RHYTHM ES­SEN­TIALS

Iain Scott looks at the style of one of the groovi­est funk gui­tarists of them all - Chic’s amaz­ing main man and pro­duc­tion ge­nius, the le­gendary Nile Rodgers.

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Iain Scott ex­am­ines the funky tech­niques of Chic and Daft Punk’s in­cred­i­ble Nile Rodgers.

Ris­ing to fame with Chic in the late 1970s, Nile Rodgers and bass player Bernard Ed­wards en­joyed a long string of hits through the disco era in­clud­ing Le Freak, Good Times and Ev­ery­body Dance. Rodgers also pro­duced and played on hits for many other artists in­clud­ing Sis­ter Sledge, Madonna, David Bowie, Diana Ross, Du­ran Du­ran, and Daft Punk. Al­though in hind­sight Ross and Bowie were some­what crit­i­cal of his pro­duc­tion on their records, Nile de­liv­ered both artists’ best-sell­ing al­bums of all time.

Rodgers has the amaz­ing abil­ity to dream up in­cred­i­bly catchy gui­tar parts; parts that of­ten be­come the main ‘hook’ of the song. His style of rhythm gui­tar fea­tures ‘pop­ping’ sin­gle-note funk lines and a rhythm style he calls “chuck­ing”; this uses 16th-note rhyth­mic chord frag­ments of mainly three and four notes. His play­ing al­ways has great feel, groove and metro­nomic pre­ci­sion, from which ev­ery gui­tarist can take a les­son.

Nile Rodgers with the in­fa­mous Strat ‘The Hit­maker’

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