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Michael Johnson >> 70s Funk Blast >>


Don Mock: Hi everyone. This is Don Mock and tonight we're going to take a closer look into the ingredients of a good funk guitar rhythm pattern

Don Mock: Let's start with chords

Don Mock: Funk tunes are really no different from pop and rhythm & blues songs when it come to their chords. However, the dominant 9th was popularized in the '70's by many famous funk tunes

Don Mock: We've gone over a few of the common 9th voicings in the last few lessons

Don Mock: You might as well learn the rest of the voicings used by good players

Don Mock: Here's a cool 9th chord funk riff/exercise that uses nearly every good 9th voicing you'll ever need



9th Example


Don Mock: here's me playing the sample



Don Mock: The first four chords are all C9's basically in the same position around the 8th fret root C

Don Mock: You should memorize these together, They will be very useful

Don Mock: On the 4th one, just slide down 1/2 step and back up to create that "horn part" sound

Don Mock: The next chord is C9 with the top note 1/2 step higher (C9sus)

Don Mock: Then bring the top note down 1/2 step for the next C9

Don Mock: I know a few of these chords will be pretty challenging at first, Take your time and play them nice and slow until you get them down

Don Mock: I'm sure you know the last part, just four whacks on the common C9 up high on the 14th fret

Don Mock: I promise that these will probably be the only 9ths you'll ever have to learn

Don Mock: Remember to mute or not pick the unused strings

Don Mock: All, except the last one, are four-note chords

Don Mock: a cool thing about this example

Don Mock: is that each C9 chord has a different top melody note

Don Mock: so you basically have a C7 (Fmaj) scale in C9 chords

Don Mock: this is great for creating melodies with chords

Don Mock: you should figure out which degree of the scale each chord has on top

Don Mock: I'll tell you the first one....

Don Mock: C9 with the 3rd on top

Don Mock: any questions so far?

Don Mock: here's a jam track



Adam: so 3rd means the 3rd of Cmaj7 scale?

Don Mock: Adam it means the 3rd of the C dominant scale

Don Mock: which is an F major scale, starting on "C"

Don Mock: C Mixolydian for you mode freaks

Don Mock: Here is a C9 Jam Track for you to practice to. It will probably feel pretty fast at first

Don Mock: Work on small sections at first like the first 3 chords etc

Don Mock: Let's change to minor for a few examples

Don Mock: Coming up is a nice minor chord move from G/A to Am7

Don Mock: It works over any Am type vamp

Don Mock: any questions before we move on to the next sample?

Don Mock: Here's me playing it and the tab

A min comp example


Don Mock: Hammer-on the 2nd chord by laying down your 4th (little) finger hard on the strings

Don Mock: Only strum on the first chord (G/A and hammer to the Am7)

Don Mock: All the rest of the chords are strummed

Don Mock: Here is a good Am groove to play it to



Don Mock: Now let's move it up an octave to a very common position at the 12th fret

Don Mock: This version is exactly the same except we'll add in the high E note (12th fret)

Am Comp No. 2


Don Mock: Also, the hammer-on's are on the 2nd and 4th strings this time

Don Mock: It's still G/A to Am7

Don Mock: Play it to the same Am jam track you already have loaded

AScriabin: reminds me of the band Chicago

Don Mock: yeah, I can see that, they use some of these patterns

Skedman: Gap band

Don Mock: This next example is actually a little funk/R&B tune with a hint of the "Beachboys" thrown in

Don Mock: It features a "blues-ish" double-stop riff that is real useful to know





R & B Funk


Don Mock: The main theme of the tune starts out in C7 for three and a half bar before moving down to A7

Don Mock: The same riff and chords accents are again played (this time in A7) before a bar of F9

Don Mock: The final bar is E7#9 followed by G9 taking us back to the top

Don Mock: The main theme is a series of double stops and chords

Don Mock: I use my left thumb on the bass notes of the C7, Bb7 and A7 chords

Don Mock: If that's too weird for you, play the bass notes with your first finger (barr) or just leave them out

Don Mock: They're not that important to the tune... especially with the rest of the band

Skedman: What kind of drum machine do you use Don?

Don Mock: it's a Alesis SR16 and I have various Roland synths

Don Mock: The hammer-on's are real important to the sound so try to play them strong and clean

Don Mock: In fact, a cool thing you can add to this main riff (as I did on the demo) is to "trill" with your 2nd finger on the G string after the C7 and A7(end of bar 2 and bar 6)

Don Mock: "Trill" means to rapidly hammer and pull-off continually between two notes

Don Mock: Trill while the chord is still ringing out. You'll recognize the effect

Don Mock: Here's a Jam Track of the tune to practice to

Don Mock: If you haven't got the double stop lick down yet, work on the chord punches towards the end



surfBrat: I'm new whats a double stop

Don Mock: it's 2 notes being played at the same time

larryWjazz: It's a country thang

Don Mock: in some circles "double stop" means 2 notes played with one finger

Don Mock: we found a bit of trouble with one section of the interactive tab....

Don Mock: check out the graphic if you want to catch the missing section

Don Mock: That's it for tonight. I hope you have been able to check out the "Licks of the Day" this last week

Don Mock: I tried to include some very useful lines and techniques

Don Mock: There's more coming up this week so be sure to learn them

Don Mock: I really want to thank all of you for hanging out with me tonight and for the past month

Don Mock: I've actually learned a lot digging into my 1970's funk memory bank playing this stuff

Don Mock: I really have a new respect for the great funk and R&B guitarists who pioneered this music

Don Mock: great seeing everybody

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