Help on FUNK

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by bassAddict05, Feb 17, 2005.

  1. bassAddict05


    Jan 1, 2005
    ive been making some nice Funk grooves out of my head. But i want to expand on funk.,can anyone give me some tips on how to be a better funk player , i heard dorian scale is good......but i dont see how, anyways thanks.
  2. heavyfunkmachin


    Jan 21, 2005
    i would say rithm its an absolut basic, because once you know the scale your playing in, you can actually play "wrong" notes if you hit them in the right time (off time actually) and because funk its, as james brown said, just like playing all instruments like they were drums...

    so work on polirithms,mixing up 3/4 and 4/4 and stuff like that... and try some 6/8, 3/8, 12/8, 6/4... ng the drums and so on, and once you´ve got all the complex rithms and you´ve learn how to "elude" strict scales and you can impress your people with amazing chops remember that GROOVE must be your moto, your only objetive, no mather what do you do to get to it. i think some old school funk will help with theese, so try motown, stax, check out dyke and the blazers, james brown and then some sly and the family stone, funkadelik, parliament of funk... but i woudnt get too much into slap funk untill you can play it really nice figerstyle because it might sound impresive and somehow stop your progres... well that happend to me, might not happen to you...

    ow! and dont listen only to the bass part when listening to funk, keep your ears on the kick drum and the charles... well just dont miss a beat...

    hope this helps
  3. heavyfunkmachin


    Jan 21, 2005
    when i said

    12/8, 6/4... ng the drums

    i meant

    12/8, 6/4... shifting tempos, double beating the drums...
  4. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    I can't make funk grooves out of my head, but I can make animals out of my hair. Yes.


    Jan 25, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    A short list of funk bands might be helpful:

    The Brothers Johnson
    Con Funk Shun

    Since the audience I primarily play for probably never heard of these bands, I'm free to "borrow" licks, and suddenly I'm a bad mofo!!
  6. Bayou_Brawler

    Bayou_Brawler The most hurtful thing ever realized

    Oct 23, 2003
    Ann Arbor, MI
    get james brown's "20 all time greatest hits" and learn to dance. then you will be funky. :hyper:
  7. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    The notes definitely aren't what matter. For instance- in the bridge of "cold sweat" - odum is playing in C while the guitarists are playing in C and F. Bernard Odum also emphasized The major 7th on the bottom against an F7 chord on "I got the feeling." Very dissonant, but very cool- altough it was used more as a passing tone on "I Got the Feeling."

    Other essential funk/funky stuff-
    Tower of Power
    Sly and the Family Stone
    Earth, Wind, and Fire
    Miles Davis in the 70s (esp. Jack Johnson and On the Corner)
    Stevie Wonder
    Fela Kuti
  8. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    I would suggest to you that if you approach it from a modal or scalar direction, chances are your comming out of the shoot wrong.

    Think rhythm. Don't think about the note, think about the space between the notes. Really good funk is sparse as hell.

    Try listening to some Salsa music. Those guys can get more out of a root, fifth, octave then anyone on the planet.
  9. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    It comes in all shapes, sizes, colors
    Textures and falvors
    But don't be fooled
    Because you've got the old school
    And the new school
    You see there are no rules.
    You've got your discount
    Dog mount funk
    You've got your half-price
    Pete Wiess funk
    In fact you've got a little bit of your
    low brow
    High brow pee wee pow wow funk
    You've got you uneducated funk
    As well as you educated funk
    And trust me when I tell you
    That funk comes in between.
    Indeed the funkiest Jew I ever knew
    Displayed the funk that was always true
    It ain't no mystery
    It's just a little bit of history
    Funk's been around as long as earth
    In fact funk's as old as dirt.
    Defunkt P-Funk rock 'em
    With the we funk
    The madder the monk
    The fatter the funik
    The bigger thebeat
    The quicker the feet
    My friends come funky
    With the funked up heat
    Never gonna be no torn up relic
    I gotta lotta love for Funkadelic
    Breakin' it up shakin' up your frustration
    You gotta get with Graham Central Stations
    Layers and layers and layers
    O fthe musical mayors
    My o my Ohio Players
    The crazy love I know
    Comes from that Funk-O-Joe
    Dr. John's around, that I know
    P-Funk is the bomb I'm on
    So be good to my ear-hole.


    Jan 25, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    ....I swear I saw Sir Nose D'Void - O Funk just leave the building!
  11. George Clinton said something like funk is just the blues, sped up.
    As far as notes, it's pretty much the minor pentatonic with the b5 added in. But like everyone else said, rhythm is way more important.

    The Dorian mode has the b3 and b7, like the pentatonic minor.

    A lot of funk songs are I-IV jams. Like blues, the chord may have a major third, but the minor third will be used in leads. Or sometimes, they just go ahead and play the minor chord. But the b7 is pretty much there all the time. (But not literally all the time)

    So you can get the vast majority of funk with this assumption, get familiar with the sound, and familiar enough to hear when something else is happening instead.
  12. this thread came up in a search on 3/4 time i was doing, and I have to tell anyone that lands on this that I text-searched "meters" on this page and it didn't find a single mention.

    If you wanna learn to play funk, study the meters.

    The guy that mentioned the space between notes has it nailed. Its all about sitting in the pocket. Playing one note is called for more often than you would think.

    No one creates that pocket like the meters.
  13. azfryguy


    Feb 2, 2010
    Queen Creek AZ
    Groove, you have it or you dont.
  14. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    I'm disappointed, I came into this thread hoping someone had posted the Bootsy video.

    edit: For the heretofore unwashed: