rules for funk rhythm comping

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rules for funk rhythm comping

Post by almann1979 » November 20th, 2013, 1:49 am

I have been having some success with funk comping using 9ths, 7ths,13ths, major triads, and sus chords (also throwing in some pentatonic or single note stuff).

I am finding it great fun - however, there are a couple of things nagging me that i cant seem to figure out by myself and google is of limited help in this area. By the way - everything I am talking about here is Major :-)

1) How exactly does the Eb7#9 fit in here? When i try to include it in my comping it sounds wrong. I am presuming this is due to perhaps a clash with the regular 9th chords I am using. So do i have to use either the regular 9th, OR the Eb7#9? I have read that the old hendrix chord is very popular in funk - but i cant seem to make it work :-(

2) I have read claims that people like Robben Ford and Ross Bolton are able to use triads from the i iv and v chord in their comping. So, if they start off with the E9, they can throw in triads from A and B major also. Well - when i try this, it sounds more junk than funk - but I have also seen articles that claim it is not the i iv v, but actually the vii i and iv chords. This would mean that in a comp based off E9, i would be using triads of D major, and A major - again I cant get this right. I think I have confused myself so much with this bit, i really need somebody just to give me a simple rule to stick to here :-)

3) Finally because funk stays on onechord for so long - can i treat each chord change as essentially a key change? In other words, should i be able to use all the same tricks and devices when i change to the A9, that I am using on the E9 - regardless of whether or not some of the notes here clash with the Key of E?

Thanks in advance for any help with these - I am sure that i will have more questions - but these are the ones that currently nag me.

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Re: rules for funk rhythm comping

Post by neematoad » February 14th, 2015, 12:01 pm

1) use this chord as the 5th of what ever key you're in to add tension. If you're playing an Amin throw the Eb7#9 every once in a while, specifically if you're transitioning to another chord. You can also comp with it and play in many different keys, since you could also call it a maj/min chord. E natural min, E dorian, E mixolydian will all have their own Interesting sounds.

2) There are no rules. Inversions can sound cool without changing what the bassist is doing.

3) Yes. Many jazz players play a different scale over each chord. The clashing causes tension which gets released when you resolve to a certain chord, this is what the b5th is for in the blues scale. Variety is the spice of life remember.

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Re: rules for funk rhythm comping

Post by donfully » April 13th, 2016, 10:25 am

As you have said - the 9th and #9th don't happily coexist. You can play them in succession. For example, play E7#9 then slide your pinky down to the regular 9th.

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