This video lesson is about playing rhythm guitar over a dominant chord funk groove. I focused on two main styles of funk playing, sixteenth note chordal strumming and single note riffs. You will often hear both approaches within in a single song. Rotating between chordal playing and single notes helps to break up the sections like the verse and chorus of a pop tune. This is especially useful on one chord funk tunes because the lack of changing harmony can become very boring to the listener. Changing between these two types of playing can help add dynamics and interest to the performance.

The first lick uses a couple of D9 chord voicings. The first voicing takes the common ninth chord shape and reduces it to just the top three strings. Reducing common chord voicings to just 3-4 notes helps make the part sound tighter, leaves room for the other instruments in the band, and is often easier to play. Then the lick walks up and slides to another useful ninth voicing.

The second lick is a single note riff. The key to getting these ideas sounding right is to use a little bit of your palm on your picking hand to lightly mute the strings.

This lick is a more traditional funk rhythm part with muted sixteenth note strums.

The last lick is another single note line influenced by the Meter’s Cissy Strut. Just like the other single note riff, use slight palm muting throughout.

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