Simple Funk in F with Flat 7
This is a fairly basic, repetitive Funk riff in F, with a flat 7. If you play with a horn band, you’ll definitely wnat to know your way around in F, as well as Bb, G, C, and perhaps Eb. That’s one reason I recommend learning scales and other exercises in ALL keys, not just a few.
This riff actually has three parts. The first part states the main idea, and the second part finishes the two measure phrase. Then, the first part is repeated and the third part finishes the second phrase in a slightly different way. This creates a 4 measure repeating phrase. This is how you help others know where they are in the song, or how many times you’ve played a riff. Using the concept of a “turn around” helps keep your band tight.
In the video, I show you the notes, one at a time, followed by demos at different speeds, starting with the slowest tempo and returning to normal speed. At the end, I play the riff again, and add a few variations.
I’ve said this many times before, but it bears repeating: 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.
By the way, at a Blues jam yesterday, I had to play a very simple repetitive riff over 300 times in a row during the solos (four different soloists on that set). Please believe me when I tell you how important it is to be 100% accurate on repeating phrases.
Have fun, and…
Aim High – Play Low
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