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A Mouth Full of Rhythm

Let’s face it – 99% of a guitarist's life involves backing up a singer or playing a major part in being responsible for the groove. This skill often comes short compared to the weight which we lay upon being able to play a decent solo.

I just came across a few, kind of funky guitar parts I wrote down some time ago. So, I though I give you a 'Mouth full of Rhythm' and show you among others some quite technically challenging guitar parts.

The general idea here is to focus on the rhythmic feel / groove and on how these patterns are made up, so that you can incorporate them into your playing and make them part of your repertoire.

Well, it is not easy to feel the groove with just me demonstrating the examples without any drums. For a few examples I did play in a bit of bass to give you a better perspective of how bass and guitar can work together.

Bite 1: A Starter

Pretty straight forward 16th note rhythm over A7. Mixes minor pentatonic with some Blues scale ideas. Note that the a and e notes you hammer on double the bass line (1 octave higher). I added a spares version of tablature but I do recommend using mainly the notation part as a reference (in a real life situation you will never see any tabs ...). Tempo is 120. Pay special attention to the scratched / muted rhythmic patterns marked with an X in the notation.


Bite 2: Disco Queen

If you have ever played in a Top 40 band you for sure have come across such Disco style guitar parts, mainly involving a constant straight 16th rhythm (going on for ages :-). The chords in our example are Dm, C and Bb triads in root position, all played on the top three strings. Tempo is again set to 120.


The Chords

The Rhythm

Bite 3: Look-Ka Py Py

What sounds like an Indian dish is one of the many great tunes by 'The Meters', which is one of my favorite bands when it comes to groove. Below is the main theme of the song. It's a 16th note shuffle feel based around a G7 chord - again, mixing minor pentatonic with Blues ideas. Interesting is that this part utilizes all 6 strings. Also listen to how bass and guitar work together. Tempo is around 84 bpm.


Bite 4: Funky Gospel >>