Watch the Mortal Kombat online guitar lesson by Chris Buono from 30 Funk Rhythms You MUST Know

"Mortal Kombat" is your first funk rhythm, which is inspired by a tune called "Doin' It to Death" from a James Brown side project called The J.B.'s. The band featured key James Brown cohorts, most notably Jimmy Nolen – the archetype of the funk rhythm guitar style. Released in 1973, this tune continues to make its rounds in jam sessions a million times over.

While a percussive playing technique known as chanking or scratching is commonplace in funk rhythm guitar, take notice of its absence. In fact, I'm not going to have you play a single percussive element until Rhythm 4. Another funk rhythm guitar staple is 16th notes, and those are nowhere in sight either. "Mortal Kombat" makes use of the top three strings of the obligatory dom9 chord, the use of space, and swings hard.