Watch the Uncle Rick online guitar lesson by Andrew Ford from 50 R&B Bass Grooves You MUST Know
Here is a funky line with almost a rock element to it which Rick James was known to do, fusing those two styles. The line has a pop feel but also has some slightly unusual movement within the chords and does not put a lot of emphasis on the root of each chord. Also the chords fall on different beats than the bass roots for much of the pattern which gives it a quirky but interesting flavor. This groove is basically 2, 2 bar phrases. The first beat of each 2 bar phrase is emphasized giving it the heavy one, funky element. We are playing the same D, A, B, to C motif in the first phrase of each bar and the same root, G note on beat 3 of measures 2 and 4 but the variation happens over the C and Am chords. We use the major 3rd, E to get to the A in bar 2 and we use the major 7, B in bar 3. Over the Am we use the 5, E to get to the G chord in bar 2, and we use the 2, B in bar 4. The whole line should be played aggressively.