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John McLaughlin: The Gateway to Rhythm
John McLaughlin The Gateway to Rhythm
Actors: John McLaughlin, S. Ganesh Vinayakram
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
NR     2007     1hr 22min

Konokol is the universal system of mastering rhythm without drums. Guitar legend John McLaughlin, who has advocated this system of learning rhythm for over 30 years, brings it all together with Konokol master Selvaganes...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: John McLaughlin, S. Ganesh Vinayakram
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Sub-Genres: Pop, Jazz
Studio: Abstract Logix
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 09/18/2007
Original Release Date: 01/01/2007
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2007
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 22min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

A lot of Fun !!
Monkey Business | New York | 09/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I have wanted to learn this for a long time but there has never been any materials until now. There is another DVD that also came out on this topic but I haven't purchased it yet. Regarding this DVD I think it is great . There is sheet music on the screen to follow . The only thing that I can think of that would have made this better was if there was a way to print out the music instead of writing it out which is what I am doing . There is a great performance at the end by a group of young indian boys . If you could find someone to teach this material to you, you would pay a lot more. I am just finishing up chapter one which could easily be a first lesson with a teacher and the cost would be at least 30.00 . There are 6 chapters so do the math and this is a fantastic buy.Oh by the way this is way better than Mclaughlins instructional DVD's which I consider a huge waste of money."
Very clear, packed with information
M. Palmieri | 01/08/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a very clear, well-thought-out video course on konokol: a tradional Indian system of singing a rhythm, sometimes a very complicated rhythm, against the "metronome" of your own clapping. (When we studied this system in college with musicians from southern India, it was called solkattu.) Konokol allows the musician to superimpose one tempo and time signature (in the singing) against another (in the clapping), and hear the two together. You can also use it to sing drum solos -- if your tongue is as fast as Selva's is in this DVD!!!

Unlike a lot of instructional DVDs, this really is a TEACHING video. The six lessons lead you progressively from the simplest concepts to complete tongue twisters, subdivisions of 5, 6, and 7, and odd time signatures. All the exercises and vocal "solos" appear in Western notation on screen as they are sung, so if you read music you have an additional teaching aid.

As a bonus, John McLaughlin gives a few brief examples of Mahavishnu Orchestra riffs that grew out of Konokol patterns. The camera is mostly on his left hand on the neck; I don't know if this will be frustrating to guitarists. In any case, this really isn't a guitar video. McLaughlin is more the MC, introducing Selva's performances of the exercises and solos.

This is a really well-made DVD. It drew me into learning Konokol even more than I expected. The nice thing is, you can practice without an instrument. It also helps timekeeping and understanding difficult rhythms.

A real pleasure!

If you're interested in the topic then do not hesitate to ge
Hans Arp | Maine USA | 01/31/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"whew - I've been waiting years for something like this to come out...purchased John McLaughlin's 3 dvd set "This is how I do it" in the hopes that he would cover (or at least touch upon ) the topic covered in depth here. If you would like to know about the fundamentals of rhythm and the simplest method of breaking it down then this is certainly for you. Players of any instrument will benefit from spending time counting along and working through the progressively more difficult lessons. Very Highly Recommended Indeed! Be certain to check out the bonus footage!"
John McLaughlin - Gateway to Rhythm DVD Review
D. Rukmini Vemraju | New Delhi, India | 10/17/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"In a world overflowing with guitar instrucionals and hot licks videos, here comes an educational DVD from The Master - the way it is supposed to be. This DVD deals with the South Indian(Carnatic) system of recitation called 'konokol'. In John's words, it is the simplest and most effective method of mastering rhythm in the world.(coming from a man of John's stature, you better believe that!) Konokol requires absolutely no playing ability as it is all about counting, division and mathematics- the building blocks of rhythm. the DVD starts from square one, teaching syllables and the basic language and moving on to more challenging aspects like odd time signatures - John's pet love for many years. As with John's previous educational DVD 'This Is The Way I Do It', there is a continuous scroll of notation moving along the bottom of the screen, which greatly enhances the impact of the lessons. The DVD contains six chapters, each chapter ending with a demonstration of the material by Selvaganesh Vinayakram (who plays south indian percussion along side John in Remember Shakti) followed by John's demo of the application of konokol on the guitar. Watch out for the Finale in Chapter 6, where they get together to create a beautiful guitar-konokol conversation.
Learning this system helps build a bridge between percussionists and melodic instrumentalists. An ensemble or a band conversant with konolol can articulate musical ideas very precisely to each other. Someone who has been in a band will immediately appreciate how difficult it is to get the bloody drummer to play what you want him(her) to! It is not an exaggeration to say Shakti would not have been what it is hadn't it been for konokol. The level of the music they came up with in a very short span of time would not have been possible without konokol.
Finally, please remember this is not only for drummers and percussionists. This is not only for students who play indian instruments, or wish to learn indian music on their western instruments. This truly is for everybody. Infact, it will be of value even if you do not play any instrument and want to become a knowledgable audience of Indian Classical Music. That John McLaughlin went ahead and made this DVD reveals how strongly he feels about it, and how important he thinks konokol is to save the world!