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