Play Funk Guitar – Lesson Three – Double Stops

In the last lesson, we analysed single note funk lines. Today we examine the fantastic world of two-note funk. Double-stops are amazing at creating memorable and fresh sounding funk guitar parts. By adding groove, feel and mutes, double-stop patterns will come alive. Try to break out of your standard chord shapes and break them up into two-note fragments.

Funk Guitar Example 1 – Bm Double Stops

Here we see a simple melodic Bm double stop line. It is easy to neglect the middle strings in favour of the higher pitched sounds of the ‘E’, ‘B’ strings. The warmth that comes from the ‘G’ and ‘D’ strings adds to the groove of this lick. The rests at the end of bar one is crucial to the feel.

Funk Guitar Example 2 – Prince Style Double Stops

Prince is an undisputed master of all things music, including funk guitar playing. This example evokes the sound of ‘B’ Dorian, and with the addition of the mutes gives you an instant hook. Try to keep your strumming hand as consistent as possible and have confidence in your muting.

Funk Guitar Example 3 – A Major Double Stops

Major licks can be the most neglected element of all lead playing and often rhythm playing too. I like to break up major chords into mini double-stop chunks around the guitar and build funk guitar parts around them. The addition of the sliding double-stop is something you can bring into all your own examples. Try adding in specialist techniques, including slides, hammer-ons and pull-offs and bends into your own double-stop ideas.

Recommended listening

For classic Prince style single note funk guitar licks, I recommend buying the album “The Very Best Of 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]

There was Example 1, double stops around a B minor theme on strings 4 and 3, your D or your G string. Now, the double stops are a fantastic way to fill out guitar parts. They might be a 2nd guitar part with a bar chord part, or an addition, or they 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 pattern is really, really highly effective, and one you can move in many, many different keys. Just try and use the same shapes. This one here is a B minor, obviously those 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 to it as well.

There’s 7th and 9th frets there, and you’ll notice when I played this in the lick here, that I’m not moving my shape, I’m doing 7-9-10 on the top 3 strings to get this flavor here.

Keep your right hand, or should I say 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 bases, and sometimes dominant as well, especially in the funk land. But often, we don’t play much major things.

In this example here is around A major, just breaking up the guitar is 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. It’ll really add to your funk rhythm guitar playing vocabulary.

Take some time just to get used to the slides in the pattern, and 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’ve 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 SDPguitar. Also make sure you subscribe here, and there too.

Take care, see you soon.