Playing funky rhythm guitar is about fitting into the overall mix of musicians – playing in some gaps, leaving a space in others while often playing off the main beat. This could mean anticipating with a ‘pushed’ beat, or picking up an accent a 16th note afterwards. One very effective way to get comfortable with this approach its to mute all six strings and use alternate down and up strokes to strum four notes per beat (16 in a 4/4 bar). Start by accenting the first downstroke of each beat – this sounds a little bit like a hi-hat pattern. Next, experiment with accenting the third beat in each group of four; this should fall on an upstroke. Combine this with small targeted strums on selected chord triads and you’re well on your way!