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 month
- 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.
Hans NiesunderbumziedaizyI recorded thia at the weekend and thought it sounded somewhere between Frank Zappa and Hans Zimmer (I wish!). I gave it a silly title and a picture of Frank Zimmer. This is another of my multi-instrumental-record-it-all-in-a-single-take efforts. I think I have 22 plug-ins all playing the same thing. It fairly makes the windows rattle. By the way, for the past few weeks SC has this new "Advanced" thing where you can add a twenty second taster of your track. I have been doing it, but have no idea where it ends up and have not seen anyone using it. To quote Toyah Willcox: "It'th a Mythewee!"
Tooty FluteyI have 11 different plug-ins all playing at once on this track. Some are orchestral, but there are also ambient pads in the mix and som odd synth sounds, but the overall feel is of anensemble piece. As usual, this is a single take improvisationplayed on a Novation Launchkey 61 keyboard.
We Got Our Yayas Out
We Got Our Yayas OutThis is a more recent piece of Nostalgia, dating from March 2017 when Garry Brown (bass), Matthew Fairhurst (drums) and I got together for a session at Polestar Studios in Newcastle. All 10 tracks are hidden away in this playlist: https://soundcloud.com/john-mclaughlin/sets/the-polestar-sessions. For this version I have trimmed off the preamble and tweaked it with some post-production tinkering.
Turbulence (2007)Another piece of guitar nostalgia, this time from 2007. I believe that I played this on my Ibanez with the zero edge tremolo, which gets a pounding in this. If memory serves me, the title came from the fact that my wife hit some scary turbulence on a flight back from France. The picture depicts a different kind of turbulence.
Hoots - Finale
Hoots - FinaleI recorded a track in 2012 that, for some reason, I called "Hoots!". Someone played it recently and I could not remember it, so I played it and found that it was a guitar piece in four movements.I used to do a lot of three section pieces, but a four section piece is unusual. I thought the final part was interesting in that there is a distinct lack of guitar fx, unlike my more recent outings, just plain backing guitar track and lead, from a time when I could sweep pick and shred. As for the picture this is my 1978 band who had the totally uninspiring name: 24 Hours. We never recorded anything, so I have no record of what we did, but it was all covers with a few self-penned. I remember one we did was Ian Dury's"Sex and Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll". Things came to a head when Nodhi the bass player said "I don't want to play anything that takes more than thirty minutes to learn" to which I replied "I don't want to play anything that only takes 30 minutes to learn!" The irony is that I now play stuff that takes no minutes to learn, as it's all improvised. The band name came into its own when we folded - 24 Hours had called it a day. Oh, and apologies to our singer, Davy Gonnet, who is to the right of the picture, but got squeezed out.
Chicken SoupThis is a little ditty I played on my Harrison Custom Merlin guitar yesterday (4-Jun-21). The backing swell track is a patch Icreated over six years ago and I believe is the only one I have not changed. It is a combination of Eventide PitchFactor and Yamaha UD Stomp. The lead track also uses the PitchFactor for the multi-voiced parts. As for the title, I think I have reached the point where I have run out of ideas. A note of warning: the track starts very quietly and soon builds up in volume, so don't be tempted to turn it up too soon!
It's All In The Mind Of The Imaginer
It's All In The Mind Of The ImaginerI recorded this on 12-May-21 as a piece of "experimental" fun, combining all sorts of weird stuff. The title comes from a passage in "Joe's Garage" when the Central Scrutinizer states that Joe's guitar solos are all in the imagination of the imaginer. This one is more like a nightmare. The cartoon is one I made in 2001, when I worked for Bechtel during the construction of Coryton Power Station. Alstom Power were providing the Gas Turbines and we had a very combative relationship. Their Resident Engineer - Hans - never did anything without first consulting his head office in Baden. I imagined him in a local house of ill-repute, waiting for the go ahead from Baden. It later transpired that this turned out to be not far from the truth!
