Funky Blues Rhythm (Guitar Lesson)


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DJ Phillips

Funky Blues Rhythm

Now that you've mastered some SRV, DJ is going to show you some funky blues rhythms that use the 9th chords.

Taught by DJ Phillips in Blues Guitar with DJ seriesLength: 8:44Difficulty: 1.5 of 5
Chapter 1: (08:44) Funky Blues Rhythms In the previous lesson, DJ introduced you to dominant ninth chords. The bII9 and I9 chords are commonly used to end a blues song. DJ explained how to play these chords with a common, rootless voicing. Remember that the root is frequently omitted from dominant ninth voicings, especially when the bass player in the band covers this note.

In the current lesson, DJ demonstrates how dominant ninth chords can be applied to the 12 bar blues progression.

Most Common Voicing for Dominant Ninth Chords

DJ demonstrates the most common voicing used for dominant ninth chords. He applies this voicing to a D9 chord. This voicing is a movable shape that can be transposed anywhere on the fretboard.

Most guitarists struggle with this voicing at first. The third finger must perform a barre across the three treble strings. Then, the middle and index fingers must fret the root and major third respectively. As you first begin to practice this chord shape, lay the barre down before adding the middle and index fingers. Once the barre is held securely in place, add these fingers to the chord. Pick each individual note within the chord to ensure that you are not accidentally muting any of the strings.

Music Theory

By now, you are probably familiar with dominant seventh chords. All dominant chords function in the same way. The dominant ninth chord simply adds the ninth scale degree to a dominant seventh chord. This extra note adds extra color to the voicing. To spell a dominant ninth chord, follow the guidelines listed below.

1. First, determine the root note when spelling any chord.

2. Spell the major scale beginning with this root note. For this example, we will spell a D9 chord. The D major scale is spelled as follows: D, E, F#, G, A, B, C#, D.

3. The formula for dominant ninth chords is 1, 3, 5, b7, 9. The ninth scale degree is the same as the second scale degree, just one octave higher. As a result, the root note is D. The third is F#. The fifth is A. If the note C# is flatted, it becomes a C natural. Finally, the ninth of the chord is E. Thus, a D9 chord is spelled D, F#, A, C, E.

12 Bar Blues Progression

DJ applies the new dominant ninth chord voicing to a 12 bar blues progression in the key of D. Take a quick moment to review the chord changes within this progression.

Measures 1-4: I (D9)
Measures 5-6: IV (G9)
Measures 7-8: I (D9)
Measure 9: V (A9)
Measure 10: IV (G9)
Measures 11-12: I (D9)

Note: The V chord is frequently substituted in measure 12 to create a stronger resolution back to the top of the form.

Simply slide the ninth chord discussed earlier to the appropriate root notes when playing through this progression.

Rhythm of the Progression

DJ applies a heavily syncopated "scratch" rhythm that is frequently used in funk music. A scratch rhythm is a syncopated guitar figure that features muted chord strums. To mute the strings within this figure, relax the pressure applied to each of the strings. Play this rhythm very slowly at first along with a metronome. Then, memorize the rhythm. Once the rhythm is memorized, gradually increase the tempo.

Notice how DJ frequently improvises the rhythms that he plays. As long as you keep a steady sixteenth note rhythm going, you are free to experiment with the placement of strummed chords and muted chords.

The ii V I Progression

The ii V I progression is frequently used as a turnaround at the end of 12 bar blues progressions. This is especially common in the jazz form of the 12 bar blues. In bar 9, substitute the ii7 chord for the V chord. In the key of D, the iim7 is Em7. Remember that lower case Roman numerals are used to indicate minor and diminished chords. The ii7 chord is followed by the V chord in bar 10. Next, the I chord is played in bar 11 like you would normally expect. For measure 12, DJ opts to play the V chord to create a strong resolution back to the beginning of the form.

Play Along

At 07:25, DJ provides you with an opportunity to practice the funky version of the 12 bar blues along with him. Keep in mind that he is improvising most of the rhythms. Do not get discouraged if you are not placing the accented chords in the same locations.

Video Subtitles / Captions





Supplemental Learning Material

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Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.


paulyrobinspaulyrobins replied on October 19th, 2016

You lost me at 'you're gonna barre these 3 notes with your third finger'! My finger don do dat. Any suggestions for alternate fingerings?

kgordonkgordon replied on September 30th, 2016

VIDEO FREEZES!!!!! Same thing for the last video of the SRV lesson!!!!

georgiaflygeorgiafly replied on June 6th, 2016

I can figure out the rhythm, but it's not a standard on the beat down/up/down scenario I think

jason baileyjason bailey replied on March 28th, 2016

video is freezing will not play. :(

josabamjosabam replied on January 24th, 2016

video freezes....

