Cory Wong: The sixfold path to six string mastery

As both a solo artist and contributor to wonderful world of Vulfpeck, rhythm guitarist Cory Wong has proven himself to be one of the funkiest players in the game today. He may once have focussed on the acoustic guitar, but his transition to the Fender Strat and to a style both slinky and razor-sharp, is owed in no small part to the rhythm guitar heroes who influenced his approach to electric playing. The path to six string mastery can be viewed as a sixfold one and Cory has graciously provided us with six super-funky, outright incredible tracks that exemplify his feelings toward disciple, single-note efficiency and clever arrangement. Check them out below and catch Cory Wong making his Band on the Wall debut on 1st March 2018.

Prince – I Wanna Be Your Lover

‘Prince’s tone and parts are so dry and clean! What I love about the guitar playing and also compositionally about this song is that there’s such a strong pop element throughout the song, but then it turns to the minor jam at the end that goes HARD! As far as guitar playing, it’s also a lesson in discipline. His layered parts all work together and are very thought out, but also feel very raw at the same time.’

Diana Ross – I’m Coming Out

‘I mean…come on….Nile Rodgers….sometimes you hear guys comping on a chord progression and it just sounds like they’re messing around having fun…Nile did that exact thing but made it a specific part. His time and feel are crushing on this tune. I love his steady 16th note groove. Also a very disciplined approach to his playing here. He makes it clear that what he’s playing is a specific part because of the way he approaches it every time the chorus comes around.’

Michael Jackson – Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough

‘This song hits me at my core and that groove makes me want to dance immediately. If you pay attention to the rhythmic elements of this song you’ll notice that: the drums/bass set up the basic groove, the keys take care of the sustaining glue, while the percussion and guitars get to dance around in the 16th note realm. This is one of my favorite examples of single note rhythm guitar!’

Earth Wind and Fire – September

‘This is another song that makes me want to get up and move! I love the interaction of the two guitars on this song. The parts work so well in the arrangement. The guitar in the left speaker helps push the rhythmic groove of the song, and builds momentum at the end of sections, and the guitar in the right speaker does some more of the stabby chord hits, along with the chord comp in the choruses. It’s great!! Another thing I’ve always admired about EWF is how well they were able to fit the two guitar parts in with such a big band.’

Cameo – Roller Skates

‘I’m not sure how popular this song was when it came out, but I found it when I slipped down a YouTube spiral (you know you’ve been there). The parts feel a little less defined than all of the other songs I’ve mentioned in this list, but it feels like a room full of guys having a blast jamming and having a great time.’

John Mayer – Still Feel Like Your Man

‘I had to add a modern song in the mix. Mayer is a legend. He’s got such great tone and feel. I love everything about the guitar in this song. The main rhythm guitar really feels like the “out front” instrument of the groove, and the other guitar parts that come in and out really feel orchestrated in the arrangement.’