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Michael Johnson >> 60s Funk & Soul >>

Michael: This interactive lesson covers some important fundamentals about playing funk guitar. Funk requires you to study rhythm patterns, you can also mix up licks in between these patterns. Here's a sample of some of the patterns you'll learn in this lesson:

Michael: what you will be learning:

1. Rhythm
2. 9 Dominate chords
3. Licks in the E Minor Pentatonic scale
4. Strumming Exercises
5. Various Patterns

Michael: notice how the file is played rhythmically, let's start with some picking patterns, first you mute the strings with your fret hand:

Michael: I don't fret the strings, I just touch them enough to mute them, let's try the first exercise for rhythmic picking/strumming, try playing to the following jam tracks:

Michael: Here's a video sample of the strumming technique:

Michael: notice the up & down strokes of the picking pattern, those follow the picking exercises, notice the pattern, now lets' practice a variation of that pattern:

Michael: it should really help some of you develop the picking hand, here's the second pattern, notice the syncopated pattern, it's like playing drums with your picking hand

Steve: yep, do you play all strings for each stroke?

AceDuck: i cant move my hand up/down that fast

Michael: you can, just as long as they are muted

fergy: hangin in there

Michael: try playing for awhile and take breaks to loosen up

Bob: My arm is getting tired of strumming

Michael: here's the third picking exercise

Michael: try to relax your wrist and your arm:

fergy: is it alright to use the round edge of the pick?

Michael: sure if that helps, it's essential to have the wrist flexible, notice the syncopated change for this pattern

Michael: now practice to the looping bass drum track, you can play all the patterns you've learned over this track

Michael: I just sent you the scale pattern we'll use for the licks coming up, E Minor Pentatonic: E, G, A, B & D

Michael: notice this lick uses the E (dom) 9 chord

Michael: notice how you hold the E 9 chord down, you barre the bottom 3 strings with your 3rd finger, notice on this lick how you slide the E9 chord down a half step then back. Notice also how some of the notes are muted in between without picking the secondary chord that you slide into. Notice at the end of the phrase you play the higher notes, practice this lick to the jam track, you can improvise this rhythm pattern:

Michael: notice how you use the same chords, but adjust the strings you pick later in the phrase, you might want to try to slide on the fingertips on the 3rd, 4th & 5th strings, then barre the full E9 chord:

Chris: the last video...where you pick the a string.. having a hard time with it...when do you pick it?

Michael: you pick that string for the slide 9 chords

Michael: for the sound I'm playing the Brian Moore guitar in the neck pickup position...... I'm running into a SansAmp and then into a Roland processor with a small room reverb sound

Steve: this one's tough for me, for some reason

Skedman: Thats a cool riff. If I play it real fast it hurts my shoulder.

Michael: adjust the angle of your guitar or elbow, this lick uses the scale pattern I sent earlier, it takes time to adjust to new styles of playing, swing the elbow away from your body

Skedman: Thats tough to alternate pick.

Michael: notice on the last lick how you use the picking to play the open E string (6th)

Bob: are you muting the 6th string?

Michael: kind of Bob

fergy: palm muting?

Michael: yes

Michael: I brace the palm over the bridge of the guitar, here's the next lick:

fergy: that's why i got rid of my floyd rose guitars

Michael: yeah, Floyd Rose whammy bars don't like you to rest your palm on them

fergy: you got that right

Steve: you don't see many funk players using a floyd rose I guess

Michael: notice on this lick how you play the barre notes of the 9 chords

Steve: what are these chords? E 6/9?

Michael: it has a 1, 3, 6, 9 in the chord

fergy: what are the other 2 chords in this progression?

Michael: you play the chord by playing a 9 (dom) chord and adding your little finger on the bottom 2 strings, E9 slide to Eb9, E 6/9, A9 (or something like that)

fergy: oh, same chord just diff position?

Steve: I don't understand E 6/9, what does that mean?

Michael: do you understand chord construction theory? yep fergy

Steve: yes, I think so

Michael: ok can you tell me what the formula for a 9th dominate chord is?

mando: I use this kind of chording and phrasing alot it sounds great thru a Wa Wa especially the damped stuff

Steve: 1, 3, 5, b7, 9

Michael: mando, great point, wah wah is used a lot in '70s & '80s funk, just add the 6 in that, replace the 5

Steve: I thought that would be called E9 add 6?

Michael: it can, you have alternate names for chords, the same thing with scales at times. Well practice lot's this week .

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