Watch the Purple: 7 online guitar lesson by Chris Buono from Guitar Cubed

The first order of business here is to check out the interplay between Guitars 1 & 2. Be sure to have your chart handy and scroll down to the double staff where both parts are laid out for you to follow along. Guitar 2 lays down two downbeat-chopped closed triads--on beats 1 and 2--that bounce off Guitar 1’s opening quarter notes’ worth of Cm7 16th note strumming. The initial Gm/D comes in on the downbeat along with the Cm7 in Guitar 1 and then just as the Cm7 finishes it’s four consecutive 16ths, Guitar 2 is there ready and waiting with an Eb/Bb triad on the downbeat of 2. Continuing the coolness Guitar 2 plays a slid-into b3rd from G-Bb on the downbeat of 3 for the first two 16ths, which is immediately followed by a Cm7 stab in Guitar 1 on the upbeat of 3 (the 3rd 16th). And, remember that’s also where the syncopated kick drum pattern is making nice with the bass line (in the words of the immortal A-Team leader John “Hannibal” Smith, “I love it when a plan comes together”). Finally, on the downbeat of 4 Guitar 2 plays a similar slid-into b3rd motive, this time C-Eb, that instead of handing off the baton to Guitar 1 with a stab the 3rd 16th actually links up with the final Cm7 of bar 1 at the 2nd 16th. This interplay continues throughout Purple and will do well in bringing your minor chord funk jams to another place.

Purple benefits not just from rhythm, but also chord substitution--a subject we’ve yet to check out in Guitar Cubed. We already know the overall vibe in bars 1-4 is Cm while bars 5-8 is Ebm (with a b5 twist). To literally extend that sound, Guitar 2 makes use of superimposed closed triads. For example, the chord tones in Gm/D (bars 1 and 3) when analyzed from a C root are 9, 5 and b7 giving you a Cm9 sound. As for the Eb/Bb you get a more inside m7 with the chord tones spelling b7, b3 and 5 and the Cm6 chords (bars 2 and 4) just firm up the Cm6 in Guitar 1. Jumping over to bars 5-8 things get a little more complex sub wise. The D+ chords, when looked at from an Eb root are: 7, b3 and 5 (with the following enharmonic equivalents considered: F#/Gb and A#/Bb). While the Ebm/Bb is easy enough to understand you have an F#dim/C in bars 6 and 8 that bolster the Ebdim sounds in Guitar 1 (once again with the following enharmonic equivalents considered: F#/Gb and A/Bbb).