Funk in D with Ghost Notes

This is a simple, repetitive Funk riff that uses ghost notes to add some spice. A ghost note has no pitch. It’s a way to add rhythmic interest to a line. You’ll hear them in hundreds of Soul, R&B and Funk bass lines. Listen to James Jamerson, Rocco Prestia, Bootsy Collins and many others to see how important they are.

Watch the video to see how to play ghost notes. As always, first learn the notes in order, but not in time. Next, play along with the slow version, until you’ve got it down. Remember to increase tempo slowly so that you maintain perfect accuracy. Finally, you can play along with the regular tempo version.

In the video, I show you the notes, one at a time, followed by demos at several speeds, starting with the slowest tempo and returning to normal speed. Finally, I show you some variations so you can see some of things you can do with the riff.

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As you’re practicing this riff, keep in mind that many funk lines are very repetitive, which is what makes people want to dance. You need to be able to play a line literally a hundred times or more with conviction. So instead of playing it ten times in a row perfectly, try playing it forty times in a row, then fifty… up to a hundred times perfectly.

D Funk with ghost notes

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Have fun, and…

Aim High – Play Low


Was this lesson helpful? Let me know in the comments below. And feel free to ask questions! Share it with your friends using the tiles below, and hit the LIKE button if you’re of a mind! ~ Lane

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