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.
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’