Fumble Fingers Frets Again
Fumble Fingers Frets AgainThis is my first upload in a while and my first guitar track in a bigger while. I thought I would try it out to see if things have improved yet. This consists of a backing track and a lead track, both played on my Ibanez that currently has a set of 008 strings. The backing track uses the Eventide PitchFactor to give the impression of multiple instruments as I can't yet get my fingers around chords.
The Light At The End Of The Tunnel
The Light At The End Of The TunnelThe slightly manic, gleeful look signifies that we are slowly getting back to normal, This is the conclusion to my track Wuhan Blues (https://soundcloud.com/john-mclaughlin/wuhan-blues) from the end of March last year, which kicked off at the start of the pandemic. Of course, things aren't the same, but we have made it to the other side. The first pass of this track consists of 8 plugins, predominantly tuned percussion. The second pass has 4 orchestral plugins. The third pass is the solo ethnic violin. Enjoy your return to normality.
Galumph (2010)This is one from the archives. I recorded this in June 2010 and posted it back the in MP3 format here on SC. Someone played it recently and it showed up in my stats, but I did not recognise it, so went looking for it and found it in the vaults. It is not like anything I have played then or since, having a 3/4 lilt, but I thought it would be nice to bring it out and show off some of my former guitar chops. As the original was posted as an MP3 I thought that I would run it through the mincer to recreate it as a wave file.
Chuck Toot - The Geordie Wastrel
Chuck Toot - The Geordie WastrelAnother tune and another cartoon: Chuck Toot - thrown out of every bar in Tyneside. A modern day Andy Capp. I had a summer job in a bar in Whitley Bay in 1973, where one of the regulars, called Brian, came in every night shouting "How, Ginger! A pint of scotch!" He was referring to me and I should point out that "scotch" was draught IPA, called "scotch" by the locals as, I think it originally came from Scotland. The beer taps poured out half-pint measures at the press of a button and one occasion, fed up of waiting to be served as it was busy, Brian leaned over the counter to help himself to some beer and was promptly "chucked oot". This track started off with 10 plugins all played together, to which was added 3 drum plugins, again, all played together. I exported just the drums as a wav file, ran it through Ircam Lab's TS2, twisting it out of shape in the process. I added this back into the mix, then added 3 more plugins to play the twiddly lead. The result is the most godawful cacophony, but I like it.
The Soporific Sophomore
The Soporific SophomoreThis is a track I created on 5-Apr-21 that I have just got around to upload. I am spending most of my time doodling these days, rather than making music. Today's image is of the big bag of wind, Eamonn Holmes, who, like most windbags, is an opinionated oaf. As for the track, I think there are about 11 plugins being played together for the backing and an "X-Files" whistle for the lead. The title if for alliterative purposes only.
Ride Like A Cowboy
Ride Like A CowboyThis is another of my simultaneously-played multi-plugin extravaganzas, to which I added a looped walking bass track and two looped drum tracks, the second of which plays in two sections of the track. I had no idea if this would work, as the looped bass and drums play in their own time, unrelated to what I had previously recorded, but it does seem to work. The picture is an old sketch from about 1975. The straw horse was called a Guinnoid, as when you had 8 or more pints of Guinness, the Guinnoid would mysteriously take you home. As my pals and I would regularly drink 8 or more pints of Guinness (7 nights a week!) in the seventies, we saw rather a lot of them.
Brain Scrambling For The Connoisseur
Brain Scrambling For The ConnoisseurMad drumming taken to outlandish extremes! I took the original track, Brain Scrambler, and ran it through Ircam Lab's TS2, then added more MIDI drums to it. Not satisfied with that, I added a tenor sax to bring some order to that chaos. Then I found a copy of Brain Scrambler that excluded the original tenor sax, so added that to the mix. This is the result. I still think it needs something else - more cowbell!
