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Thread started 10/12/17 2:37pm

bigbrother

Prince's rhythm guitar playing

When Prince's guitar skills, style and influences are discussed, it seems to me that people tend to focus more on his lead/rock playing and Santana/Hendrix influences. However, whose influence do you hear most in his rhythm playing - especially his funk chops? I've heard some people say Nile Rodgers, Ernie Isley and Eddie Hazel but I find each of their styles to be quite different from Prince's.

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Reply #1 posted 10/12/17 5:37pm

TrivialPursuit

Nile has a very specific way of playing, incorporating part of a melody or hook into his rhythmnic playing. It's far from the usual chicken-scratch funky we're used to hearing on things like "Controversy" (especially live). It's very distinctive. You know right away that whether it's Chic, David Bowie, or Durain Duran that "Oh hell that's Nile Rodgers!".

I don't necessarily hear Nile's direct influence on Prince not that he isn't in there.

"Despite everything, no 1 can dictate who u r 2 other people." - Prince |
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Reply #2 posted 10/12/17 6:45pm

jjam

Prince's funk rhythm playing is a derivative of what you'd hear on James Brown/Sly Stone tracks, usually mainly using the top 3/4 strings. Nothing wrong with that, as he's easily one of the best rhythm guitarists ever, with a superb feel.

Anyone who references Nile must be deaf. Nile's a great player but pretty much only plays in a straight 16ths feel - even when Prince does this, there's always a swing to it. What's particularly unique about Nile is that he uses all 6 strings in his riffs - that's not at all a typical "funk" thing. I was lucky enough to be on a tour a few years ago that Chic were on and it was a revelation to see how he played the parts to classic tracks such as "Good Times".

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Reply #3 posted 10/12/17 7:24pm

GustavoRibas

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jjam said:

(...)Anyone who references Nile must be deaf. Nile's a great player but pretty much only plays in a straight 16ths feel - even when Prince does this, there's always a swing to it. What's particularly unique about Nile is that he uses all 6 strings in his riffs - that's not at all a typical "funk" thing.(...)

- Yes, its true. I dont recognize Nile in PrinceĀ“s playing. Like you said, he borrowed from Sly and James guitar players, and I think he praised the Jacksons guy too.

[Edited 10/12/17 19:25pm]

Peace
Gustavo Ribas
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Reply #4 posted 10/12/17 11:57pm

Boydie

Nile's playing has Jazz influence with some very interesting voicing of chords

Prince's playing feels much more "organic" and "natural", which I really like and it makes it difficult to identify clear influences - it is just him feeling the music so could be funky, jazzy, soulful, rocky etc. depending on what he wants for the song

What he can do with a few strings (Controversy always springs to mind) is incredible
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Reply #5 posted 10/13/17 12:38am

hhhhdmt

I second the Sly Stone/James Brown one. Prince mentioned just how big an influence these two were in his formative musical years and he continued to cover or reference their material throughout his career.

P was an amazing rhythm player. I think he had a lot of influences but ultimately, he had his own individual style as well.

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Reply #6 posted 10/13/17 4:18am

RJOrion

Prince rhythm guitar playing style was closer to Freddie Stone (Sly & the Family Stone) or Jimmy Nolen (James Brown) than Nile Rodgers...Nile Rodgers rhythm parts were busier than Prince's...most times Prince would leave more space in his rhythm patterns (like Party Up or Love 2 the 9s) and progressions...while Nile Rodgers rhythm patterns are continuous..
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Reply #7 posted 10/13/17 5:06pm

PeteSilas

i always thought his rhythm playing was the most unique things he did, it could be picked out as he played on the time albums, he had his own style as far as i know. I think some of the people are focussing on the funk style that he played which of course is james brown type stuff but i tend to think of what i hear on When You Were Mine, 777-9931, stuff like that, you could tell it was him playing.

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
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