“Don’t steal this groove”: Vulfpeck’s Jack Stratton shows you a classic Nile Rodgers recording technique as he lays down a filthy double-tracked guitar part

He’s already shown us how he went about recreating Stevie Wonder’s I Wish electric piano sound, and now Vulfpeck’s Jack Stratton is taking inspiration from another legend, Nile Rodgers, as he lays down a guitar groove.

In the latest excerpt to be released from his Mixing Masterclass, Stratton brings the Cory Wong Strat-fuelled funk over the top of a very simple LinnDrum pattern: just a kick and a snare. He says at one point that this is something he’s been doing a lot recently - trying to create a groove based on a very sparse drum track.

He manages it, too: the loop is instantly funky, but what really sets it off is the double-tracked guitar part. This is where that Nile Rodgers trick comes in: when recording this second part, Stratton lets out “less harmonic information on the guitar” by pressing a little more more lightly on the strings and muting them slightly. “So it’s a double, but more staccato,” he explains.

After a bit of processing chat, Stratton picks up his Stingray and records a Verdine White-style bassline, leaving plenty of space for the groove to breathe. “That’s what we’re doing right now; that is an Al McKay kind of guitar part from Earth Wind and Fire, played on the Nile Rodgers sound. Now we’re going to get our Bernard Edwards bass and play a Verdine White style [bassline]. You can make these fusions happen in your own home.”

The end result is a loop so good that Stratton says that he may work on it further. Hence the title of this video: don’t steal this groove.

The Jack Stratton Mixing Masterclass is a seven-lecture course that’s designed to be followed completely in the box. It’s currently being offered at a 25% discount if you use the code BLACKFRIDAY. The regular price is $250. 

Find out more and sign up on the Vulfpeck website.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

Get over 70 FREE plugin instruments and effects… image
Get over 70 FREE plugin instruments and effects…
…with the latest issue of Computer Music magazine