Between Wakefulness And Sleep
Between Wakefulness And SleepA soporific little number. Have you ever tried to catch yourself falling asleep? I managed to do it once years ago, being aware of crossing over from wakefulness to sleep. That is not to be confused with "woke", which is surely the most stupid word in the English language, or at least its current interpretation is. People use it as a revelation, on the assumption that everyone else is as lacking in wisdom as they are. I constructed this in a similar way to Colonel Turdnose: I recorded the first seven tracks as one, then pasted in a copy of the recorded track to a Banhu Violin track, erasing the first 50 seconds or so. I then copied the Banhu Violin track into 6 different orchestral tracks (violins, violas, celli, etc.), erasing everything up to about 2:49, so that it all came in with a flourish. I made a hasty sketch to go with the track.
FlabbergastI recorded this last week on keyboard and wasn't going to post it, but as a week has passed, whatever reservations I had seem to have passed. The picture with the track is an old ballpoint pen sketch from the mid seventies (when I had a lot more hair).
The Incident At Marsden Rock
The Incident At Marsden RockThis started out with an electric piano, and then, as I usually do, I kept adding more plugin sounds, ending up with 9 for the backing track, all played in one single take. Then for the lead part I picked a nylon string acoustic guitar and added two more plucked instruments to the mix, recording all three as the second single take. Finally, I thought "this track is missing some crazy drumming!", so I loaded Addictive Drums 2: Contemporary Prog, Chromaphone 3: Kick Day and SynthMaster 2.9 PRC RimClickSnare GD, playing all three together in the third single take. The way I play drums, it doesn't really matter if they are recorded first or last. As for the picture, I have been scanning loads of our old photos and came across this one of Marsden Rock in South Shields. I believe this was taken shortly after the arch connecting the two stacks collapsed, at least 20 years ago. The smaller stack has since collapsed too, no doubt down to someone's outsized carbon footprint. There's an easy solution: wear smaller shoes.
Brain ScramblerThe erstwhile jazz impro combo have got together to bring you this little brain-scrambling ditty. There's a cacophony of drums, a caterwauling of saxophone and a tub-thumping double bass to keep you entertained. Ideal for lively dancing. Perfect for the forthcoming release from lockdown. Clamp your hands around your head and get ready for the Brain Scrambler!
Colonel TurdnoseThis is another quick single pass of multi plugins. I have used automation to bring in violins, celli, trombones and trumpets at various points. I drew the cartoon today of Colonel Turdnose, who wears a turd for a moustache and is always complaining of a terrible smell.
Homer On The Beach
Homer On The BeachThis morning I drew a cartoon called The Real Homer Simpson, trying to imagine what he would look like if he was real. I digitally cut out his head and pasted it onto a photo of me from about 1992, somewhere near Sizewell Power Station. The title was the starting point for this track. I recorded the contrabassoon and flute at the same time: left hand for contrabassoon and right hand for flute. Then I added the piano. Finally, I took elements from the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Project Sam Free Orchestra and the Vienna Big Bang Orchestra and played them all in the third pass. As the title suggests, this is a tip of the hat to Philip Glass, although nothing like his music. I hope you like it for what it is: free-form, random, unplanned amusement.
The Real Popeye
The Real PopeyeAnother MIDI multi-track played as one outing. 12 tracks of predominantly percussion instruments, with some orchestral and vocal sounds thrown in, all recorded in one single take. I have called it The Real Popeye after the accompanying picture: a recent cartoon doodle. As guitar-playing is currently out of the question, I have reawakened my passion for drawing cartoons, all done using a Bic fine ballpoint pen.
Happy HoratioThis is today's little ditty called Happy Horatio. Named after the accompanying cartoon I drew in 2011, based on no-one I know. The track started with the electric piano - I ended up using three different electric pianos and a patch called Mellow Suitcase that is probably more marimba than piano. I then added the drums: two different kits (Addictive Drums 2)panned left and right. Finally I added the lead - one of my favourite patches from Synthmaster 2.9: KY Innocent Keys Gliss (i).
