Prince’s rhythm guitarist shares her approach to layering chord stabs, single-note lines, and “chicken grease.”

Chops: Intermediate
Theory: Beginner
Lesson Overview:
• Create interlocking guitar parts that work over a funk groove.
• Learn how to use partial chords to imply harmony.
• Develop a better sense of rhythm by using space.

Click here to download a printable PDF of this lesson's notation.

Funk. It’s the kind of music that makes your face snarl uncontrollably. It makes your head bob, your shoulders shake, your feet tap. As James Brown sang, it makes you “Get Up Offa That Thing.”

Over the past few years, I’ve had the incredible honor to learn the nuances of funk from a true master: Prince. Performing as a member of 3RDEYEGIRL and the New Power Generation was the experience of a lifetime. I was schooled at the “university” of Paisley Park and spent hours grooving with my fellow musicians on the most disgusting—in the best way possible—jams. Sometimes we’d play songs for over 20 minutes at a time with our heads shaking “no” and faces contorted. That’s when you know the music is truly funky. When it’s locked in, the groove can go on for days.

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