Before tackling this course, you should be comfortable with all the material from Lesson 5 - Minor Triads

Summary: Taking a deeper look

In this lesson Simone really takes a good look underneath the hood of advanced funk strumming. We see how to move your wrist properly, how to get loose and many more cool tips to take your rhythm to the next level.


In this lesson we’ll talk about how to take the basic principals we have learnt with 16th note strumming, and really bring them to life. These will be techniques and ideas that you can apply to every single one of the songs we have learnt so far, and as you tackle quicker tracks (later in this course), you’ll very much need these ideas. So, here we have the key principals:

    1. Loosen up the strumming hand

    To really build up speed, you need to get loose. When you play lead, or rock guitar, or most other genres, you want a tight plectrum grip for very small movements. For funk, we need the opposite. Keep that wrist loose, and keep the grip on the pick loose.

    2. Strum with the wrist, not the arm.

    We are all used to strumming with the arm, from the elbow. As the funk rhythms speed up, we really need to start strumming from the wrist. This concept goes hand in hand with keeping it loose!

    3. Dynamic chords & ghost notes

    Not every single hit on the guitar has to be the same volume. In fact, the exact opposite should be true in funk. Weave in and out of harder and softer hits to create a more dynamic and interesting sound.

    4. Selective ghost notes

    Up to now we have encouraged hitting every 16th that isn’t a chord as a ghost note. This helps us get used to the concept of ghost notes. From now on in we can be more selective, and just hit those ghost notes as and when needed to add an extra vibe to the track.

    5. Always play with a beat

    Finally, to really help keep you in time and feeling the rhythm, try to play with a beat as often as you can. Whether it’s one of our backing tracks or even just a simple 8th note beat, it will really help.

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

Lesson 7 - Minor 7th Chords

We are now ready to tackle the awesome minor 7th chords, which are so important in funk music (As well as so many other genres). We take a look at the two main positions for the chords and how to play them with a funky feel!