Not A Day For Swimming
Not A Day For SwimmingThis is another of my "mad drumming" tracks. To go along with the drums I added some mad synth sounds. Towards the end, I brought in some orchestral sounds, while slowly fading out the synths. The picture is an amalgamation of a recent photo of Whitley Bay beach and a recent cartoon that I added some colour to, so it would not look out of place against the background.
Walking In A Snow - Covered Landscape
Walking In A Snow - Covered LandscapeI recorded this on 13-Feb-21, when we had some snow - not as bad as the picture, but the first this winter. I forgot about the track and have just played it back and it sounds OK, so here it is. It is in three sections: the first is keyboard "guitar" enhanced with some other MIDI sounds; it then goes into the long middle section that adds a lot of vocal and other sounds to the "guitar"; finally finishing with a short "guitar" reprise.
We Were Living In The Sixties
We Were Living In The SixtiesI recorded most of this at the weekend and completed it tonight. It started off as a MIDI track. Then I ran it through Ircam Lab's TS2 for a bit of fun. Then I wondered how the TS2 twisted track would sound like with the original track. But the original track was now shorter than the TS2 track. I stretched the original to match the length of the TS2 track. Tonight I added a muted trumpet lead, then a tenor sax lead to complete the picture. I found a sixties photo of Carnaby Street and added one of my cartoons from 1983 (the guy in the yellow outfit) to complete the sixties imagery. Fun times indeed - you could buy 12 pints of beer for £1 - 1s/8d a pint!
Spring Is On The Horizon
Spring Is On The HorizonI finally got to see my Rheumatologist yesterday and fully expected to get cortosone injections in both index fingers. Instead, he has doubled my medication and said that should improve my fingers. As a result I still can't make a fist in either hand and consequently can't hold or move around my guitar neck. So, I am stuck with the keyboard for now. This little noodle has four plugins played as one (Dimension Pro Tenor Sax; Loom Altitube; Synthmaster Brass Five BM and Synthmaster T-Bone (i)). It starts off outside the range of the Tenor Sax, so that does not play at first, but comes in later. The image is another of my recent doodles called "Chinny Boonsah and Wor Lass" - a fictional Geordie couple: lantern-jawed Chinny, a night-club bouncer and his wife, affectionately known as Wor Lass, who could also act as a night-club bouncer if the need arose.
Lily And Johnnie Take A Walk On The Wild Side
Lily And Johnnie Take A Walk On The Wild SideThis is another experiment using Ircam Lab's TS2. I took my track Lily and Johnnie and individually exported the drums, bass, electric piano and alto sax. Then I took the four tracks one at a time, running each through TS2 before importing the four twisted tracks back into my DAW and then exporting the result as the track you hear here. As each track was manipulated without reference to the others, I had no idea if they would all work together in this reassembled format. but as a manic experiment it seems to work. I have transported my maternal grandparents from their silver wedding anniversary to an open air festival. I was trying to work out how old they are in the picture and as it was probably 1951, they would be 42 and 44 years old. People aged more rapidly back then.
A Little Nuked Musique
A Little Nuked MusiqueHere is a predominantly percussive track I recorded today, then ran it through Ircam Lab's TS2, giving it a bit of a Zappa feel. The official category for this kind of music is musique concrete. The image with the track is a cartoon I drew in 1984 during the miners' strike. A number of the Engineers from our head office were driving up the A1 to Torness Power Station and were stopped by the police who thought they were pickets. Oh, happy days!
Now You're Talking In A Different Dimension
Now You're Talking In A Different DimensionYesterday I bought Ircam Labs TS2, not really knowing what it was, but it sounded interesting. TS stands for time stretch and TS2 does that and a lot more. To try it out, I loaded my track "Now You're Talking" into it, hit record and started twiddling things you can twiddle - in this case, Transposition, Formants and Time Stretch. This is the result - totally unrecognisable from the original and appealing to my sense of playing weird stuff.
