As many funk guitar players say, funk is more a feel than a music style. So the information covered here is not about telling you everything from basics to mastering, but will give you real feel of funk with a very funky examples. There’s well known phrase – if you are playing music that makes people want to move, probably you play funk! So let’s learn how to funk on guitar. If you are beginner in funk learn these basic but cool funk chords:
As this section is designed to give you as more feel of funk as possible in one page of text, it is important to give examples of funky rhythm parts as well as single-note funk.
How to funk with rhythm
If any rules can be applyed to funk, that would be sixteenth notes, in the first place.
Generally, all funk is based on 16th notes. Also tempo is usually higher than 90.
In other words, you play in exact rhythm and you play it fast.
The first pattern is very useful warm up exercise. Just play it for about 10-15 minutes in different speed to feel the rhythm.
The next common pattern with muted scratches is very good exercise to feel the rhythm as well.
As learned this pattern, you get some understanding about funk. The pattern is often used in songs. To get different-sounding phrases, just change the chord. Or you can use more than one playing the same rhythm. Well, another way to get more funky sound is simply to change rhythm. Firstly, play non-muted chords in different order, in off beat, for example. Secondly, change whole style of rhythm – use other phrases than up and down only.
The following riff is more advanced and that makes it a bit more difficult to play, but this sounds very funky, when played correctly. As written above, you can recognize, that i used the first method how to change pattern.
How to funk with single-note
Many times, the best part for a groove is a simple single-note line. These parts are usually quite short, so all the beauty of single-note funk come from repeating that simple ideas that contains very few notes.
As you see, the first two examples below are muted parts. (Muted notes are highly appreciated in funk). To be in correct rhythm, keep your pick moving in sixteenths with the music.
When playing muted notes, just touching the strings, to get more funky sound
Rhythm technique, when more several notes are muted combined with single-note playing gives you the real sound of funk.
printed copy: Funky tips