Expand your chops with this uptempo funk rhythm video lesson

(Image credit: Future)

Funk guitar rhythms that catch listeners’ ears and make them want to groove have been around for many decades. Championed by early legends like Jimmy Nolan (James Brown) and Leo Neocentelli (The Meters) all the way up to today with Mark Letteri (Snarky Puppy) and Cory Wong (Vulfpeck), funky rhythms are a vital component to being a well rounded guitarist.

This example is a short 8-bar figure that uses a clean electric tone (neck and middle pickups on an S-type guitar into a Fender Pro Kemper profile) for a snappy sound and good note clarity. The key is E Dorian (E-F#-G-A-B-C#-D), common to countless funk, pop and blues songs, with some slippery b5 (Bb) moments that reference E Blues Scale (E-G-A-Bb-B-D). 

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Jason Sidwell

Jason Sidwell (BA Hons, MA, ALCM) is editor of Guitar Techniques and senior tuition editor for Guitarist who has written and edited over 20,000 articles since 1998. As an educator he is an advisor/guest tutor for UK music academies/examining institutions, a director for the International Guitar Foundation (IGF), author of How to Play Guitar Step by Step (Dorling Kindersley) and extensive tutorials for The Guardian and Observer newspapers. Outside of journalism, he is a busy classical guitarist, performs regularly for theatre productions and has a broad cliental for studio work.