Funk/R&B with Nomad

Genre and Style Guitar Course from Michael Ripoll

Michael "Nomad" Ripoll dives deep in to the Rhythm & Blues, Funk, and Soul genres that were made popular by artists like Earth Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder, and James Brown. Nomad's approach is to take techniques and ideas you may already play in other genres and look at how paying attention to subtle nuances can make all the difference when you're gettin' funky! Enjoy dozens of tips, playing ideas and other licks and apply them over spot on, genre-specific backing tracks.

30 Lessons

Complete course with step-by-step lessons and practice examples.


Course filmed with 6 cameras for the perfect angles.

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Tabs & Info

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Full Course Breakdown

"Strummies", "Skankin'", "Cop a Feel", "Wiggles 'N Worms", "Cuttin' Heads"... Learn these FUNKY, groovin' ways of playing using techniques you've probably already practiced. Double down, and learn to look at the subtleties in your playing in a whole new way. Then, take simple ideas and learn how to apply them to Rhythm & Blues, Funk and Soul. Remember: "It's got to be FUNKY".


Series Introduction

Michael "Nomad" Ripoll dives deep into the rhythm & blues, funk, and soul genres that were made popular by artists like Earth Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder, and James Brown. Nomad's approach is to take techniques and ideas you may already play in other genres and look at how paying attention to subtle nuances can make all the difference when you're gettin' funky. Enjoy dozens of tips, playing ideas, and other licks and apply them over spot- on, genre-specific backing tracks.

4:42 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty


Nomad's Toolbox

You gotta have the tone! Nomad breaks down his sound, talks about amps, and plays with his effects collection as it relates to funky music. He stresses how important your clean tone is when authentically representing this genre.

17:23 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty



Nomad sets up a chill vibe with his first of many genre-specific techniques. He explains and demonstrates an almost therapeutic way of strumming. Practice "strummies" with the provided soulful progression and backing track while enjoying your favorite refreshing drink! Pay attention to dynamics and the subtleties shown in this lesson. They make all the difference!

18:12 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty

View this Lesson


Quick upstrokes...percussive can call them anything you'd like. "Chanks" are a hallmark stylistic technique found in rhythm and blues, funk and soul. Practicing with Nomad's custom backing track will help drive them into your fingers like nothing else can. Eat 'em up!

10:02 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty



Nomad discusses the importance of simple, muted rhythm playing in rhythm & blues. Then, he demonstrates how to combine groovin' "chugs" with accented "chanks". Apply these ideas over "Sunshine On My Side," Nomad's custom backing track.

13:31 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty



Nomad discusses how to add chord extensions inside of and outside of basic chord forms to add a "pretty" texture to an R&B groove. You'll also learn and apply some phrasing ideas as well as volume pedal techniques.

21:28 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty



The funkiest and most fundamental techniques of all is here! Learn how to groove, how to imply a chord with "skratchin'," and play with and without wah over the backing track.

10:15 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Skratch 'n Stab

Building on the popular "skratchin'" technique discussed in the last lesson, Nomad demonstrates creative ways to incorporate chords into the groove that mimic a horn section. This is a must watch lesson for funksters!

8:01 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty



The FUNKIEST and nastiest off all techniques in the funk world..."skankin'"! Learn what it is and how to apply it over a groove. Also, learn how to add licks and double stops within a "skankin'" riff.

13:22 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Chicken Pickin'

Ever listen to an R&B tune and you hear this anonymous groovy guitar in the background that seems to peak out just enough to let you know that it's still there? That's "chicken pickin'". Learn the art of laying back into a groove.

16:06 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Curly Q's

Learn a trademark R&B-style way of embellishing common chord forms. Once you understand the concept, start groovin' with it!

23:59 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Inversions From Mars, Part 1

You've seen him use them in all his lessons so far. You've heard the effect they have on simple, funky rhythms. Now you get to learn all about how to incorporate inversions into your soul playing. Learn how to play different triad shapes up the neck and how to add common extensions to basic shapes for the ultimate FUNKY sound!

11:41 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Inversions From Mars, Part 2

Nomad continues his study of inversions by discussing different kinds of chords, pentatonic scales, and the Dorian mode. He also provides a backing tracking track for your practicing pleasure.

13:53 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Wiggles and Worms

Nomad looks at a specific way of using slides and vibrato that emulates the sound of some of the early mono synths used in funk and R&B. Play it clean, or funk it up even more with the wah wah!

10:30 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Slippin' & Slidin'

Sliding -- such a basic concept for most. Once again, Nomad presents the nuances of this technique that are true to R&B. Dig in, keep an open mind, and jam along!

9:27 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Rubber Band Man

Nomad deconstructs another basic technique - the bend. Learn how the great funksters and R&B artists use bends in their playing.

10:42 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty



Another trait of classic funk and R&B is the rhythmic use of octaves. Nomad covers the right and left hand techniques needed to funk up your octaves and works in unison bends as a way to spice up the groove.

18:01 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


3rd Theory of Revolution: Rhythm

Nomad pays tribute to one of the great funk masters of our time, Prince! Nomad discusses how to tastefully blur the lines between the major sound and the minor sound in a very "Prince-like" fashion. This lesson focuses on rhythm playing. A special lesson on applying this concept to lead guitar will follow!

