Axeology w/ Sav Izzi

Sav Izzi
3 min readFeb 14, 2021

Groove Central Part 2

This month’s lesson will continue to look at groove based guitar playing. In part 1 we looked at rhythm basics with sixteenth note strumming. If funk playing is new to you I would recommend checking that lesson out first (Groove Central Part 1). Here we will look at single note lines and more rhythm concepts.

Getting Funky Now

Now that we have a groove down(recall Ex.5 from Part 1 using D9)a second complementary part can be added. A common approach is to use single note lines. Experiment with the rhythm, attack and placement of these lines in the overall groove. Ex.1 is a single note part using the notes A,G and C and played with a swing feel. Use the pick directions shown and keep the pick hand moving throughout while you play. The part concludes with a lick using a sixteenth note triplet that begins in the second to last measure. Audio Ex.1a shows this part in context being playing over a D9 groove.

Ex.1

Hot Sweat

Ex.2 is a single note bass part reminiscent of something you might hear in a James Brown tune. It uses the notes D, A and C which work well over a D9 chord. It includes a walking bass part that takes us back to the beginning of the line. Use the pick directions shown and pay attention to the sixteenth note triplet in the first measure. It uses economy picking, in this case 2 upstrokes, to cross strings before playing the note C(beat 4) at the end of the measure.

Ex.2

Funky Slide

The next example jumps back into rhythm playing. Feel free to practice this at a slower tempo to help you get it down. It is a one bar phrase that uses a F9 chord played using straight sixteenths with scratches. It incorporates a half step slide from E9 to F9 on beat 4 of the first measure. We finish off this example by playing F9 without scratches on beats 3 and 4 of the last measure.

Ex.3

Purple Inspiration

The following example is something you may have heard in a Prince song. It uses an A7#9 chord with the root on the A string at the 12th fret. Follow the strumming shown and let the chord ring out. Remember to keep your strum hand moving throughout as you play.

Ex.4

Going Uptown

Ex.5 is a 2 bar phrase using an E9 chord. In order to get the feel of this down you should opt for upstrokes while playing it. Really dig in when you’re playing upstrokes here and strum the strings with conviction. It is common for this to feel awkward at first. However, with practice you will start to strum in both directions with the same ease and force thus improving your rhythm playing.

Ex.5

Next time we will take a look at combining single note and chord parts. We will also touch on chordal embellishments, double stops, and skanking notes. Until then…

SAV

Sav Izzi is a guitar instructor, songwriter, and musician based in Chicago, IL. He currently performs with the Chicago funk, rock, and soul group BabyBrutha. His debut album Mad Chill Sessions is available now on all streaming platforms and savizzi.com. For column questions and music related inquiries contact: savizzimusic@gmail.com

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Sav Izzi

Sav Izzi is a guitar instructor, songwriter, and musician based in Chicago, IL. He currently performs with the Chicago funk, rock, and soul group BabyBrutha.