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    How 2 play like Prince.(Lessons)


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    How 2 play like Prince.(Lessons)

    Post by maxim9691 on Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:43 pm

    How 2 play like Prince.(Lessons)

    EVEN IF HE HAD NEVER touched a guitar, singer, multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, actor, and all-around international sensation Prince would still be a musical force to be reckoned with. Initially influenced by, and now counted equally among one-man orchestras, visionary composers, and musical cognoscenti such as Stevie Wonder, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington., the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Todd Rundgren, and Joni Mitchell, as well as soul and R&B juggernauts like James Brown, Sly and the Family Stone, Larry Graham, and the Jackson 5, Prince was recording one-man solo albums by the time he was 20. History already credits him with the invention of the Minneapolis sound and the restoration of funk to its rightful throne during the post-disco late '70s and early 1980s. Add to this a hit movie and three more decades of self-produced recordings and you've got one of the biggest empires in the music business owned and run by an Artist 100% in control of his own work. And he also happens to play amazing guitar.
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    From his 1978 debut For You, to his most recent 20Ten, Prince has
    blazed new trails with some of the rockingest, funkiest, and most
    adventurous 6-string excursions ever to go down on record. Spin any of
    his 35 discs from beginning to end (the way you're supposed to listen
    to a record) and you're in for a trip through a truly diverse
    soundscape of guitar styles and tones, from subtle to in-your-face.
    While too numerous to cover in full, an abridged cross-section of
    Prince's unique guitar stylings would range from sensuous, electric
    R&B ballads ("Crazy You" from For You, "Sea of Everything," from
    20Ten, "Purple Rain"),
    chicken-greased funk ("Sexy Dancer" from Prince, Party Up" from Dirty
    Mind, "It's Gonna Be a Beautiful Night" from Sign o' the Times, "We
    Gets Up" from Emancipation, "Mr. Pretty Man" from Rave Un2 the Joy
    Fantastic), and infectious dance pop ("1999" and "Little Red Corvette"
    from 1999, "Let's Go Crazy" from Purple Rain), to guitar-centric, Utopian rock and roll ("Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?" and "Bambi" from Prince; "I Would Die 4 U" from Purple Rain,
    "Anna Stasia" and "I Wish U Heaven" from LoveSexy, "A Million Days"
    from Musicology), forays into Beck/Hendfix territory ("Bob George" from
    The Black Album), Return-to-Forever-tinged jazz-rock fusion (most of
    The Rainbow Children and N.E.W.S.), experimental soundscapes that would
    make Adrian Belew's elephants envious ("Computer Blue," from Purple Rain;
    "Play in the Sunshine," from Sign o' the Times), and even an early
    homage to Jaco and Joni ("So Blue," from For You). The list goes on and

    While Prince notoriously avoids gear talk, for his 2004 live rig he
    still favored a few key axes, including his iconic '70s Hohner
    Tele-style solidbody, a custom Schecter named "Habibe," a Schecter-made
    replica of his original "Cloud" guitar built by David Rusan, an Ibanez
    George Benson model, and a Fender Stratocaster fitted with a bridge
    humbucker and Floyd Rose tremolo, plus a pedalboard loaded with a
    half-dozen Boss stompboxes, a Dunlop CryBaby wah, and a Dunlop
    Rotovibe, all run into Mesa/Boogie Heartbreaker amps feeding Recto 2x12
    cabs. (See GP 1/00 for details on Prince's rig ca. 2000.)
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    During a rare interview with GP in the July, 2004 issue, Prince laid
    his feelings about the state-of-the-guitar on the line, and his point
    still resonates today: "Kids don't learn to play the right way anymore.
    When the Jackson 5 came up, they had to go through Smokey Robinson and
    the Funk Brothers, and that's how they got it down. I want to be able
    to teach that stuff, because kids need to learn these things, and
    nobody is teaching them the basics. See, a lot of cats don't work on
    their rhythm enough, and if you don't have rhythm, you might as well
    take up needlepoint or something. I can't stress it enough. The next
    thing is pitch. That's universal. You're either in tune or you ain't.
    When you get these things down, then you can learn how to solo." U
    heard the man. So let's get to it.

