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Funk scales

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by BobBolt1, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. Can anyone give me direction how to play the funk scales demonstrated in this video, beginning around 0:50? What scale is he using? Is there a book that explains this? Instructional videos?

  2. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
  3. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Hi @BobBolt1 !!

    Can you clarify: Are you saying that
    1. You've learned how to play this Vulfpeck song, but you don't know the name for what you're playing?
    2. You can't play the song yet and you think, if one of us gives you a hint (like the name of the scale) then you will have an easier time learning it?
    Two very different questions. ;)
    I'd start by asking myself, is there a particular note that stands out to your ear as being "home base" or the "root"? That is the first question as far as figuring out what key the song is in.
  4. Funk - IMO - is rhythm. Any scale or Key, Major, Natural Minor, or mode like say Dorian could be used, it's more the feel than a specific scale, pentatonic or mode.

    Listen to the rhythm, get the feel, then go play.

    Yes to listening for the tonal center for the key - run your G string up the neck until what you are doing on the G string and what the video is doing sound good together - when that happens you have found the tonal and or modal center. Look down at what note that happened on. That's your scale/key. Go from that...
  5. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    He's not playing scales he's changing his selection of notes to support the chords.
    If you want to emulate it, start by asking yourself what the chords and chord tones are.
    ba55i5t, lowplaces and MonetBass like this.
  6. Thanks for the reply, Mushroo. To my ear, the bass player is using some variation of a major scale or emphasizing certain notes and intervals that make it sound funky. Like he's playing the 1-5-b7-9-11 notes in the scale.
    I'm not trying to learn that song. I want to "borrow" some of his techniques re note choice for when I want to get a funky sound in any song I'm playing.
  7. Thanks for the reply,
    Thanks for the reply, mambo4
  8. Thank you, MalcolmAmos
  9. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Which major scale? C major? Bb major? A major? Which note jumps out as being the tonal center? Maybe a note that is frequently repeated?

    And apart from the tonal center or root, which other notes are emphasized? Write them down, then we'll use the list of notes to figure out which scale it might be. :)
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
  10. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon

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