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Guitar lesson: 5 funk rock chords all guitarists should learn

(Image credit: Dimitri Hakke / Getty)

Guitar skills: With dissonant chords and aggressive rhythm playing, the harder side of blues-rock overlaps into funk. The ‘7#9’ shape (shown here in F#) below is known as the Hendrix chord thanks to songs like Purple Haze and Crosstown Traffic. And, although it looks like computer code, C#7#9b13 is a reasonably simple variation. Try not to be intimidated by the name and just practise the shape.

(Image credit: Future)

(Image credit: Future)

Use all five chords in our funk rock rhythm riff

If your blues jams get funky try keeping your chords sparse and adding a few single notes, as we’ve done here. 

The single-note lines in bars 1 and 3 are phrased around the chord root notes, which helps them ‘fit in’ sonically. F#, B and C# are a I-IV-V in the key of F#, so treat these as your core chords and think of the other shapes as variations on the theme.

(Image credit: Future)

(Image credit: Future)

Check out more of our chord lessons