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How to Play Funk in Fingerstyle Guitar

Learn how to play funk from guitarist Adam Smale in this online fingerstyle guitar lesson from Howcast.


So when you're playing funk in a finger style manner, you have to keep in mind the style. Usually you're playing clean guitar sounds, no distortion, and you're playing quick muted notes often. Actually, now getting underneath the string, and really plucking it hard works great. [playing guitar]

Little things like that, that sound very percussive. Matter of fact, speaking of percussion, when you're playing funk guitar in a band, you're kind of one of the percussionists. You're matching yourself up with the drums, and doing sort of, not necessarily doing exactly the same as them, but you're matching with what they're doing rhythmically.

Let me show you like a little funky thing that you can do [playing guitar]. Notice I'm really plucking hard on the strings. And I'm starting here with my third finger on the A the seventh thread, and I'm sliding into it, and I'm going to C on the third string with my first finger, and I'm going up to a D with my third finger on the third string, that's producing a D note. I just give it a little bend at the end just to give it a little extra funk feel. [playing guitar]

There you can have that real percussive sound, and that's a really good funk technique to get down. Sort of chicken pickin' funk.

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