Rick James' Super Freak breaks


Platinum Member
Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love Rehearsing The Stops (with apologies to Stanley Kubrick)

I have a gig this weekend and the last time I played with this band, they sprung a surprise on me and called out Super Freak. We had a complete train-wreck and I'd like to be prepared this time.

My question is, if you play this tune with a band, how do you count the breaks? Rather than try to mimic it perfectly, I'm looking for a simple way everyone can quickly nail it.

I think the stops are actually on the + of 4, but the way they play it, it kind of slurs into sounding like something else.



Platinum Member
Yeah, I'm hearing breaks on the + of 4 and then the fill in the last bar starts with an 8th note rest, then it counts +2+3+4 with a S-K-K-S-K-K pattern.

Really weird. The more I listen to it, it seems to be in good time. I thought it wasn't. It has the weird "4+" effect that the intro to Take It Easy by Eagles does. It starts to sound like 1, and then becomes almost impossible to turn around in your head. I'll rehearse it this way with the band and hope for the best!


Silver Member
If you tap you leg with quarter notes you with notice it doesnt match after the break.
There is a bar of 7/8 or 9/8 in there.