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How can I "Funk UP" Chameleon

Discussion in 'Tablature and Notation [BG]' started by Joaquin, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. Joaquin


    Nov 4, 2006
    What are some good riffs to add to Chameleon.....I got to Funk it up!!!!!!
  2. Listen to the original version, it's pretty funky. Otherwise understand the chords and scales that are relevant to the song, add some syncopation, preferably with a good amount of sixteenth notes and try slapping a little. Good luck!
  3. obimark


    Sep 1, 2011
    That depends are you playing the actual "bass" part (which is a real high bending part that repeats) or are you covering the "keyboard" bass part (ie the famous walking one)? Watch a live video and you will see exactly what I am talking about. What most people think is the bass part to this song is not, it is Herbie Hancock playing on keys. The part the bassist plays is cool in its own way because it is a real high "lead" type part, except for the end of the song when it changes... IME, either recorded part is pretty funky already, but guess you could pop a couple notes here and there...
  4. halfjackson


    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston, MA
    Check out the version on the live album, Flood. Plenty of tasty licks in there.
  5. Clark Dark

    Clark Dark

    Mar 3, 2005
    you are correct !!! so many people I know are unaware of that little fact. but playing around and changing up that high part is the route I take.
  6. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...have you considered "Wiggle Waggle"?
    The 'bass figure' is not as iconic as "Chameleon"...more room to take liberties perhaps?
    Last time I played "Chameleon" was in a bass-drums-guitar-sax 4-tet. I was "stuck" with the synth bass part...I was supposed to take a "funky"/groove-related "solo" over the verse pattern, though. I don't solo...so that's all that was gonna come out of me anyway.

    If you're thinking along those lines-
    Keep the original groove going in your head while trying to play a 'funky' drum rhythm with your bass...don't blow your wad in the 1st 2-4 bars. Low strings can = the kick, higher strings can = the snare, etc.

    FWIW, it's been eons, but I recall liking Maynard Ferguson's version, too. His "Spinning Wheel" version (in 3?) is also cool, IIRC.
  7. zfunkman


    Dec 18, 2012
    As mentioned earlier. Learn the real bass part. Also learn the bass part to the middle section; its way funky; the work with Jackson and Johnson is incredible.
  8. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    The funk is in the spaces. The best way to UN-funk something is to put a big fat bass lick where a space should be. With funk music, less really is more in most cases. It's the parts all stacked on top of each other but somehow there are still little tiny moments of space in between. If you start feeling the whole song, rather than just what you are playing, you will get it. Take a solo sometime during the song if you just have to let out your really cool riffs. Other than that, don't fix what ain't broke.
  9. obimark


    Sep 1, 2011
    you could use the "loop station" play the main synth bass part one time, then let it loop and start playing the "real" bass part over it, might be kind of cool if you didn't have the keyboard bass... Just a thought.
  10. mbeall


    Jun 25, 2003
    Play the B section for a change if you want to separate yourself from the rest of the crowd.