Before tackling this course, you should be comfortable with all the material from Lesson 1 - Dominant 9th Chords

Summary: No more 8ths!

In our second lesson we take a look at the most essential rhythm style in funk playing, the 16th note subdivision. As always, we will back up all the theory and teaching with a cool song to practice your new groove on!

Rhythm: How To Read 16th Note Patterns

The idea behind 16th note patterns is that you have your same normal bar of time that you would count 4 or 8 in, except now, we squeeze 16 notes into that bar. This is the most common division of strumming in funk music. There are crucial things you need to remember:

  • 1. You count “1 e and a 2 e and a three e and a four e and a”
  • 2. You keep your strumming hand moving the entire time!

Exercise: 16th Note Pattern

Lets learn the 16th note strumming pattern from the example track we will be learning. Make sure you can count and play it at the same time, and keep that strumming arm moving, even when you don’t play the strings.

Tab: The E9 Groove

To really get this strumming pattern nailed, we’ve created an entire track fro you that repeats it all the way through with just the one chord. This is not unlike many 70’s style funk tracks where the other musicians jam over one groove and one chord. Enjoy!

Audio: Full Track

If you would prefer to just dive straight in and play along with the audio tracks, they are here below. If you're really feeling confident, try with the backing track!

Ready to move on? Remember to check out every lesson in this unit first – then try the next unit...

Lesson 3 - Major Triad Chords

In the third lesson of this course, Simone shows us how to use 3 note triad chords to their fullest in funk music. Think major chords are boring and too easy, think again! You'll fall back in love with major chords after this lesson!