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Flat 7 Your Way To Basic Funk

by Chris Tarry
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So your jammin with friends and the guitar player yells..."Let's play something funky! Like James Brown!" Panic, fear, and worry grasp ahold of you like a deer caught in the headlights! What do I play? Funky? Isn't what I've been playing funky? Who's James Brown? Why does the drummer look even more worried than me?

All joking aside I'm going to impart a little secret. This secret is known as the b7. Whats the flat seven? Well it's the seventh note derived from the Mixolydian scale and used over a dominant 7 chord but we really don't need to know that right now. All we need to know is how to find it on our bass.

Ok, lets say that we are in A. The b7 always lies one whole step below the root of the chord (in this case the root is A). The b7 in A would be G.

Check out the example in below and notice how I'm only playing G's and A's. The sound of that G defines a strong funk bassline.

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