Two Halves Don't Necessarily Make A Whole
Two Halves Don't Necessarily Make A WholeA rather long track recorded yesterday (5-Feb-21). The first half was recorded on keyboard, playing serveral plugins simltanously. The second half used the same plugins, but this time played with the guitar, again all at the same time. As for the image, I am compiling a book of the cartoons and doodles I have drawn over the past forty-five years. This is an extract of what will be the cover.
Lockdown Is Driving Us Crazy
Lockdown Is Driving Us CrazyThis was recorded yesterday (5-Feb-21) using the guitar to "play" the tenor sax. All other instruments were added one at a time using the keyboard. The image is a daft doodle drawn wih a Bic Fine ballpoint pen. I think we may be going a little stir crazy during lockdown - I certainly am.
Thai Sun Phoowee
Thai Sun PhooweeA ittle ditty recorded today (6-Feb-21) using 12 plugins played on keyboard. As it has an oriental feel, due to being played mostly on the black notes, I decided to call it Thai Sun Phoowee. This was very convenient, as I had a pencil drawing of the same name (not to be confused wih Tyson Fury). I hope you enjoy it.
Lily And Johnnie
Lily And JohnnieFirst outing in a fortnight. This is another improvised MIDI session with drums, bass, electric piano and alto sax. I started with the drums (Strike), then added a fretless bass with chorus,then electric piano and finally alto sax twinned with two other patches. As for Lily and Johnnie, they were my maternal grandparents. This is one of the few photos I have of them. It looks like it was taken by a street photographer - common in the fifties and earlier - at a seaside resort I don't recognise. Probably one of the Ayrshire coastal towns. My grandmother was 4' 11" and my grandfather was about 5' 2". Greenock had a lot of wee folk.
Old Enough To Know Better
Old Enough To Know BetterI tried playing my guitar today for the first time in a while. I used it to trigger 7 plugins for the backing and played just the guitar for the lead. The title comes from a cartoon I drew a few days ago and pasted into the accompanying picture. The motto on the tee-shirt says "Ah'm auld 'nuff tae know better" - the realisation that youth is a distant memory.
Irrational BehaviourAnother outing for the Sulking Sextet featuring tenor and alto saxes, trombone, muted trumpet, electric piano, bass and drums. The track is in two sections, with the first section stopping about halfway through. For the first section, each instrument was recorded separately. On the second section, everything was recorded in one simultaneous take.
A Little Tantrump
A Little TantrumpA little outing for The Sulking Sextet featuring tenor sax, trombone, muted trumpet, Hammond organ, double bass and drums. As usual, this is a first take improvisation where all six parts were recorded simultaneously.
Now You're Talking
Now You're Talking2021 - Happy New Year. My first post of the new year is an improvised keyboard extravaganza. This was recorded in three sections: the first minute or so has four plugins with vocal-like sounds; then the middle section has 7 plugins with a variety of instruments, including drums; the final minute reprises the original four plugins with the addition of bass and drums. The picture is a collage of some of my cartoons - the background cartoon is from 1983.
Just Call It Lockdown
Just Call It LockdownAs of midnight tonight, we will be moved into Tier 4 - the UK's highest category to restrict movement and help prevent escalation of Covid-19 transmission. Effectively, we are in lockdown again. This somewhat dramatic little ditty is my response to that. The picture is of the sea at Whitley Bay, taken today when I went for a walk along the beach.
What Will 2021 Bring Us?
What Will 2021 Bring Us?Here's a short ditty based around a simple motif. I built up a series of 12 plugin synths to get the backing track sound, recorded that and then added a single plugin for the lead part. It is quite a maudlin track, but what else would you expect from a Scot approaching the New Year? I was trying to load a sketch I had made recently, but SC was having none of it, so I have loaded a picture I created on FaceApp merging my picture with Frank Zappa. It's more Frank than me. In fact the only bit of me recognise is the jumper.