CajunPlayerCajunPlayer replied on January 15th, 2015

the video goes away/freezes about 3/4 of the way through. All the sound is there but no picture. Kinda bad when I can hear him describe something but there is not picture.

sengel28sengel28 replied on March 19th, 2014

Great lesson....short and sweet with lots of funk!

tmorenotmoreno replied on January 16th, 2014

good stuff.

triitonetriitone replied on July 1st, 2013

Excellent lesson, but I don't think the rhythm is the supplemental content matches the rhythm in the lesson.

jasonconfusedjasonconfused replied on September 14th, 2011

The abuse I'm putting on my third finger to barre 4 strings.. lol

wangdaoshiwangdaoshi replied on January 2nd, 2009

Yeah, would you please teach more funk guitar like this?

nmoundnmound replied on November 2nd, 2008

very catchy sound...i like

greenogreeno replied on November 1st, 2008

Great lesson DJ. Ninth chords rock.

vanslash1010vanslash1010 replied on November 1st, 2008

This is exactly what I've been trying to find for a long time. Great lesson!

mkorsmomkorsmo replied on November 1st, 2008

Jimmy Nolen for the win

niandraniandra replied on November 1st, 2008

Yeah Chili Peppers funk style...more of this please.

Blues Guitar with DJ

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

DJ Phillips will teach you everything you need to know to become a master of the blues with an emphasis on fast-paced techniques & playing.



Lesson 1

Series Introduction

Meet Mr. DJ Phillips & learn what he's going to teach you throughout this series.

Length: 2:30 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 2

12 Bar Blues

Learn what makes a chord progression a blues progression as well as the basics to the famous 12 bar blues.

Length: 13:18 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 3

Rhythmic Variations

Time to take the 12 bar blues progression you've learned and add in some rhythmic variations.

Length: 8:48 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 4

12 Bar Blues Chord Variations

Now that you've learned the 12 bar blues and some rhythmic variations, it's time to throw in some chord variations.

Length: 6:22 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 5

Minor Pentatonic Scale

Time to take a break from the 12 bar blues and start mastering some lead techniques. This all starts with the minor pentatonic scale.

Length: 8:13 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 6

Minor Pentatonic Scale Variations

Now that you've learned the minor pentatonic scale, it's time to learn how to move it around.

Length: 11:10 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 7

SRV - The House Is Rockin'

Learn a handful of new blues techniques while learning to play Stevie Ray Vaughn's "The House Is Rockin'".

Length: 49:58 Difficulty: 3.0 FREE
Lesson 8

Funky Blues Rhythm

Now that you've mastered some SRV, DJ is going to show you some funky blues rhythms that use the 9th chords.

Length: 8:44 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 9

Minor Pentatonic in Open and First Position

DJ begins a discussion of the minor pentatonic scale patterns. He demonstrates the A minor pentatonic scale in first or "open" position.

Length: 12:16 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 10

Minor Pentatonic in Second Position

Continuing on with the minor pentatonic scale, DJ covers the second position. As with lesson 9, he provides a few exercises and riffs along the way.

Length: 10:11 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 11

Minor Pentatonic in Fifth Position

Continuing with the A minor pentatonic scale, DJ returns with a lesson on the fifth position pattern.

Length: 7:09 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 12

Minor Pentatonic in Seventh Position

In this lesson, DJ covers the A minor pentatonic scale in 7th position. He includes licks and riffs to help with skill building.

Length: 8:49 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 13

Minor Pentatonic in Ninth Position

This lesson covers the 9th position of the A minor pentatonic scale. DJ provides licks, riffs, and a string skipping exercise.

Length: 15:00 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 14

Moving Positions

Now that DJ has covered all five patterns of the minor pentatonic scale, he explains how to shift from one pattern to the next.

Length: 6:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 15

Major Pentatonic

Now that DJ has covered the minor pentatonic positions, he shifts gears to the major pentatonic scale.

Length: 17:34 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 16

Moving Across Positions

In this lesson, DJ demonstrates a number of major pentatonic licks that feature position shifts.

Length: 5:15 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 17

Combining Major and Minor Pentatonics

DJ demonstrates how to combine the major and minor pentatonic scales. He provides a number of combined scale licks for you to learn.

Length: 12:54 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 18

Solo and Lead Lines

In this lesson, DJ demonstrates how to build an effective guitar solo.

Length: 9:13 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 19

Rhythm

This lesson details the importance of rhythm within solos and lead lines.

Length: 6:10 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 20

Improvising

DJ talks about the art of improvising in this lesson. Always begin with a grand entrance and end with a big finish.

