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This is a print version of the full tutorial, with audio and animated keyboards, available at →

Funk groove 5

This example includes a couple of glissandos, a cool effect. To play a glissando, brush across the keys lightly, reducing the velocity towards the end of the gliss. (You can see the colour red gets lighter on the animated keyboard as the glissando ends.)

I think I played these two glissandos with my pinkie and fourth fingers respectively. Depending on the context and direction, you can play glisses with your thumb, back or side of your hand, or even fist.

For real-world examples, Benny Green plays some cool glisses on his solo tune, ‘Green’s Blues’ (2001), and in this filmed performance of ‘Love You Madly’ from 2021.

As ever, it’s useful to try these grooves in all keys (in this case the other 11 minor keys), as it means you’ll be able to jam with other musicians no matter what key is called. Certain keys — D minor, E minor, B minor, for example — are more likely to crop up, depending on who you’re jamming with, but it’s a good exercise nonetheless.