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10 Funking Awesome Funk Chords, Dominant Chord Substitutions & Use

The Essential Funk Guitar Lessons

In this lesson we're going to check out 10 funking awesome dominant chords you can use in your funk rhythm!!

Video Lesson

Additional notes & Chord Boxes















To Practice...

1. Clean Chords
Most important is that you can get your chords clean and that every note is ringing out clearly. Spend some time doing that old exercise you probably used as a beginner - strum, pick up out the notes one at a time, then strum again. Pay particular attention to the note on the 4th string which is easy to mute accidentally!

2. Lift For Scratch
Next you want to make sure that you can lift the chord and get a good 'scratch' while keeping the fingers in position. So strum the chord, then relax it and make sure that all the notes are muted when you strum again. Then reapply the pressure and check you have a good clear chord again. Then lift and check the mutes. Repeat. Repeat. Big deal!

3. Lift For Mute
Also important is that you notice that relaxing the chord grip stops the notes of the chord which is a really important element in groove creation. So play the chord and then relax your grip and make sure all the notes stop ringing out. Repeat. Lots ;)

4. Have Fun
So we've covered now a great Funk chord (E9) and basic Funk strumming technique so before we get into more technical exercises it would be worth you just exploring these few ideas and seeing what you come up with. Try out adding in the 13th or the 7#9 and just see what happens :) Enjoy it!

Additional Resources

Real World Examples
Funk chords are used in most songs but some that you might like to check out for these chords are:
Aeroplane - Red Hot Chili Peppers (7sus and 7 with 4th string root)

Recommended Album
You ain't never going to get the Funk if you're not listening to the greats! So with each lesson I'm going to recommend a funk album for you to sink your ears into and help you get in the groove - some of the all time classics and maybe some slightly lesson know albums too that I really dig.


Red Hot Chili Peppers - Blood Sugar Sex Magic (1991)

This is a funk rock blend I guess but the funkiness of the band can't be denied and this album really is a superb record on pretty much every level. Give It Away and Suck My Kiss are proper funky ass tunes but even the not so funky songs are killer. Just get it.

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Lesson ID: FU-510