James Brown was the God­fa­ther of soul. Iain Scott feels the funk as he checks out his big­gest hits’ grooves.

Guitar Techniques - - CONTENTS -

Iain Scott ex­am­ines the gui­tar stylings be­hind the God­fa­ther of funk, the great James Brown.

We couldn’t run this course with­out tip­ping our hats to the God­fa­ther of soul, and an artist with more rhythm than any other: James Brown. This tu­to­rial fo­cuses on his hits from the ’60s, such as I Feel Good, I Know You Got Soul and, of course, Sex Ma­chine. Brown had sev­eral ex­cel­lent gui­tar play­ers through his band in­clud­ing Jimmy Nolan and Al­fonso ‘Coun­try’ Kel­lum. When record­ing, Brown would build up gui­tar rhythm parts; these, along with the bass and drums, would fit to­gether into com­plex and in­ter­est­ing grooves. This formed the ba­sis for the funk, disco and fu­sion styles that fol­lowed through the ’70s and ’80s. Brown’s tracks of­ten stayed on one chord un­til he cued the band ‘up to the bridge’, so this piece has three dif­fer­ent sec­tions to show some of his vari­a­tions. What you will no­tice in all of Brown’s mu­sic is the lazy ‘be­hind the beat’ feel, so re­lax and ‘feel the groove’!

James Brown: one of the great funk mu­sic in­no­va­tors

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