Length: 7:59 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 21

Building Chords on the 6th String

DJ begins a discussion of colorful dominant chord voicings. He demonstrates how to build chords from a root note on the 6th string.

Length: 9:38 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 22

Building Chords on the 4th and 5th String

Continuing on from lesson 21, DJ explains how to build dominant chords from root notes on the 4th and 5th strings.

Length: 8:26 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 23

Using Different Voicings

In lesson 23, DJ demonstrates how various chord voicings can be used while playing rhythm or lead over a 12 bar blues progression.

Length: 4:49 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 24

Mute Raking

With lesson 24, DJ begins a short segment on tricks of the trade. First, he discusses and demonstrates string rakes.

Length: 5:08 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 25

Organ Licks

DJ explains how B3 organ licks can be played on guitar.

Length: 4:11 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 26

Volume Swells

In this lesson, DJ talks about volume swells and how they can be used.

Length: 4:37 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 27

Walking Bass and Upstroke Shuffle

Continuing with his "tricks of the trade" lessons, DJ demonstrates a walking bass line and the upstroke shuffle.

Length: 6:51 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 28

Slide

In this lesson, DJ discusses and demonstrates the basics of slide technique.

Length: 5:28 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 29

Wah Pedals

DJ demonstrates some of the subtleties of using a wah pedal in the blues style.

Length: 3:50 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 30

Harmonics

DJ discusses and demonstrates natural, artificial (harp), and pinch harmonics in the blues style.

Length: 8:37 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 31

Aspects of Tone

DJ delves into tone in lesson 31. He discusses how and why certain tones are achieved.

Length: 21:41 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 32

Minor Blues

With lesson 32, DJ introduces the minor form of the 12 bar blues progression.

Length: 4:57 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 33

Using the Dominant V7 Chord

Building on his minor blues set, DJ discusses how to utilize the dominant V7 chord to spice up the standard progression.

Length: 4:14 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 34

Minor Turnaround

DJ demonstrates a couple turnaround techniques that can be applied to the 12 bar minor blues progression.

Length: 6:13 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 35

Minor 7 Voicings

In this lesson, DJ discusses some minor 7 voicings with roots on the 6th, 5th, and 4th strings.

Length: 9:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 36

Minor 6th Voicings

Much like lesson 35, DJ discusses minor 6th chord voicings with roots on the 6th, 5th, and 4th strings.

Length: 8:53 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 37

Extensions of the V7 Chord

DJ explains how altered extensions such as the b9 and #9 can be added to the V7 chord within the context of a minor blues progression.

Length: 8:35 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 38

Scale Options

DJ discusses the scale options that can be used over a minor blues progression.

Length: 2:21 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 39

Minor Scale Positions

In this lesson, DJ builds upon lesson 38 and covers the minor scale positions across the entire fretboard.

Length: 5:11 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 40

T-Bone Walker

DJ profiles blues guitarist T-Bone Walker in lesson 40.

Length: 31:23 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 41

T-Bone Shuffle

Profiling T-Bone walker, DJ will demonstrate the T-Bone Shuffle.

Length: 29:26 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 42

Skills and Concepts of T-Bone Walker

DJ discusses and demonstrates skills acquired from learning T-Bone Walker's material.

Length: 17:42 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 43

Bo-Diddley

DJ will take a look at Blues guitarist Bo Diddley and teach you the "Bo Diddley beat."

Length: 13:26 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 44

Blues with DJ: More Bo Diddley

Dj is back yet again with more on the style of Bo Diddley. Here is will dive more into his style of solos as well as an in depth explanation of how the songs are played out. Get comfortable everyone and...

Length: 22:15 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 45

Implementing Bo Diddley's Style

Dj brings a kicking finish to the style of Bo Diddley by teaching you how to implement his style of playing to your's. With a quick review of what he has taught so far, Dj will play the backing track as...

Length: 10:59 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 46

Swing Blues Solo - Phrase #1

DJ returns to his blues guitar series with the introduction of a complete blues solo. Through the next 12 lessons, DJ will provide a phrase-by-phrase breakdown of the solo. By the end of this mini-series,...

Length: 3:38 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 47

Swing Blues Solo - Phrase #2

DJ is back with Phrase #2 of the Swing Blues Solo. This lick is designed to outline the IV chord.

Length: 3:10 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 48

Swing Blues Solo - Phrase #3

DJ is back with another phrase of his swing blues solo. The third phrase of the first solo is also your first turnaround. In this lick, you'll outline the chords that bring us back to the top of the form.

Length: 3:22 Difficulty: 0.0 Members Only
Lesson 49

Swing Blues Solo - Phrase #4

The fourth phrase of your first solo has a lot of pentatonic influence in it. You've also climbed the neck to the upper register to help build your solo.

