picture is an extract of one I took of my livingroom a couple of days ago. I added all the Brexit politicians (EU & UK) in the mirror with shadows on the carpet to give it a creepy quality, matching the potential creepiness of this tune: you will be whistling it soon - you have been warned!
No Busking (inc Video)
No Busking (inc Video)https://youtu.be/dknyu8GhESk The best laid plans... I have not had much time to record recently and almost missed out today due to the infernal lists of chores that keep getting left for me on the breakfast table! I had intended to record some acoustic guitar, but the battery was dead. The muse almost left me, but I tried that old standby - dial in a new sound on the Eventide PitchFactor. I even managed to video the process. As for the photo, it is zoomed in on the original so that it is hopefully legible. The original photo is from a Latin American festival, to which I added my namesake and me. I noticed the sign saying No Busque Mas and imagined it meant no busking, although I later found out it means look no further!
Brass NecksI bought SoniVox Orchestral Companion for Brass Instruments today for £4.00 and this was thrown together as a test of how the instruments sound. This is in three parts with the first part having a brass ensemble, a bass trombone, a French horn a tuba and a trumpet. The middle section comprises of a xylophone, orchestral percussion, a harp and an Erhu violin (whatever that is). The final section has them all play together. Seeing the title is Brass Necks, the picture is a composite of some of the brass necks who seem to be lost in the woods. The original picture is much wider, with lots more people, but the SC artwork square is unforgiving. I would still like to find out how to put artwork across the whole waveform as some people are able to do.
Kicking Up A Storm
Kicking Up A StormAnother track, another video: https://youtu.be/uwjDCLDe6xQ Well, our politicians could not organise a piss-up in a brewery! 30 months ago, we had a referendum to decide whether to stay in or leave the EU: we chose leave and the people who are supposed to represent us are doing everything they can to obfuscate the process. We just want to leave. The image portrays a scenario where all of the politicians have been sacked and are trying to win back our favour by trying to entertain us - ha! Excuse the rant - I have reached an age when it becomes unavoidable. This is another little ditty recorded this afternoon (14-Mar-19) just for the hell of it.
Geordie Sunbathing (Introspection Variations)
Geordie Sunbathing (Introspection Variations)Video: https://youtu.be/lJFWnH3Hx1M Geordies are famous for wearing next to nothing in cold weather. Being Scottish, I wear several layers of thermals, thick shirts, woolly jumpers, scarf, gloves and a big coat just to go out in the summer. As you can tell, the picture is a fiction. It has been a while since I got my noodling kit out, so thought that a video might be fun. This is based on an old track (https://soundcloud.com/john-mclaughlin/introspection) that I did 8 years ago.
The Lament Of The Geriatric Jogger
The Lament Of The Geriatric JoggerI was messing about with the tempo on my NUX Loop Core and came up with this slow dirge like beat. I should have come up with a gravelly vocal for this, but that would have been a step too far. The picture is one of my recent doodles (yes, I am a doodling noodler) featuring UK politicians. This one has Boris Johnson chastising me as I run along the newly refurbished Whitley Bay promenade at night. As if that's likely to happen!
It Came From The Compost Heap
It Came From The Compost HeapThis starts off with some scary, panned guitar sounds, before breaking into a pounding drum, bass and wah-wah guitar vamp. A funny thing happened at about 4:30 on the track: as I was playing the lead, the backing faded out and disappeared. I was left playing for about a minute with no point of reference, but what the heck - that's life!