8 Bar Funk Improvisation Based On A Rhythm 2

In this lesson you will be learning a second eight bar improvisation in the funk genre, links to previous lessons on this topic as well as others you may find useful are linked at the bottom of the page. You will also need a copy of This Free MP3 that is used as a backing track for this lesson.

Note: The backing track starts with an eight beat count in.

This lesson will be very straight forward if you have covered the previous lessons linked at the bottom of the page, you just need to build you groove to fit the rhythm then come up with a couple of simple variations. The exercise looks like this:

The sheet music for the exercise

In previous improvisation lessons the first thing we discussed was structure and part placement. Obviously for this longer pattern you could just play the same thing twice, but that won't earn you as many marks as creating a full 8 bar phrase. What I would recommend doing is placing the 'B' and 'C' sections at the end of each line in the example shown above. That would give you an 'A A A B A A A C' type structure. If you haven't come across this pattern it would be well worth looking through the linked lesson.

As you can see you will be using the same ideas, 'A' being the groove, which you will build from the given rhythm, 'B' being a variation on that and 'C' being a fill. There is just more groove this time between each change in the part. In the lesson linked at the top of the page I discuss ideas for both constructing and varying a groove, and picking appropriate fills for the funk genre so have a go now at working out your parts.

Below I have included an example of what you could play here. Try making your own part before looking at my idea as this will be far more beneficial in the long run. When you have done that compare them to my examples.

Full Phrase 1

A full four bar phrase for this improvisation


  • Create your own part for the improvisation exercise presented at the start of this lesson.
  • Play your part to the backing track and see if you think it fits well.
  • Think about different ways you could approach this exercise.


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