I know it's been asked before - gimme a list for funk, R&B, Motown

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by richntiff, Jun 30, 2017.

  1. I know I've seen threads on this subject - a lot of them- but I'm having a hard time finding them. So, I apologetically ask for a little guidance from my bass brethren. I'm mainly a rock and country player. Lately, I've been feeling pretty stagnant, and want to expand my knowledge. I hear these tasty funky jazzy lines, and I go 'I WANT TO PLAY LIKE THAT!!!' Where is the 'best' place for me to start? I also see some gig opportunities if I can expand my repertoire to include more 'feel good party music' that goes over well at festivals, music in the park type things, etc. I know it's a lot of ground to cover - that's why I'm at a loss as to where to even start, I didn't start listening to this stuff when I was a kid, like a lot of people seem to have, so it's not familiar territory for me. I literally went from "B-I-N-G-O" to "Van Halen/Scorpions/et al...

    FWIW - I'm also going to start taking lessons - my theory knowledge is good enough for what I do now, but I know it needs to be stronger for me to advance. I'm a busy guy with 3 kids, 2 bands, etc - so don't have hours to devote to practice, but I am going to try :)

    Any guidance - even a link to the threads I couldn't find - would be much appreciated!!!
  2. lowplaces

    lowplaces Got Punch ?

    Dec 20, 2015
    Louisville Kentucky
  3. B-line

    B-line Inactive

    Well, all those genres cover a LOT of territory. Even w/in Motown, there's a lot of different styles. If "Standing In the Shadows of Motown" is still around, give it a look. A very comprehensive study of the great James Jamerson who defined what R&B/Funk are about, and for all purposes WAS Motown.

    There are so many variants: One man's FUNK may be another man's watered-down pop e.g.
    I am going to list some artists that I feel took Funk to the max. Listen to their recordings, and dig into what the Bass is doing.
    Remember: these are only a few:
    The Bar-Kays
    The Isley Brothers
    James Brown
    The Meters
    I could list more, but those guys still keep me busy, even after lots of years playing the Funk.
    Jhengsman likes this.
  4. Thanks guys!
  5. Digging the Meters - that's some good stuff!
  6. B-line

    B-line Inactive

    George Porter IMO defines what the bass groove is, and The Meters have some tracks that are funky to the X-treme!

    Don't know what you;ve been listening to; they're all so good, but
    "Cissy Strut" is almost the perfect intro to the genre;

    then try:
    "Just Kissed My Baby"
    "The World is a little bit under the Weather"
    "People Say"
    "Fiyou on the Bayou"
    "Talkin 'bout New Orleans"

    Many more needless to say. They do rock.:cool:
    Oddly likes this.
  7. lowplaces

    lowplaces Got Punch ?

    Dec 20, 2015
    Louisville Kentucky
    I haven't heard their newer stuff but the old Mother's Finest material is great if you like Funk Rock.

  8. wikkid

    wikkid Guest

    Apr 10, 2017
    Wow. There are so many great ones to choose from. Some of my favorites to play (and still favorites):

    Streetlife by the Crusaders
    Earth Wind and Fire - Get Away, some earlier songs are more jazz than pop

    Cameo (for Funk) classic hits include "I just want to be"
    Slave - Slide
    Lakeside - Fantastic Voyage
    Dukey Stick - George Duke
    Anything by Larry Graham (the man was funky before funk came into being) Bass lines with Sly and the family Stone and his group Graham Central Station give your thumping/slapping skills a workout.
    James Brown - Too many funk hits to mention, however some stand outs I like are The Big Payback, Mother Popcorn, Cold Sweat and Give it up turn it loose
    Stevie Wonder - I Wish, Higher Ground, Superstition
    Average White Band - Schoolboy Crush, a Love of Your Own
    Tower of Power - What is Hip?
    Peter Gabriel - Sledge hammer, Big Time
    Rick James - You and I, Give it To Me, SuperFreak
    LaBelle - What Can I Do for You? What Can you do for me, Lady Marmalade
    New Birth - I can Understand it, Been Such a Long Time
    Kool and The Gang - Jungle Boogie, Hollywood Swinging

    Classic Bass lines:
    Archie Bell and the Drells - Tighten Up (R&B Classic, especially the bass solo)
    BT Express - Do It 'til you're satisfied
    My Girl - Temptations
    Issac Hayes - Shaft

    James Jamerson was already mentioned. He played on Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On" and other Motown Hits.
    I also like Freddie Washington. He played on "Forget Me Nots" by Patrice Rushen. The bass line for "So I can Love You" is another fave of mine by the Emotions who, at the time were on Stax records. "Don't Wanna Lose Your Love" (by this time they were produced by Earth, Wind and Fire, with Verdine White on Bass, I believe. Like I said, there are just so many. Bootsy Collins did "Groove is in the Heart" for the group Deee Lite, but the man played bass with James Brown and George Clinton.
    Stumbo likes this.