How To Play A Great Funky Riff On Rhythm Guitar In Different Ways

Welcome back! In this article I wanna share with you some great insight to rhythm guitars.
I really like Rage Against the Machine because the guitar player, Tom Morello, was very unique
(he still is but they are not really playing together anymore). Anyway, he would often combine
chords with very melodic riff lines. Most of his chops were built using the pentatonic scale,
though when he would solo he would expand his chops to different scales like the minor scale
or harmonic minor.

I personally think his style is very influenced by funk music. He is like a modern tougher version
of funk, slightly heavier but yet groovy.

What I wanna show you today is a great riff I came up with the other day when I so inspired by
RATM. This type of riff are so useful because they can be use in any modern pop/rock situation,
let’s check it out:


It is basically built on a Am7 chord, so you can basically dump your boring chord and make it
sound way cooler like we just did. And I know what you are thinking “this is only rock oriented”,
but no; you can totally play this in an R&B situation or any Pop situation. You just have to play it
with a cleaner sound and groovy it more, maybe adding some ghost notes or muted notes in

And this is not the only chord you can alter; you can also do something very similar to a D7


Cool right? We’ve got ourselves a little chord progression, and it doesn’t end here. You can
combine these two and maybe alternate the ending as well! Like this:


I mean the possibilities are endless you know? You can keep adding or changing stuff and if
you like it, that’s what matters. You could even reverse the pattern and add a little Riff at the
beginning of the bar and the play the chords at the end of the bar; give that a try and let me
know how it goes.

Well this is all for today! I hope you enjoyed this lesson and please remember to check out our entire collection of videos at:

How to play your favorite songs from the 60's & 70's on the guitar


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