Now let's take a look at an example using sixteenth-notes. Since sixteenth-note rhythms are commonly associated with funk music (which heavily rely on syncopated, sixteenth-note phrases), we will break down an example which uses this James Brown/Jimi Hendrix approved E7#9 chord:
When attempting to decipher and execute sixteenth-note rhythms, it is again advisable to use the "wrist in constant motion" approach, which we previously applied to the eighth-note examples. This time, instead of keeping your picking hand moving up and down in steady eighth-notes, you will keep your hand moving up and down in a constant stream of steady sixteenth notes 1
e + a 2
e + a 3
e + a 4
e + a, etc.). Be sure to only strike the strings where an attack is desired. Again, be sure to keep your wrist relaxed and your attack light, but firm.
Now try the example. Use your fretting hand to mute the strings where indicated. Let your fingers retain the chord fingering shape, but lift them just slightly enough to release the pressure and mute the strings, so they are just laying across and touching the strings enough to keep them from vibrating into audible notes. This one will take some time, but if you take it slow (change the playback tempo if necessary) the rhythm should set in and begin to feel natural, allowing you to forget the counting and just feel
the meter and the rhythm. Don't forget that we are dissecting rhythms as a means to an end: to break apart the phrases into easily digestable bits that will allow us to analyze, hear, and utimately execute and feel the rhythms without counting. Check out Jimmy Nolen's playing with the James Brown band to get some authentic schooling in sixteenth-note funk rhythms.
After analyzing the example, you will find there is either a chord stab or a muted note(s) on every sixteenth-note, with the exception of a sixteenth-note rest on the "+" of beat 4. You should percieve the syncopated accents of the chord stabs (not the mutes) on these bolded counts (try to think of the mutes as sixteenth-note "fillers" which serve as a "reference" to the underlying sixteenth note feel):
+ a 2 e
+ a 4 e
Don't forget to loop the sequence and get funky! I feel good! Take me to the bridge!