James Brown Funk/Blues Style

by Joe Kataldo

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  • Hi guys Joe Kataldo here, in today lesson I'll show you some characteristic rhythmic and harmonic elements of James Brown Funk Style.

    James Brown Funk/Blues Style - 96 BPM

    A traditional 12-bar blues

    A9 x4

    D9 x2

    A9 x2

    and then the classic turn around:

    E9 - D9 - A9 - E9

    Theory Focus

    The 9th chords is actually a dominant 7th chord plus the 9th added.


    A C# E G = A7

    A C# E G B = A9

    all the blues is around two main chord shapes:

    A9 shape with the Root on the sixth string (not fretted) that actually miss the root and the D9, E9 shape, by many called the "James Brown Chord" that has it's root on the fifth string.

    Techniques Focus

    Check my other lesson on funk to get the basics of sixteenth notes funk-strumming.

    Pro tips

    Because all the chord shapes are fully transportable, you can easily move the whole set of changes in other keys simply shifting around the fretboard.
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