A Very Strange Christmas
A Very Strange ChristmasSeasons greeting in this very strange Christmas. Just when we thought the end was in sight, along came the new mutant variant to throw a spanner in the works. I have a sneaky feeling that we are in World War III, but nobody is telling us. This track starts off all tinkly, like a typical Christmas tune, but then takes a sombre turn. For the picture, I found an old Christmas card with a dead robin. I changed the wording and added the bottle of pills. That just about sums up this year. I hope you have a very merry Christmas.
What The Fugue!
What The Fugue!I have just recorded this (19-Dec-20 16:00). It was played in three passes: the first pass on keyboard has 3 pianos played together; the second pass was played on guitar with the addition of 3 BBC Symphony Orchestra sounds - Celli - pizzicato, Double Bass - Spiccato and Violins - long; the third pass was guitar with a MIDI acoustic guitar. It is certainly not a fugue, but that shouldn't prevent a comical title. As for the picture, that was taken a couple of weeks ago beofre a hairut and a beard trim. Covid restrictions are turning me into a wild man.
Contemporaneous RecordsI have been doing some delay analysis on a programme this week. It must be 20 years since I last did that, but I managed to get the cogs turning to build the story of why things did not happen when planned. The technique involves analysing contemporaneous records (those written at the time of any delay event). This has been the story behind the title. This little ditty is made up of 8 tracks - 7 MIDI and 1 guitar. Six of them were played on the keyboard for the backing and the lead, comprising guitar and Erhu violin, were played as one.
Christmas Is Acoming
Christmas Is AcomingA loud Christmas cheer from Farter Christmas: Santa's pungent sibling. This is another outing for the Faux Jazz Quartet (FJQ), comprising Fender Rhodes, tenor sax, double bass and drums. That is also the sequence in which they were recorded, which is back to front. The image is an extract from a Christmas card I made with the greeting "Have yourself a smelly little Christmas. I know - at my age I should have got past toilet humour, but I still find farting very funny!
Have You Had Enough Yet?
Have You Had Enough Yet?Have you had enough yet of this covid crap? I certainly have. Who would have thought as we came into 2020 that we would have a year like this? By all accounts, it won't go away - we will just have to live with it. The picture is a recent grizzled and fed-up selfie. This consists of 5 tracks: guitar and two guitar-triggered MIDI tracks playing the backing; guitar and a guitar-triggered MIDI track playing the lead. Both guitar tracks are played with my Ibanez S470DX fitted with a set of .008 strings.
The North Sea On My Doorstep
The North Sea On My DoorstepI recorded this two weeks ago (15-Nov-20), but did not post it because it was too similar to "Back on the Strat...", recorded the same day. But, as I have found, if you leave a track for a while, then listen to it again, when you have forgotten it, it sounds OK. The guitar swells reminded me of the motion of the sea, just a few hundred yards from my door.
Big Dougie Does It With Aplomb
Big Dougie Does It With AplombJust messing about on my keyboard today and came up with this. I am trying to load another doodle of "Big Dougie - the formative years", but SC doesn't seem to be uploading images - maybe it will show up later. The cartoon character, Big Dougie,is a complete fabrication. But when I look at it I can see some of my late relatives in it - especially the big hooter.
Now Is The Winter Of Our Discontent
Now Is The Winter Of Our DiscontentRecorded yesterday (25-Nov-20), this is another in the series of the Faux Jazz Quartet comprising bass, drums, electric piano and tenor sax. The title refers, not to Richard III (pictured), but the situation we find ourselves in with the measures the UK Government are putting us under to slow the spread of Covid. We are currently in Lockdown and on 2-Dec-20 will be entering a 3 tier system of measures. We have been advised we will be in Tier 3 - the most severe. When you examine the Government's website that identifies cases by area, we have had 8 cases in the past week, but in the Government's stupid way of calculating cases, that equates to 132 per 100,000. It is only 8 people! What are these people smoking?