There are some styles of American music that shine given the chance to utilize a horn section. However, it can be hard to come by a band that actually employs horns. This is why guitar players often learn to imitate a horns section. And, as a side effect, learning to do this can greatly enliven one’s ability to comp and execute rhythm fills.
In his course, Horn Section Riffs Guidebook, Steven van der Nat gives you the tools to effectively emulate the rhythm, dynamics, and harmonization of a horn section.
Here are are 6 free horn section riff guitar lessons from the course. For the full course, check out Steven van der Nat’s Horn Section Riffs Guidebook on TrueFire!
Funky Triads: Intro
Now let’s focus on playing with horns. In a lot of R&B and soul bands from the 60’s you had horns and guitar working together incredibly well. Just listen to some Otis Redding recordings for example, with the fantastic Steve Cropper on guitar. He had a way of playing simple, but highly effective riffs that worked incredibly well with the horns in the band.
Funky Triads: Performance
Now, I’ll perform this horn section riff for you up to tempo. Next, we’ll break down what I’m doing.
Funky Triads: Breakdown
Let’s break this down. Notice the call-and-response nature of this riff.
Full Section: Intro
For this concept, we’re going to mimic a full horn section. Therefore, we’ll play parts in three registers: our baritone sax in the low registers, our saxophones or trombones in the middle registers and trumpet in the high registers. Next to that, we will have to keep an eye on dynamics. We will also alternate between finger picking and using a pick.
Full Section: Performance
As you can hear, this is a lot of work for one guitar. So, buckle up and let’s play!
Full Section: Breakdown
Again, let’s break this one down. We’ll take a look at each of the motifs separately, and then tie them together.
Digging these free horn section riff guitar lessons? Check out Steven van der Nat’s full course, Horn Section Riffs Guidebook.