Play Funk Guitar – Lesson Four – Double Stops

In this lesson, we are checking out double-stop playing in funk guitar. In lesson three, we looked at how you can maximise the value from single-note funk lines. Today we are extending that concept to two notes at a time or ‘double stops’. Double stops are fantastic at ‘filling the gaps.’ No matter how busy your song is you can still fit in sweet sounding two-note ideas that will keep your rhythm playing interesting, fresh and exciting!

Funk Guitar Example 1 – B minor Double Stops

Example one demonstrates using adjacent string doubles stops in the B Natural Minor scale (B C# D E F# G A). This example can act as your building block towards more complicated double-stop ideas.

Funk Guitar Example 2 –Prince

It’s Prince time! Prince is renowned for seriously funky Dorian groves, and this example uses the B Dorian (B C# D E F# G#) scale. Aim to keep your strumming hand consistent and keep the double-stop shape on throughout.

Funk Guitar Example 3 – Major Groove

As guitarists, we tend to focus more on minor or dominant based chords. This lick demonstrates how you can break up an A major chord into two-note fragments and build a silky smooth line reminiscent of Paul Jackson Junior.

Funk Guitar Example 4 – Top Tip

Pick a chord that you frequently use in your rhythm guitar playing (barre chords work best). Instead of playing the whole chord at once, play two strings at a time, and notice the double-stop shapes that are contained within the chord. When you have worked out all the options available within the chord shape, try to write a double-stop funk pattern similar to the examples shown in today’s lesson.

Recommended listening

For classic double-stop funk guitar licks, I recommend buying the album Parade by Prince. My favourite track on that album being Kiss.

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Guitar Lesson Video Transcription

Hey guys, Simon here once again for the awesome Fundamental Changes. Today we’re looking at our part 4 of our intro to funk, including double-stops. Let’s go and have a look at a few of those licks, just after this.

[guitar playing]

Okay, there was example 1 – double-stops around it, a B minus theme on strings 4 and 3, or D and your G string. Now the double-stops are a fantastic way to fill out guitar parts. There might be a 2nd guitar part with a bar chord part, or and addition, or there might be the main hook of the song as well. This little idea of having these little 2 note major and minor triads on 2 different strings with a funk pan is really, really highly effective on what you can move in many, many different keys. Just try and use the same shapes. This one’s a B minor, obviously that would work over D major as well, because they’re relative major and minors. Just try them out in loads of different keys, and let’s get on to example 2.

[guitar playing]

One fantastic person to emulate when you’re doing double-stops in funk guitar work is Prince. This example here is all again around B minor, but we’re adding in the natural 6th to give quite a Dorian tone to this lick, quite edgy modern tonality as well. There’s 7th and 9th notes there, but you’ll notice when I play this in the lick here that I’m not moving my shape, I’m doing a 7, 9, 10 on the top 3 strings to get this flavor here. Keep your right hand or your picking hand consistent and let’s move on to example 3.

[guitar playing]

We spend a lot of our time as guitar players playing around minor basses and sometimes dominant as well, especially in the funk land. Often, we don’t play much major things. In this example here is around A major, just breaking up the guitar into these 2 note little fragments that hopefully can help you break out of big box shapes, big bar chords -everything like that – into little 2 note chunks and really add to your funk rhythm guitar playing vocabulary. Take some time just to get used to the slides and the pattern. More importantly, make your own with all of these. Please just use these as a basis for your own improvisational ideas. Work on your double-stops, hopefully by now you’re building some quite good funk vocabulary, and I will see you next time for more funky videos. Take care; hope you’ve got something from it.

Hi guys, thanks for watching this Introduction to Funk – Part 4. Hope you got something from it. Please go and check out Joseph’s new book All About Funk Guitar, link to that in the description, and go and have a look at my channel SDP guitar. Awesome. Make sure you subscribe here and there too. Take care, see you soon.