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B7 Jam – Rhythms
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from Frank Vignola’s Vamps, Jams and Improv
This B7 jam is all about the funk, covering dominant 9 chords and different inversions and rhythmic variations, one-note rhythm funk style, and three and four note inversions of B7 used frequently in funk guitar styles. We will touch on using suspended chords and playing the same note on different strings to produce different textures with the same pitch. An A note on the first string will sound quite a bit different than the same note played on the third string due to the difference in the string’s thickness.
First, we should get a handle on the bass part. As a rhythm guitarist, it’s important to know what the bass is doing. As you play around with the suggested bass pattern below, try palm muting to get a funky, bassy sound. This type of approach can be used to shore up a nice bass line, or as a jumping off point for a single-note rhythm part.
We’ll also look at several different rhythmic patterns, staying static on the B7 chord to get the feel. Something to keep in mind while playing is the concept of muffling the chords with the meat of your right hand down by the bridge. It’s a cool effect that can be brought in and out of the tune – say, changing up every eight bars – to add some flavor. Another technique mentioned earlier is to try playing different notes – say the 7th, which is A in this instance – in different positions on the fingerboard, adding a subtle change to the proceedings. The variations all produce different sounds, and it’s always good to be familiar with the all of the different sounds available. You can find some B7th inversions to experiment with at the end of the rhythmic examples, to help create a sense of movement when staying on a chord for a period of time.
We’ll also look at adding the 9th to the dominant chord. Experiment with adding the 9th or C# on top, then go up an octave. Play with the various B9 inversions listed to add even more sonic distinction to your playing.
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