Summary: The ultimate funk chord!

In this first lesson we take a look at two shapes for the dominant 9th chord. This is a great introduction to funk chords as it is used so often. We then apply the chord to a cool funky groove.

Chords: Two Shapes

Here are the two chord shapes we will look at in this lesson. These dominant 9th chords are used in so many funk tunes that it is the perfect place to start. We’ve included two different ways to fret the E9 chord as well. Remember, theses shapes are movable, just like barre chords.

Theory: Moving The Chord

The most important thing to remember, when learning the shape, is which note is the root note. For the E9 shape, the root note is on the A string and for the B9 shape, the root is on the E string. So, if you want to find a D9 chord, for example, you can either move the ‘E9’ shape down two frets (so the second finger is on the D note), or move the ‘B9’ shape up to the 10th fret with second finger. Use the fretboard below for a few more examples, and then give it a try and see for yourself.

Tab: Full Track

Below is the tab for the example track. You just repeat this round and round for the whole track, allowing you to really master these chord shapes. The movement of the chord from one fret below to the actual shape is very very common in funk playing!

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 2 - 16th Note Strumming

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!