A stuck up white boy fakin' the funk

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by TheFrizzleFry, Jun 19, 2001.

  1. TheFrizzleFry

    TheFrizzleFry Guest

    Nov 21, 2000
    Stinktown, Pa, USA
    Man, I am unfunky :( , can you help me? Are there any specific scales that are funkier than the rest? I know what the first reply will be, "Buy a book on funk", problem behind that... I am incredibly poor. When people look at me, they are like HOT DAMN, that kid is poor. So if there are any free online lessons or something you could recommend, it would be greatly appreciated.

    P.S. I will give... nothing... to the person who can name where I got the subject line from.
  2. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Funk is about a feeling not a scale or a series of notes. It's a pulse and you know it when you feel it. Yeah, I know that's telling you a whole lot. :D


    Listen to some funk, and sa mo funk, an sa mo funk, an sa mo funk! Then get funky... ;)
  3. ... and despite what the almighty JB says, play with a metronome!

    You can do what you want with 2, 3 and 4 but the 1 better as hell be on. :D

    Also, don't think that funk is all slap and pop. Fingerstyle funk is just as important if not more so.

    Practice your fingerstyle by plucking with your index finger and immediately muting the string with your middle finger. Then vice-versa. When you nail that, you're on your way!

    - Dave
  4. TheFrizzleFry

    TheFrizzleFry Guest

    Nov 21, 2000
    Stinktown, Pa, USA
    But I listened to "Flashlight" By Parliment like 8 times, and I still ain't funky...
  5. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
  6. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    What defines "funk" rhythmically is the subdivision of each beat into four parts. To become proficient at funk bass playing, you need to develop the ability to syncopate your lines by accenting the offbeats while still feeling the downbeats - especially the "1" - as strongly as if they were hitting you in the chest with a hammer. There was an old thread about this a while back that was pretty good....if I can find it, I'll drag it up from the basement and leave it on the landing.
  7. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Man, it's dark down there! Ok, check out the thread called "Is there such a thing as a Funk Scale?" in General Instruction.
  8. Funk is a feeling, a combination of rhythm and note selection. You can start off by learning the funkiest basslines you have ever heard by playing with your CDs. Next part is to find a drummer that can play funky. Dont worry if you cant get it right away though man, there are a lot of other styles of music and practice makes perfect.

    As an example, there is a local band that advertises themselves as a nine piece 'funk' band w/horns and everything. I got real excited to go see them (cause I work with the drummer). So I checked them out, and they were just not funky at all. They were decent players that had the chops, but lacked the soul and groove.
  9. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Here's some suggested listening:

    James Brown: You can usually find a funk compilation CD.

    Sly and the Family Stone: Larry Graham, very funky.

    Graham Central Station: See above.

    Stevie Wonder: Talking Book, Innervisions. Great albums. Natural Wonder (Live).

    Tower of Power: 16th note funk.

    Earth, Wind, & Fire: "You're a shining star..."

    Parliament: Whole 'nother kind of funk. Bootsy is the physical personification of funk.

    The Meters: Zigaboo understood funky drumming better than most anybody else.

    James Jamerson: Funky as he wanna be.

    The Carpenters: Seriously not funky. Not even close to funk.
  10. Also,...
    Jaco Pastorius is all about the funk.
    Victor Wooten - solo stuff
    Marcus Miller
    Check out my CD when comes out this summer :) Its gonna be funky as ^%$&
    Bootsy Collins
    Wilson Pickett

    Drummers are a great inspiration for funk too. Figure out what the drummer is doing then count it out to find relationships between the drums and the bass.
  11. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    sa also gotta eat plenty red beans and rice :D
  12. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Yeah, I re-visited that other thread...I really like Chris' explanation/demo of 1/16th note Funk; IMO, that's a great exercise anyone can practice, just move the BOLD-type "notes" to various places. Don't forget about playing some notes staccato, others legato, etc. Don't ever underestimate SPACE! ;)

    So, speaking of "space"-
    There's also 1/8th note Funk; try this 2-bar figure:


    In bar 1, Beat ONE is played.
    In bar 2, Beat ONE is not played.

    Something else to help you "learn" feel; pick up a drum book(Frank Biggs, Gary Chaffee, etc) & play ONLY the kick drum pattern; then play ONLY the snare pattern...then play BOTH parts together(your bassline starts gettin' busy); later, omit notes/beats &/or DISPLACE notes/beats(that is, SHIFT some/certain/all beats to the "left" or "right", time-wise).
    What's that mean? Look again at bar 2...see how that bar is all UPbeats(the "&"s of beats 2,3,& 4 are played)? Those notes "coulda" been played on the DOWNbeats(the 2,3 & 4). In fact, try playing that figure both ways...hear the difference?
  13. Maybe you are just being funny, but kickin' your self in the ass, over whatever, doesn't make sense to me.
  14. LowfreqB


    Nov 10, 2000
    United States
    I would add "follow that drummer!" If your drummer(assuming you jam with one) plays a constent 1/2/1/2/1/2 beat, then fire him/her right now. She/he is boring everyone.

    Following that bass kick will help your time vs space technique. Ex 1 & A 2 & A 3 & A 4 & A the kick can land on any of these notes, learn to hit those and put some fills in between, remember to land on the 1.

    If you dont jam with a drummer, then look for a jam along C.D. Names dont come to mind right now. They come in all types. Excluding all but one piece of the band, plus a C.D. that has all instruments. It will help you improvise and come up with your own style.
  15. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    If that was directed my way...sorry for the confusion; IMO, beat displacement & subdividing is pretty rudimentary stuff for rhythm section players.
  16. No Jim, not at all. It sounded like Frizzle was pretty hard on himself.
  17. TheFrizzleFry

    TheFrizzleFry Guest

    Nov 21, 2000
    Stinktown, Pa, USA
    Nah, I'm seriously about as funky as Woody Allen. But I got an idea on what could help me get out of this funk... funk that I'm in... I gotta go make another thread.
  18. wynnguitars


    Jun 20, 2001
    try starting out with some octaves hit the low string 3 times then pop the g string do it with choppy feeling or technical term stacatto.
  19. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    Got Spellcheck?
  20. Does Frizzle owe you $10 for that?