9:09 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


3rd Theory of Revolution: Lead

Nomad continues in Prince-like fashion and for the first time in this series, he cranks up the gain! Practice blurring the lines between major and minor tonalities with some singing sustain. Play it loud!

7:01 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


In The Pocket, Cop A Feel

Nomad discusses the unique role that guitarists have in Funkdom. He demonstrates what it means to be locked in with different parts of the groove and how to take the feel of one instrument in the band and inject it into your own guitar playing.

12:48 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Puzzle Funk

Skratchin', skankin', strummies...If you've been keeping up with this series, you've learned a lot of genre-specific subtleties that really make funk and R&B what it is. This lesson discusses how to put the different pieces together with other musicians in a way that lets each player have their own unique place in the groove.

15:38 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Cuttin' Heads

There's not a lot of soloing in funk or R&B, but when there is, you gotta step out and go for it! Nomad goes through 4 basic lead ideas that draw from what has been taught in the series so far.

9:08 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Cuttin' Heads: Advanced Concepts

Nomad turns it up even more with some modal and fusion-influenced ideas to set your lead playing on fire!

10:06 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Far Out - Wah

You've seen and heard him apply the wah in the funkiest of contexts during this series. In this lesson, Nomad highlights a few of the ways the wah effect is most commonly used in Funkdome.

4:33 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Far Out - Delay

Nomad once again deals with the 'nuances'. Delay is used in too many settings to count. In this lesson, you'll hear and see how the funksters and R&B masters use delay in both a musical and special effects context.

7:21 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Far Out - Effects Wrap Up

Nomad looks at how even more effects are used in the funk genre while demonstrating how some of these unique sounds work in a practical context.

3:33 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty


Acoustic Guitar with R&B

Nomad takes the next four lessons to discuss the unique role that the acoustic guitar plays in R&B. Learn some basic fingerpicking and interesting takes on basic chord forms.

15:21 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Slaps & Curly Q's

Build on the basic R&B-tinged acoustic vibe Nomad established in the previous lesson by working in a few familiar flavors. Take it slow, and pay attention to the nuances!

6:07 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Percussive Techniques

Nomad changes up the acoustic groove a bit by introducing several percussive techniques that will take you deeper into the R&B / soul acoustic flavor.

7:44 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty


Acoustic R&B: Put It All Together

Take all the techniques and chordal ideas you learned in the previous three lessons on the nuances of acoustic guitar in R&B and apply them to a tasteful backing track!

8:00 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty

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  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Playing since 1984
  • 133 lessons at JamPlay
Michael "Nomad" Ripoll is a consummate professional in the music industry with a list of credits and accomplishments that span decades. Best known as a masterful guitar virtuoso who has played with a seemingly endless list of the most respected names in the music world, Michael has always strived to exceed the boundaries of a traditional musician’s career by proactively seeking and securing opportunities to excel in other facets of the industry.

While he remains an artist and singer-songwriter first, Michael also operates as the Musical Director for world renowned artist and friend Kenny ‘Babyface’ Edmonds, has launched an innovative online format for guitar instruction, and has even contributed to major motion picture film scores. Working with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Sting, Natalie Cole, the American Idol Tour, the Pussy Cat Dolls, India Arie, and countless others, Michael is regarded as one of the industry’s most sought after session players and touring musicians.

Michael earned the nickname "Nomad" after he started posting pictures and videos of his travels around the globe on his website and YouTube. Follow Nomad everywhere his guitar takes him here at JamPlay and at
Reviews & Feedback 93/100 with 271 ratings

All great, very well done.


Nomad, Chris and DJ are the best






He's one of the best on this site


fantastic would love to see nomad on live chat teaching


good teacher, easy to understand, and well demonstrated


great job


Kit so we'll explained, so many questions answered


He's a very enthusiastic techaer. I like that he skips a lot of BS and that he present his views in a nice and informative way. Of course if I wouldn't have liked funk I wouldn't have checked out the class. But it was a nice surprise especially


The Nomad is cool. The Nomad is cool. He not only plays very well but is able to put it all in understandable terms for a newbie like me. I would love to be able to play like him. One day! 'i


I really dig Nomad's style with his explanations!


Very good introduction , I thought this was one of the best intro tutorials on jam play so far.. very good information in Nomad's toolbox, it is stuff like this I appreciate and look for before digging into any lesson. I like Michael's specific


I would like to submit badges for this series.


its playing to have a good time


It’s nice to get player excited about playing by showing what cool riffs are possible in the genre.


Learned a lot. Thanks


Love that groove!


Yes, cop a feel


nice insight into the use of the volume


nice to see the soft sounds


Nomad is a pretty cool,teacher also:-)


Nomad is fantastic! best funk course ever!!! thx JamPlay!


Nomad’s techniques and teaching abilities are amazingly great. I’ve learned lot from his lessons but I fill wanting to back and learn more from him again because there are sums of tricks in his lessons and I don’t wanted to miss them out. T


Perfect balance between challenge but doable. And it groves so well, I can play this all daylong


really helps to stretch out possibilities to explore.


So into his funk :-)


The Tone Tips are Good.


This was an amazing course!


very well explained