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Tutorial: Funk 101

Funk 101 - Example 5

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Funk 101 - Example 4 Funk 101 - Example 6

Alright then! Example 5. Now we’re getting somewhere!

This example contains chord changes (same as in example 4.), but also some different note values and syncopations than earlier examples. First of all, I deviate from the 16th note strumming pattern here (the holy grail of funk so to say), and seek enlightenment in other note values. Doing this helps me create more “air” inside my funk riffing, and creates rhythmical tension against the bass and rums. This sort of playing makes the guitar stand out more, and take a bigger role in the rhythm section. This type of playing might not suit traditional funk, but you may create really cool grooves in a more contemporary setting using this concept.

Also, try to accentuate those last chords by really hitting them hard, and nail them tight!
This kind of riff should be driven home hard in the ears and minds of the audience (the roaring, crazy audience you will surely be plying in front of some time in a not to distant future).

Nailed it hard? Then turn that page for further challenges!