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funk keys and bass chords

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by evil_revolution, Apr 16, 2002.

  1. help plz u savtangs

    i need funk keys/scales and fingerings for bass chords

    help me im lost on a dessert island and all i have is my acoustic bass...and a really hot chick...ok im dreaming
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well, I could say that funk is all about groove, feel and rhythmic placement in the bar, nothing to do with particular keys as such...but I'm more inclined to say - go back to your desert island and carry on dreaming!! ;)
  3. ok maybe just bass chords

    oh do tell
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I would suggest looking at Michael Dimin's (one of the resident pros) website and then buying his book "The Chordal Approach".

    All the details are around here - you only have to look!
  5. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Michael Dimin is excellent, plus there are two chord books worth checking out. Either of these books will teach you more than you will ever need to know on that desert island. Or if you stay there a long time and master one or the other books, when you are finally rescued, you will be a chord demon and even Michael Dimin will be impressed...ah, but maybe not the girl.

    Chord Studies for Electric Bass by Rich Appleman and Joseph Viola, Berklee Press

    The Bass Chord Method by Jeff Berlin

    I'm sorry, I can't find my Berlin book and I had my hands on it just yesterday. The name I gave you may not be exactly accurate.

    You may be able to find these books at:


    I checked my "Bass Grimoire" which is an encyclopedia of chords and scales. There is no "funk key" listed and I have never run across one. However, you are not the first person to ask that very question here. I remember that same question was posted here a year or so ago.
  6. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin Inactive

    Dec 11, 1999
    Now that I removed the "wacky mountain bike" from my home page (please, don't ask) -

    you can find The Chordal Approach at


    Thanks for the plug guys

  7. Funk Warts

    Funk Warts

    Jun 13, 2001
    London, UK
    Here's some basic advice I'd give you. I'm no musical genius, but I'd say both Mixolydian and Dorian modes are useful for funk - get your money's worth out of those 6ths and b7ths.

    As for chords, it's quite hard to get them to sound very funky, I know when Flea plays chords they tend to be in the more driving rock tracks e.g. One Hot Minute. However, in my opinion, this basic shape for a 7 Chord sounds good played around the 6th, 7th, and 8th frets, but that just might be the tone on my guitar: (in this example it's a E7 chord by the way)


    Alternatively, you could try some slides up to the 3rd and b7th, while your guitarist friend plays an E7 or Em chord of some description (how about E7#9?)


    Don't linger on the first part though, as soon as you hit the notes, slide up.
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    Primary TB Assistant

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