Soul & Funk Chord Progression - Rhythm Guitar Chord Fragment Lesson

Learn one of the most important progressions up and down the neck using guitar chord fragments in a variety of inversions.

The focus for today is the minor first (i) going to the dominant fourth (IV7), and back in a two-chord vamp [link to Vamp (Music) in Wikipedia]. They can have added extensions, typically the 9th and 13th.

By learning these chords as smaller fragments you should be able to

  1. Find the i and IV chords wherever you want on the fretboard
  2. Give yourself options for leaving space for the other instruments in the band.
  3. Use them to punctuate and add highlights to what you are playing with chord stabs
  4. Move up and down the neck in an interesting way, alternating between the same two chords in a variety of inversions and voicings.
  5. Add harmony lines and melodic voice leading

This lesson will prepare you provide a solid foundation for the role of rhythm guitar in soul and funk bands with the ability to play exactly the same two chords over and over but armed with many variations to keep your playing fresh and interesting.

Soul jazz guitar comping is an art requiring considerable knowledge of the available options up and down the neck. This lesson will give you some good starting points.

Examples of the i – IV Vamp in Soul and Funk Music.

There are a mountain of examples of this song structure.

  • Use Me“, by Bill Withers
  • Ghetto“, by Don Hathaway
  • Right Place, Wrong Time“, by Dr. John
  • Evil Woman” (+ many others), by Carlos Santana
  • Flashlight“, by Parliament

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