Funk Focus: A Chronological Guide to Funk

Starting on Tuesday, June 20th at 8pm EST

Starting June 20th, 2017 and live each Tuesday at 8pm EST for the following 10 weeks. Archives will be available within a few hours of the conclusion of each course. This course will have you playing funk like the greats.

From the moment Funk exploded on to the world stage in the 1960’s, it has gone on to influence the styles of guitarists not only in the specific genre of funk, but also in Rock, R&B, Hip-Hop, Soul etc. From Hendrix and Miles Davis, to Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars, there’s no escaping the Funk. In this 10 week course, Dave Brown will condense the styles of Funk’s greatest guitar players into custom grooves as he fills in the background story of how they came on to the scene.

Get access to this live course with a full JamPlay Membership, which includes access to all past live courses and over 5,400 on-demand lessons. This also includes all teaching tools, chord and scale libraries, along with gear giveaways, teacher reviews, and daily live lessons.

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Each live course is supplemented with full tablature, music notation, and even backing tracks. Our live lessons are focused, planned, and even give you homework options on how to improve and look forward to the following week.

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Our staff fields questions from the audience throughout each section, and opens the "classroom" up for questions throughout each course. You also have the ability to call in live with your own video stream!

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Full Course Schedule

View the full course schedule below. And of course, we keep everything, so if you miss a week you can always watch our archive of live courses. Tabs, backing tracks, and a full course PDF are provided for students, along with homework for each week! Interact with other students along with the instructor and get the instruction you need to advance your playing.

Date Topic

Session 1

6/20/17 8PM EST Get Access

James Brown

Right around the mid 60’s, James Brown put one part R&B, one part Soul and one part Jazz all together, shook it up and threw it all down on the 1. This week in Chronological Funk, we’ll dig into what Jimmy Nolen and others were doing on the guitar to help create that new funk sound.

Session 2

06/27/17 at 8pm EST Get Access

Parliament Funkadelic

This week we’ll see how the intergalactic lineage known as P Funk came into fruition while we explore some of the guitar work by Phelps “Catfish” Collins and Eddie Hazel that helped us all get up on the down stroke.

Session 3

07/11/17 8pm EST Get Access

Sly And The Family Stone

When Miles Davis first heard Sly Stone’s “Fresh,” he sat his entire band down and forced them to listen to the title track on repeat for a half hour straight. So it’s no surprise that Miles’ music changed forever as it started to drift towards this epic new sound. This week we’ll check out Freddie Stone’s contribution that helped bring one of America’s first racially mixed bands to the Funk foreground.

Session 4

07/25/17 8pm EST Get Access

Isley Brothers

Just like James Brown, the Isley Brothers didn’t start off funky, but rather slowly morphed into the genre as their R&B and Soul roots fermented with time. This week we’ll dive in to what Ernie Isley was bringing to the table.

Session 5

08/01/17 8pm EST Get Access

Curtis Mayfield

Although most of the groups mentioned so far were concerned with the civil rights movement, Curtis came in strong with social awareness with tracks like “People Get Ready” and of course the legendary album “Superfly”. This week we'll take a look at Curtis’ approach to the guitar and the wah that helped him to create that revolutionary sound.

Session 6

08/08/17 8pm EST Get Access

Meters - Leo Nocentelli

By this point, Funk was popping up all over the country, so it was only a matter of time before some solid New Orleans cats put their cajun spices all up in this music. This week we’ll explore Leo Nocentelli’s je ne sais quoi.

Session 7

08/15/17 8pm EST Get Access

Nile Rodgers Legacy

Where would Funk be without Nile Rodgers? From Chic all the way through Daft Punk, Nile Rodgers is the gift that keeps on giving. This week we’ll check out the type of funk voicings and strumming that has helped to produce hit after hit.

Session 8

08/22/17 8pm EST Get Access

Michael Jackson

You’d be hard pressed to find something funkier than the magic Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones helped produced on such albums as “Off the Wall” and “Thriller.” This week we’ll examine the type of stuff that players like Wah-Wah Watson, David Williams and Phil Upchurch brought to the table to help shape the King of Pop’s sound.

Session 9

08/29/17 8pm EST Get Access


If there’s one adjective that can be used to describe good Funk, it’s “tight." Excluding James Brown, there wasn’t a tighter operation in show business than what Prince was presenting. This week we’ll look into the kind of playing that helped keep Funk alive and well throughout the 80’s and beyond.

Session 10

09/05/17 8pm EST Get Access


Funk: where is it now? Well honestly, Funk can be found to various degrees in most music. There’s so much ground to cover that I’ll have to give out some honorable mentions, but one of my personal favorites on the modern day funk scene is Vulfpeck. I wanted to give props to their sound that’s been blending everything in the world of Funk, including feels from other genres that Funk has seeped in to. The guitar work will involve “fluid voicings” which is also sort of a shout out to players in the Neo-Soul world such as Isaiah Sharkey.