Before tackling this course, you should be comfortable with all the material from Lesson 7 - Minor 7th Chords

Summary: How To Play Lead in Funk

We will now take a break from the chord playing and start looking at single string bouncy melodies. The idea is to bring the 16th note groove and rhythm into your lead approach, which Simone walks you through here.

Rhythm: 16th NOTE PICKING

In this lesson we are taking the idea of 16th note strumming, and refining it so that we only play the 16th note groove on a single string. This is a very common way to add an extra, subtle, layer of funkiness and groove to a track. A great way to start getting used to this is by simply counting “one e and a two e and a three e and a four e and a” as you play a muted single string. Give that a try first.


To help you learn this style, we have layered up a cool single string picking part, that then develops into a cool little pentatonic run down. This is layered over the minor 7th track we tackled in the last lesson, so you should be familiar with the track. Here is the new part you are 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!

Theory: What's actually happening?

As with most of these style parts, we are simply using the pentatonic scale to choose the notes. Pentatonic notes + awesome 16th note picking = perfect funk! Something worth remembering! As the song is in the key of G minor, we are using the G minor pentatonic. Initially, we are in shape 4, then move to shape 3. Here are those shapes.

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

Lesson 9 - Two String Melodies

We continue where we left off in the previous lesson with two string melodies. We therefore need to take a close look at how to maintain your bouncy alternate picking whilst crossing individual strings. This is probably one of the most important funk lessons for any lead guitar player, so strap in and take note!