Song Seedlings 15 & 16: a Funk Workout in Em & a Propelling Rock Riff in Bm

This simple single-note funk pattern has a lot of potential for variations — I’m demonstrating some of them here, by harmonizing some of the notes, and change how I would harmonize. When practicing a riff like this, it’s very important that it doesn’t sound rushed, so pay attention to the space between the notes.

Now this is among my recent favorites and I already developed chorus and other sections to go with this riff. I love writing modern rock riffs in Bm because I can create gnarly heaviness with just fretting the bottom two strings on the same fret, no down-tuning necessary. Pair that with a 5-string bass and it can get H-E-A-V-Y. Note then that the root of the chord is on the A string. The D string is used for the moving part, but don’t add it for the main chuga-chuga, because that adds the 3rd of the chord and it won’t sound right with either major or minor 3rds.

I may play this with more metal-like distortion and have palm-muting going, but I am also liking the smooth and warm Stratty tone here, too, which sounds both modern and classic at the same time.

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