Length: 2:29 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 50

Swing Blues Solo - Phrase #5

We're back to the second phrase in the long form blues again. This lick picks up where the last left off and continues to build suspense in the upper register.

Length: 3:11 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 51

Swing Blues Solo - Phrase #6

DJ is back with the sixth phrase of his Swing Blues Solo. We're now at the second turnaround of the long form. This lick incorporates chromaticism to build tension.

Length: 4:26 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 52

Swing Blues Solo - Phrase #7

We're back to the top in the 3rd chorus of the blues solo. This lick starts to amp up the solo by adding more bends and a few double stops.

Length: 3:47 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 53

Swing Blues Solo - Phrase #8

DJ is back with the eighth phrase in the swing blues solo. The second phrase of the 3rd chorus incorporates hammer-ons.

Length: 3:14 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 54

Swing Blues Solo - Phrase #9

DJ is back with the ninth phrase in the swing blues solo. For the third time, we find ourselves at the turnaround. This lick plays on the idea of a repeating figure followed up by a scale run.

Length: 4:46 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 55

Swing Blues Solo - Phrase #10

We really start to add some gusto to the solo for our final three phrases. This lick uses open stringed double stops and position shifting to create a long build up towards the solo's climax.

Length: 3:40 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 56

Swing Blues Solo - Phrase #11

The eleventh phrase of our long form blues solo continues to build on the previous phrase. This time you'll be using a repeated but slightly varied figure along with double stops to create more build-up.

Length: 3:34 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 57

Swing Blues Solo - Phrase #12

DJ is back with the final phrase of the swing blues solo. This turnaround lick uses quick bends, repeated figures, and a chromatic walk down to twist your ear before finally resolving back to E.

Length: 5:42 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 58

Straight Blues Solo - Phrase #1

Now that you've completed the first solo of a long form blues, it's time to tackle the second solo. This next blues is played in straight eighths and starts off with some chromatic notes, bending, and...

Length: 3:13 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 59

Straight Blues Solo - Phrase #2

Dig into the second phrase of our straight blues solo! This one uses double stops, bends, and vibrato to kick the solo into high gear!

Length: 3:10 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 60

Straight Blues Solo - Phrase #3

The first turnaround in our straight blues solo uses a low walking melody along with a scale run that brings us back up to the top.

Length: 2:53 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 61

Straight Blues Solo - Phrase #4

As we return to the top for the second round of our long form, we hear a familiar melody. This one is stolen right from the last phrase, only it's been transposed up into a higher register.

Length: 2:36 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 62

Straight Blues Solo - Phrase #5

We're getting into the meat of this solo and it's time we started rocking! We amp up the energy by using some down picking and scale lines.

Length: 2:59 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 63

Straight Blues Solo - Phrase #6

We've now reached the second turnaround of our long form blues. This phrase gets a little funky with some position shifting and double stops.

Length: 4:08 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 64

Straight Blues Solo - Phrase #7

Here, we return to the top and continue the funky feel from the turnaround. This lick features chromatic runs with vibrato and a repeated figure.

Length: 3:41 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 65

Straight Blues Solo - Phrase #8

The next lick in our long form straight blues is all about syncopation and getting that dirty tone from the amp. Careful rhythmic placement of rests and the use of double stops help us accomplish this.

Length: 1:59 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only

About DJ Phillips View Full Biography Like many guitar players who began playing around the same time, DJ began plunking out Nirvana and Soundgarden tunes when he first picked up the guitar in the mid-nineties. While these grunge-y roots certainly have their merit, it wasn't until DJ's eldest sister took him to a Led Zeppelin laser light show that the full potential of the guitar began to come into focus.

With Jimmy Page's Les Paul pyrotechnics as his inspiration, DJ began fervently practicing for hours on end in the suburban jungle of Southwestern Ohio. This newfound passion (combined with his complete lack of athletic prowess and physical coordination thus completely ruling out all sports) led him to form rock bands in junior high and high school. He grew to love the performance aspect of music and soon decided on it as a career path.

College led him to Nashville, Tennessee where he began to pursue a degree in Commercial Music at Belmont University. He also started another band and got his first professional theater gig the following summer. Since that summer, DJ has spent nearly every waking hour finding ways to play music and avoiding a real contribution to society in any other way.

He moved to Minneapolis after college, rocking out between theater gigs with his current rock band Brother Big Bad. He has now convinced the band to move to Nashville where music flows like water.

DJ is elated to be a part of JamPlay and is thankful for everyone's warm welcome and says "Now, let's ROCK, people."

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