    [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]While we're awaiting a Prince Master Class, let's get a thorough mental
    and physical grasp on exactly where each sixteenth-note--the basic
    rhythmic division for most funk grooves--lives within a single beat.
    Ex. 1a presents for your strumming pleasure a dozen equivocal and
    multi-functional Prince-approved chord voicings grouped into six pairs.
    Get to know them, and then choose one (or any single note, for that
    matter) and, at a comfortable tempo, apply it to Ex. 1b to confirm each
    sixteenth-note's rightful place in the groove. Observe how the silent
    alternate picking motion on beat two keeps you in sync with the tempo.
    This and the following rhythmic examples have been notated in 2/4 to
    conserve space, and I recommend the following practice regimen to
    reveal each motif's full potential. First, play each 2/4 example
    followed by two beats of rest. Next, play each example twice as written
    (with repeat) to create a full measure of 4/4 with each motif occurring
    on beats one and three. Finally, reverse the rhythm in each 4/4 bar in
    retrograde so the motifs shift to beats two and four. (Tip: Try playing
    each example using swing sixteenths at 85-100 bpm.) You can also
    combine both of these approaches and play each motif on all four beats,
    but some may get too busy. Remember, funk is about the space between
    notes as much as the notes themselves. Follow the same drill with
    Examples 1c through 1f, which isolate the first, second, third, and
    fourth sixteenths respectively, and play 'em 'til U own 'em. As simple
    as these rhythms might seem, your goal should be internalizing and
    learning to relate them to and recognize them in daily activities, such
    as walking, talking, dialing, or texting, as well as in the sounds
    around you produced by both humans and nature. Believe me, the funk is

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    Examples 2a through 2f double our pleasure with two accented
    sixteenth-notes per beat, and cover all of their possible rhythmic
    combinations within a single beat. Even with just two notes per bar,
    you'll surely recognize several of these as classic funk rhythms
    (Examples 2a, 2c, and 2e, in particular). Follow the previous drill to
    discover how each motif behaves on different beats. Be sure to spend
    however long it takes--hours, days, weeks, or even months--to drill
    these rhythms into your head, hands, and heart. Now ...

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    Examples 3a through 3d introduce a threesome of sweet sixteenths to
    the party, and they're anxious to show off their four permutations
    suitable for any given beat. (Tip: Ex. 3b is particularly seductive.)
    Once again, follow the previous drill and you'll be rewarded with a
    dozen funky rhythms, many of which you may already recognize. Master
    these important building blocks and you're ready to move on to some
    real funk-a-teering.

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    Play Like Prince

    Post by maxim9691 on Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:53 pm

    As crucial to any funk rhythm figure as what notes and rhythms you play
    is how you play them, and there are three basic funk attacks: the
    chika, the chank, and the choke. (Tip: See Jude Gold's lesson with
    long-time Prince guitarist Mike Scott in the May, 2007 issue of GP for
    details and origins.) The onomatopoeic chika, where every
    sixteenth-note not played is articulated with a muted-string "chik" is
    accomplished via fret-hand muting, be it a single note, diad, or chord.
    The staccato chank effect is accomplished by quickly releasing a chord
    with the fret hand immediately after it is struck. Mute, or "chik" on
    all six strings (the "chika" effect involves two notes) and establish
    the stream of uninterrupted sixteenth-notes in Ex. 4a, and then
    articulate the sparse rhythm integrated into Ex. 4b with either chords
    or choked single notes, as shown. Choked single-note lines generally
    involve heavily strumming all six strings while the fret-hand and/or
    thumb mutes everything except the note being played, and should be used
    when you want to really want to attack a part with a lot of muscle. Ex.
    4c illustrates the chank with choppy F7 chords played and quickly
    released on the notated sixteenth-note rhythm, which is itself a
    composite of Ex. lb in retrograde paired with Ex. 3b. (Tip: Try the F7
    voicing from the second pairing in Ex. 1.) Ex. 4d shows one more attack
    utilizing a trademark stacked-fourths Prince voicing (also found in the
    Average White Band's "Pick up the Pieces") that could be construed as
    either an Fm7add4 (or Fm11) I-minor chord, or a CT#9sus4 (or Cm11)
    dominant V chord, depending on the bass note it's played over. This
    loose-limbed, ring-y strum encompasses every sixteenth-note in the
    measure, and may be accented liberally, as in bar 1, or less so and
    embellished with a characteristic half-step rhythmic slide, as in bar
    2. Once you've got these attacks wired, apply them to your favorite
    rhythms from Examples 1, 2, and 3. When you absolutely own every one of
    them, the key to the castle of funkdom is to ...
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    Now that you've acquired the proper tools to craft endless funk figures
    of your own design, it's time to assemble these discrete one-, two-,
    three-, and four-note sixteenth groupings into funky-ass rhythm guitar
    parts that make you wanna shake your booty! Many of Prince's funk
    rhythm figures commonly encompass two bars and impart call-and-response
    phrasing within this time frame. Witness the familiar figure that
    emerges in Ex 5a when we add a second measure (consisting of Ex. 2a and
    Ex. 3b in retrograde) along with a second chord (F7sus4) to the F7
    motif from Ex. 4c. Get the idea? Keep it clean by chanking as written,
    or add chikas at will. Ex. 5b shows a two-bar single-note DT-based
    figure ideal for choking. (Tip: Try playing the last three notes in bar
    2 as staccato eighths.) Ex. 5c is a good example of funky
    call-and-response phrasing, and features an upper-register F#m7 move in
    bar 1 (that'd be Ex. 3c's rhythm in reverse) answered in bar 2 with a
    less accented F#m6-based lick (comprised of the rhythms from Examples
    2b and lb) played an octave lower. A slow, smoky, funk groove frames
    the contrasting skittery funk figure notated in Ex. 5d, which uses a
    single upper-register Bm13 voicing, plus its lower chromatic neighbor.
    Don't let those thirty-second notes throw you. Double the tempo and
    duration of each chord (and rest), and you'll see that this is simply a
    half-timed combination of the rhythms from Examples 3b, le, and 2b,
    respectively. Now that you've got a set of blueprints, let's ...

