Funky Chord Tricks

Funky chord tricks refer to some of the slick, pro-sounding passing chords that can be used to improve the sound of your playing. These chords often make students stop and ask “Wait – what was that you just played?!” Often these chords sound too advanced or complex for intermediate students, but in truth these chords…

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Synthesizer Basics

“Synthesizer basics” refers to knowing the particular aspects of the synthesizer, why it’s used, and how it’s different from a typical keyboard or piano. At first glance it might seem like the synthesizer and the piano are basically the same instrument, right? Well, they certainly do look similar in terms of the black and white…

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Funk Improvisation: Hexatonic Scales

Using hexatonic scales can be a powerful tool when practicing improvisation. In funk music we often encounter tunes that are built on a couple chords that repeat over and over again. Sometimes we even have entire solo sections that use only one chord! What should you do if you are asked to take a solo…

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Funk Keyboard Tricks of the Pros

Funk keyboard tricks of the pros… well, not “tricks” exactly. There’s no “inside secret” that the professionals know and refuse to share with the rest of the world. But there is a little thing called “experience” – something the pros have and the advancing students need. Have you ever wondered why your playing doesn’t sound…

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Funk Harmony – Tips and Tricks

Funk harmony. That terms gets used a lot in funk keyboard lessons. It’s an important concept for all musicians to understand, but it’s especially important for keyboard players to understand. Why? Because when we hear the term ‘harmony,’ we naturally think of chords – and rightfully so. After all, harmony responsibilities in the form of…

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Creating Funky Chord Resolutions

In this article we’ll talk about creating funky chord resolutions. What do I mean by that? Well, a trademark of jazz-funk music is the harmony. Have you ever listened to a jazz-funk tune and thought “Wow, those chord changes sound really cool. But what are they?” Here we’ll explore some chord resolutions that step slightly…

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Funk Scales for Soloing

Learning some funk scales is a great way to start practicing improvisation. And the great thing about funk tunes is that they often use only a few repetitive chords, which means you can generate a lot of improvisation material from just a few scales. In this article we’ll focus on three funk scales that you…

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Funk Piano Chords

In this article we’re going to look at a few different types of funk piano chords that are important parts of funk playing. These funk piano chords can be used in various settings and genres so we’ll spend some time looking at the specific voicings that are being used as well as the theory behind…

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5 Jazz-Funk Tunes You NEED to Check Out!

As we’ve discussed countless times on this site and in various lessons, the language of jazz borrows and lends itself to many other genres of music, giving birth to categories such as jazz-funk, fusion, funk-rock, jazz-rock, smooth jazz, and on and on. The beauty of jazz is that it is more of a language than…

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Essential Funk Sounds

Most synthesizers come pre-loaded with hundreds of sounds, and it’s a lot of fun to scroll through different banks and experiment with all of the various sonic possibilities. I have had many keyboards in my life, and there is definitely a honeymoon period each time I get a new instrument. There is a lot of education in…

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