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Funk vs. Groove - What's the Difference?

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by WillCO, Oct 5, 2005.


  1. WillCO

    WillCO An ounce of perception, a pound of obscure.

    Mar 9, 2005
    Denver, nee Austin
    Here are two styles that probably bump up against each other, but the borders aren't clearly defined.

    What constitutes funk music? Groove music? What makes the two different, and who are some players and bands that exemplify each?
     
  2. Juneau

    Juneau

    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    I think its about feel more than anything really. Groove can be smooth, while funk generally can not. Groove can be funky though. I think its sorta like most funk is groove, but not always the other way around.

    For funk Id say The Meters, George Clinton, The Headhunters.

    For Groove id say Soulive, MMW, and Particle.
     
  3. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    To me, the word "groove" doesn't point to an specific style or genre. IMO, it's about all those little (or maybe not so little) nuances in your playing that move your audience (like making them feel like dancing). You can play a bunch of notes in the right place, with a good tone and in tune, but if your playing is lifeless, there's no groove. I always quote this short bass lick as an excellent example on groove (Paul McCartney on bass). The notes are very easy to play, but giving them the groove that Sir Paul puts on them may be a really tough call for more than one player. James Jamerson, Jaco Pastorius, Bernard Edwards and Francis Rocco Prestia are other terrific "groovy" players. For examples of great groove with a minimalistic use of notes, I'd say Tony Levin and Donald "Duck" Dunn.

    "Funk", instead, is about a style of music which features a solid 4/4 beat with heavy syncopations played over that. There are other key components, but for a brief description I think those two are the most important. Tower Of Power (with Rocco Prestia on bass), Rose Royce (Lequeint "Duke" Jobe), Red Hot Chili Peppers (Flea) are just a few examples to check.

    I think now of a phrase that summarizes my point of view on this difference: "You can groove with no funk, but you can't funk with no groove" (did anybody say that before? :bag: ).
     
  4. Funk and groove are not mutually exclusive. Not only can they co-exist, they exemplify all that is just and righteous in the world.


    Groove to me is keeping the line in that feel good spot. Sitting in the music just right with ease of flow.

    Funk is it's own reward.
     
  5. Flanders

    Flanders

    Oct 30, 2002
    Reno, NV
    A sig worthy statement if I've ever heard one
     
  6. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Groove IMO, is the glue (or lube) holding/kicking the song along.

    Funk is the style or technique that gives the music its "soul" quality.
     
  7. The Clap

    The Clap

    Jan 5, 2004
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Wait, groove is a style of music now? I think Alvaro Martín Gómez A. has the right idea
     
  8. WillCO

    WillCO An ounce of perception, a pound of obscure.

    Mar 9, 2005
    Denver, nee Austin
    Excellent response Alvaro. I'd like to check out that lick, but the link isn't working for me. Is it live?
     
  9. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Depends... do you get up... or get down?
     
  10. Juneau

    Juneau

    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    I get down, then I get back up again!
     
  11. Dan1099

    Dan1099 Dumbing My Process Down

    Aug 7, 2004
    Michigan
    I get up, get up to get down.
     
  12. I just jump around.
     
  13. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Hmm.. it should be working since I just uploaded the file and YouSendIt links work for one week. Here's a fresher one:

    http://s65.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=1X79MZHKRO8IQ3CV0Q6S0FTF1B

    Please let me know if it's OK or not.
     
  14. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

  15. GSPLBASSDC

    GSPLBASSDC

    Jan 25, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    The way I understand it and grew up with:

    "Groove is the pocket Funk rides in"

    Some good funkmeisters to listen to:

    Parliament/Funkadelic
    Digital Underground
    Lakeside
    Slave
    Dazz Band
    ConFunkShun
    Brick
    Cameo
    Rick James
    Brides Of Funkenstein
    Booty's Rubber Band
    Brass Construction
    D-Train
    Average White Band

    The list goes on and on and on..................

    btw, I get up on the down stroke (some of y'all will get that ;))
     
  16. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Beat me to it!!
     
  17. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    In fact, I think that the groove is the soul of bass playing (and this applies at least to any rhythm section instrument). ANY competent bassist should be an example of a great groover. Without the intention of sounding "radical", I think that a bass player may have chops and lots of other assets, but if he/she has no groove, maybe should consider switching to a different instrument. Chops are about technique. Groove is about music, which should be first and foremost.
     
  18. de la mocha

    de la mocha

    Aug 20, 2005
    NEW JERSEY
    Groove is how the song makes you move!

    Funk is the style of music!

    A lamborgini (sp) is the Funk

    Going 135 Miles Per Hour in the lamborgini is the groove!