How to Play “Kid Charlemagne” by Steely Dan – Amazing Rhythm Guitar Riff Lesson

Hey, how’s it going this is Jon McLennan with Guitar Control, I want to give you a guitar lesson today in the style of Steely Dan’s “Kid Charlemagne”. The entire band is amazing on this track and the guitar part is a really great worthwhile study and you can see how he uses jazz shapes and great chords for playing funk on the top four strings.

Click on the Tabs button to follow the chords and tabs.

I start off with my first finger on the 8th fret of the 6th string then I put my third finger on the 10th fret of the 5th string, middle finger right on the 9th fret 3rd string and then pinky on the 11th fret 2nd string, so this gives you a C7. Now I’m only playing those notes that I’m fretting then you go to an A minor chord, now what I’m going to do first is to try and keep all these notes on four strings just to keep it real and consistent. So I’ve got A minor 7, 5, 5, 5, then I go to a G6 which is 5, 4, 5, 3, then an F 6, 9, which is 7,7, A, A, and last to a B flat 13 which is 6, 7, 8, one finger on each note so all these chords for the most part like this one here that they don’t have a lot of times real low strings being played because you’ve got a bass player you’ve got keyboards you’re just trying to stay on the upper strings to kind of stay out of the way so basically each chord is one measure long one and then what I’m doing is playing the 16th note patterns with my right hand so this will be like a motor it’s just going through the changes and then as I feel I actually push so it’s real just about you know that kind of ticking sound those clicks than it is getting the cord clean and you’re more of playing a rhythmic rule then you are like a harmonic roll but then when we do and when we look at those actual chords they’re are really sophisticated chord.

You know it’s complex harmony, and don’t forget to keep practicing those shapes and just keep going until each one is so smooth and effortless you don’t have to think about changing between them there’s also an amazing guitar solo on this track you should check out Larry Carlton is the guy who played it and be sure to hit subscribe on our You Tube Channel and we’ll see you in our next video lessons, thanks for watching.

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