Funk 101 - Introduction

Tutorial: Funk 101
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Funk 101 - Chords and Strumming

Greetings Guitar slingers!

Welcome to my tutorial on funk rhythm guitar playing!

As I mention in the video, there are many, many variations on funk guitar playing. There is single note funk (more like playing bass lines on guitar), strumming (like what we will be covering here) and much more. You might want to check out Sean Conklin’s Funk in the Trunk tutorial. This tutorial has a lot of single string funk playing, as well as the use of full chords (not as common in standard funk). So check that out for a a modern funk tune!

There are also many different music styles that take their inspiration from funk music, such as funk-rock (think bands like Extreme), R&B, Hip Hop and pop (artists like Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake are heavily influenced by funk music and the grooves particular to this music)

In combination with going through this tutorial and getting the fundamentals down, and “in the pocket” (popular funk-proverb), you should also listen listen to a lot of funk music. Two artists I would highly recommend, is early James Brown (with Bootsy Collins on bass), as well as anything by Power of Tower (T.O.P). You don’t get more funk than that!

I would also recommend you to get a slightly flexible pick to use for this tutorial. A stiff pick, be it made of plastic or other materials (I personally use Brossard picks made of bone and buffalo horn), will not give the right attack against the strings. Don't go ultra light though, just so there's some bend in the pick will do fine. Experiment, and see how different pick thicknesses, and materials alter the sound and playability.

So! Get your pimp-hat on, and let’s start grooving!