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funk chord progressions?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by bassmonkey144, Jun 20, 2005.

  1. are there such things?

    to make a short story long, me and some random buddies from my highschool's jazz band decided to get together and form a funk combo-ish thing. so, we decided we would probably cover some stuff, like earth, wind and fire, commodores (who i just saw live, btw, great show.), stuff like that. BUT, we also decided, since most of us have a strong grip on music theory, we could write some stuff ourselves. So I sat down, and thought about this. Is there a certain chord progression that funk favors? I've also heard that bass players playing funk like mixylodian and dorian modes. Any input in general would be welcome. Thanks.
  2. Mr.Phil


    Apr 9, 2005
    Upstate NY
    I think just about any chord progression can be funky if you play it with the right feel...
  3. thewanderer24


    Apr 29, 2002
    SJ, CA

    Funk is a rhythm thing and a feel thing. You could do it over any chords you want.
  4. righto then. sounds good.
  5. actually, just a quick update. after consulting some higher sources i.e. my teacher, I learned a few things. funk can stay on one chord the entire song, ala play that funky music. or sometimes you can use a chord progression downwards that looks like:

    I7 bVI7 bVI7 V7

    or, dominant root,dominant flat seventh, dominant flat sixth, dominant fifth. It actually sounds quite funky, if you hit octaves, 5ths, and of course 7ths.
  6. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Funkiest stuff I ever heard had one chord... James Brown, etc...
  7. james brown is pretty funky. actually, on a side side note, adding to what i said earlier, i was listening to Flashlight, by P-Funk. And then it clicked, they were doing that chord progression. gasp. its like, somebody told me how to unlock the door.
  8. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Funk quite often uses 9th chords. A ton of funk songs are built around 9th chords. "Play That Funky Music" is all 9th chords from top to bottom, for example. "Sex Machine" is built around a 9th. m7 chords are used a lot in transitions, too.
  9. One chord funk is good. If you absolutely feel like you need a second chord, you want the IV.

    Everything is minor sevenths.

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