Ex 5-9 Syn­co­pated quar­ter-note funk

Rhythm - - INTERVIEW -

One of the great things about this style is the way in which syn­co­pated rhythms can be played at the same time as keep­ing a con­sis­tent quar­ter-note pulse. The quar­ter-note pro­vides a use­ful an­chor for you and the band to keep your place in the mu­sic, and gives the lis­ten­ing au­di­ence a strong ref­er­ence point too.

Many play­ers have made this style fa­mous; per­haps one of the most cel­e­brated ex­am­ples is Har­vey Ma­son’s play­ing on ‘Chameleon’ by Her­bie Hancock. You’ll see ex­am­ples of it be­low with both the stripped-back quar­ter-note ap­proach and a slightly busier ver­sion with an eighth-note hi-hat pat­tern (ac­cent­ing the quar­ter-note), which is like the orig­i­nal groove Ma­son played.

Work­ing on these types of grooves will re­ally im­prove your in­de­pen­dence, and en­able you to play syn­co­pated funk pat­terns, with­out com­pro­mis­ing the time flow.

Ex­am­ple 5 is a funk groove that em­ploys the ride cym­bal quar­ter-note. Ex­am­ple 6 is a ride cym­bal quar­ter-note groove with busier kick and snare.

Ex­am­ple 7 is like Her­bie Hancock’s clas­sic ‘Chameleon’ groove, with a stripped back quar­ter­note hi-hat. In Ex­am­ple 8, the ‘Chameleon’ groove de­vel­ops into some­thing like this with an eighth-note hi-hat pat­tern (ac­cent the quar­ter note) and ghost notes in­cluded.

Chad Smith played some­thing like Ex­am­ple 9 on the Chilis’ ‘Suck My Kiss’. Try it with quar­ter notes and eighth notes (ac­cent­ing the quar­ter note) on the hats.

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