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    You'll find dozens of two-guitar funk rhythm figures that run
    tighter than a Swiss watch throughout Prince's catalog. These figures
    often overlap or share one rhythmic part, and then break off into
    opposing counterlines and counter-rhythms. This
    whole-is-funkier-than-the-sum-of-its-parts approach is evident
    throughout Ex. 6a, where Gtr. 1's choked, single-note B7-based
    octaves-and-b7 figure combines rhythms from Examples la, 2a, 2f, and 2d
    against Gtr. 2's sparse chordal part, which is set to the rhythm of Ex.
    1a and features the F#m6 voicing from Ex. 5c recast as B7. Ex. 6b, an
    A7-based two-parter, highlights the precise interplay between Gtr. 1's
    sliding fourth intervals and Gtr. 2's repetitive single-note rift
    (especially in bar 1) before both join in thirds harmony and rhythmic
    unison on beat three of bar 2. Sometimes Prince sounds like two
    guitarists at once (or even a horn section), a good case in point being
    the F7-based vamp in Ex. 6c, which appends the spot-on parallel
    major-third slides in bar 1 with bursts of funky, James Brown-approved
    F6/9 or F9 chords in bar 2. Now it's up 2 U 2 keep the funk alive.
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    As a soloist, Prince can unleash the fury along with the most furious shredders, but it's something he usually keeps in check until just the right moment, and which often surfaces as a climactic flurry of sixteenth-note triplets featuring some exotic, chromatic note choices, such as those in the Dm lick in Ex. 7a and the V-I (F-to- B[flat]) run in Ex. 7b. Pulling back slightly to straight sixteenths, a strategically placed rest early on in Ex. 7c turns this hybrid E minor/major pentatonic run into a fusion-y Jan Hammer excursion. Next, a mix of sixteenth-note triplets, straight sixteenths, and thirty-second notes ups the rhythmic ante, while an E whole-half diminished scale provides exotic melodic fodder for the almost Zappa-esque E7#9 lick in Ex. 7d. But just when you think Prince may have taken it too far out, he'll bring it home with something like Ex. 7e, a greasy, E funk/blues ensemble lick guaranteed to make Larry Graham proud and Bootsy flash his pearly whites. Experiment and see how many different variations of these riffs you can come up with, because making it your own, as the Artist says, is where it's at: "I don't like to talk about gear because people will go out and buy that stuff thinking it's going to make them sound like me, and that's not where it's at. Go get your own stuff and come up with your own sounds. If you need a path to follow, a good place to start is by listening to Ike Turner--he was as tight as they come--or James Brown, who is all about rhythm. Put any colors you've learned from Joni Mitchell on top of that and then you've got something." So, what are U waiting 4? Add a little Prince to the equation and the rest is up 2 U!
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    Re: How 2 play like Prince.(Lessons)

    Post by CKJ505 on Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:37 am

    I will have to look at this topic in more depth, a fair bit to chew on.... [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

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    Re: How 2 play like Prince.(Lessons)

    Post by Ymaginatif on Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:57 am

    In one ear, out the other, I'm afraid.
    I've never been able to take these theoretical music-lessons in. Something about me and any form of musical notation don't mix ...

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    Re: How 2 play like Prince.(Lessons)

    Post by maxim9691 on Wed Mar 30, 2011 7:44 am

    Ymaginatif wrote:In one ear, out the other, I'm afraid.
    I've never been able to take these theoretical music-lessons in. Something about me and any form of musical notation don't mix ...

    I hear ya Y, it's harder to get the feel for a piece than just to see it on a page.

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    Funk Physics

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    Re: How 2 play like Prince.(Lessons)

    Post by Funk Physics on Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:44 am

    Thanx , am taking this in and hoping it sticks Idea Shocked

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    Re: How 2 play like Prince.(Lessons)

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