Feeling the funk

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by santucci218, May 20, 2007.

  1. santucci218


    Jan 26, 2007
    how do you guys practice making up funk bass lines whether it is slap or fingerstyle. not to brag, but i am honestly an amazing slapper, just with no groove. my teacher describes it as "thrash punk slap" and i dont want that! i want catchy funky riffs. i notice that most slap bass lines that are slap are generally sparse and a lot of mutes. how can i practice this stuff more? can you suggest some songs too maybe?
  2. gkbass13

    gkbass13 Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2006
    Southern Vermont
    you arent an amazing slapper if you dont have groove.

    check out some marcus miller, practive muting wiht both hands while slapping, slow down, and try different intervals and time signatures when slapping.
  3. santucci218


    Jan 26, 2007
    lol pwned. thank you though. Are there any specific marcus miller songs i should be looking for?
  4. quiey


    Feb 16, 2004
    Also in Pittsburgh connect with Paul Thompson or Dwayne Dolphin. There are some other funky players in the burgh, but these are two that teach also. Go out and find the funky players around town. Listen to all the songs on this thread and learn most of them.http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=314342&highlight=Funk+101

    Music is a language and to learn any of the dialects you have to listen to them first.
  5. gkbass13

    gkbass13 Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2006
    Southern Vermont
    "power" "panther"

    those area coupel solid tracks.

    if you want to learn to groove check out meshell ndgeocello
    amazing bass player, and her band is tight as all hell!
  6. santucci218


    Jan 26, 2007
    thanks a lot guys!
  7. Man, play with a drummer and slow down. Amazing slap out of time is not amazing slap. Sounds like you are being taught by a guitar player.
  8. santucci218


    Jan 26, 2007
    lmao, i am.

    i mean..i can double thumb and stuff. just bad phrasing for slap i guess...
  9. just put your fingers in the microwave for about 4 seconds. works for me.
  10. EricF

    EricF Habitual User

    Sep 26, 2005
    Pasadena, CA
    A little Larry Graham in your diet couldn't hurt.
  11. santucci218


    Jan 26, 2007
    you guys are helping much, thank you.
  12. mattblissett


    Jul 18, 2006
    use a metronome or a drum machine

    JAUQO III-X Inactive

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    Do you have any sound bites of your playing ?

  14. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Dude, forget about all other slappers until you have digested some Larry Graham. Study the basslines to "Everyday People" and "I Want to Take You Higher" by Sly and the Family Stone for a week, then write a 100 word essay on why they're the greatest two slap basslines in the world. Then you can move onto learning "Brick House" by the Commodores, and then, of course, "Get the Funk Outta My Face" by the Brothers Johnson.

    Once you have digested the reasons why these fairly simple basslines are so awesomely funky and great, and you learn how to play them with that level of commitment to the funk, then and only then can you consider yourself funky.
  15. Yngwie 4String

    Yngwie 4String Inactive

    May 3, 2007
    Auburn Nebraska
    The funkiest bass player Ive ever heard doesnt slap at all.

  16. mandrlane


    Dec 22, 2006
    In general sounds like you may want to get to know funk in general. I learned funk/groove when I really got into 70s funk (NOT DISCO)... James brown, parlament, Barkays, Shotgun, Earth wind and Fire, Betty Davis... to many to mention.

    Was once told by a very funky dude... what you play doesn't make it groove... it's what you don't play.

    Seriously, start going to flea markets and buy up all the funk records you can!
  17. +1000

    One of my favs.
  18. JKT


    Apr 30, 2007
    Buffalo NY
    Endorsing Artist: Barker Basses
    As others have mentioned, listen to Marcus, Larry Graham, Victor Wooten, Bootsy Collins- but more importantly, analyze some famous funky bass lines. If you're really talkin funk instruction on a remedial level, take something simple like the hook in "Shakey Ground" by Delbert McClinton and practice that. Then do what EVERYBODY does no matter who they are- steal it and incorporate it into your own bag.

    I slap quite a bit. I often wish I could slap like other players but I don't. I slap like me. And that's ok. It doesn't define me, it's just part of my bag.

    I have to slap my bass.
    Sometimes she's naughty

  19. Deacon_Blues


    Feb 11, 2007
    Add Louis Johnson to your list too. Check out his playing on at least Quincy Jones' "The Dude" record (Ai No Corrida, The Dude etc.). Another slap song that perhaps isn't too funky but still a great one and well worth checking out is "Call Me Al" by Paul Simon.

    Groove is a combination of timing and feel. Just remember timing doesn't only mean how accurately you can hit a note. Equally important is the length of the notes.

    Remember to leave some room for other instruments to fill out. The bass is not the only instrument that makes the funky feel. If you play too much, it is harder for the other musicians to know what to play and it will sound boring to the audience.

    Although I think I've never tried it in practice, I'm sure you can create a "funky groove" with only hitting the first quarter note in a bar, and leave the rest to the other instruments. Try that. It might not be too fun in the long run to play this, but it should show funk is not only about a funky bassline, it's about the whole band being funky together - drums, guitars, keyboards, horns, vocals etc. It's far from a one man show.
  20. sir juice

    sir juice

    Sep 11, 2006
    London, England
    slapping is not always necesarry for funk

    i gave up slapping a little bit a go, mainly because i found that whenever i had to come up with a groove, i focussed more on getting a good slap line than a good groove itself

    now i only play fingerstyle when i funk and i have more groove than ever