Learn to create funky rhythms using muted strumming
This simple riff will help you learn to use muted strumming to create an interesting rhythmic sound. This style of strumming is often found in funk and similar styles. The chord used in this riff makes it very easy to mute the strings. Simply lift your fingers off slightly so they aren’t pushing down on the frets but still touching the strings.
When learning this riff, start very slow and count the beat out loud. It’s highly recommended you learn to play this riff with a metronome as it will make sure you learn to play the rhythm in proper time.
After you feel confident playing this riff, you should try to come up with slightly different rhythms and strumming patterns. Keep the chord the same but change your strumming. Change how often you play the chords and when they are played. As an example you could play each chord on every off-beat or you could play a chord every second and fourth beat. Try as many different options as you can think of.
If you have a wah pedal, use it while playing this riff. The wah effect works very well with this riff and can be used to create exciting changes in the sound. Experiment with the wah and how you play it during the riff.
Here are a few things you can try after you learn this simple funky rhythm based riff:
- Try using different chords and come up with your own chords that fit the ‘funky’ sound
- Try using different effects such as a wah pedal, phaser, flange, delay, reverb
- Play the riff at different tempos and think about how the feel changes
- Try changing the rhythm and adding in triplets to you strumming
- Try adding some rests and use multiple chords
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