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I'm trying to learn funk

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by bobboco3, Feb 21, 2003.

  1. bobboco3


    Jan 2, 2003
    Maine, USM
    Hey everyone, I'm trying to learn how to play funk and I was wondering what kind of books or vidoes I could get that could help me out. I don't have anyone here that can help me learn so I have to do it on my own, that's why I'm looking for books. I just don't know which ones are good and which ones I should avoid. Any advise would be helpful.
  2. bill_banwell

    bill_banwell Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2002
    whats with the stars starring out the funk word on the header subject?
  3. bobboco3


    Jan 2, 2003
    Maine, USM
    sorry everyone, i don't know why they starred the word funk. All I can think is that I put the wrong word by mistake. I tried to correct it but I don't think it worked.
  4. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
  5. You may want to check out: www.anthonyvitti.com

    He's got some great funk oriented books like, "The Finger Funk Woorkbook volumes I and II," and "The Slap Bass Bible."

    Each book is basically a bunch a cool funk bass lines that range from 8 to 16 bars each. There designed to be songs, on there own, but each one attacks certain aspects of your phrasing and technique. They also include drum patterns that you can program into a drum machine.
  6. No_Fingures


    Jun 17, 2002
    Boston Ma
    Think the marcus miller website says study larry graham for this question. learn some old mo town lines
  7. you want to learn funk so you are buying BOOKS?!?!that's like learning cricket by baking a cake!
    buy: James Brown,Larry Graham,Parliament,Gil Scott Heron, 70's Miles, Jurassic Five, 70's Stevie Wonder,Bar Kays,FELA RANSOMME ANIKULAPU KUTI, Femi Kuti (his son),Chic,Commodores, Sly and the Family Stone,James Blood Ulmer,Average White Band, Ohio PLayers,The Meters, Kool and the Gang, Tower of Power,...leave the books for someone with a LIBRARY CARD.

    (IM FEELING NASTY TODAY, apologies)
  8. Buy The Funkmasters, which has a bunch of James Brown bass, drum and guitar parts. Learn all the bass parts. Study how they fit with the other parts. If you do this seriously, you should become pretty funky.

    There are some other good books, but none that go to such effort of dissection. If you want to take an analytical approach to funk, definitely start here.

    Listen to the original recordings too though. The live recordings are particularly awe-inspiring.
  9. Garry Goodman

    Garry Goodman

    Feb 26, 2003
    You might try playing straight 16th notes to a click,then play every 16th note figure and then tie a group on figures together like play the figure :2 16th notes ,8th rest(beat one),16th,8th 16th(best 2)tie that lt 16th to 16th,8th,16th(best 3) then 16th,dotted 8th(beat four)

    I hope that mke sense.Mixing up 16th paterns will help you get to know and hear and feel "funk"
  10. Books are kinda a waste of time when it comes to getting Funky. I thought about books for a long time then decide aw screw it I'll never be crazy funky. Then I kinda gave up on trying, but still listened to lots of Funk, From the basslines in alot of Rap to Groove/Funk Metal bands to pure Disco and 70's Funk, Then some music from the 80's with lots of Synth bass and all.

    And just from listening, and knowing theory. I can funk with the best of 'em around here. And it didn't take very long either, Just listen to EVERYTHING !!!
  11. the funk cannot be taught.. they can be felt though
  12. bassfish


    Jan 31, 2003
    Helena, Montana
    There are some good sites on the web where you can get FREE lessons on different techniques including funk!

    Slap, tap, and pop!!!!!!
  13. Davehenning


    Aug 9, 2001
    Los Angeles
    all ya need is,

    Bootsy Collins -James Brown

    Larry Graham -Sly Stone, Graham Central Station, some new Prince

    Rocco Prestia -Tower of Power

    Paul Jackson -Headhunters/Herbie Hancock

    James Jamerson -Motown

    Jerry Jermott -King Curtis- Live

    Willy Weeks -Donny Hathaway Live

    George Porter -The Meters

    There is alot more out there, but those guys are the founding fathers of funk.

    hope this helps
  14. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    I dunno if he's really funk, but check out Stanley Clarke too... he might not be a straight funk player but you'll learn a lot from his playing.

    Also, Rocco Prestia and Jaco
  15. To me funks all about the feel, you can't read about it in a book. I think the most important part of a funk line is knowing when not to play, sometimes you need to just shut the hell up for a couple seconds. my suggested artist to listen to would be abe laboriel;)
  16. JimS

    JimS Supporting Member

  17. Pet

    Pet Guest

    Mar 8, 2003
    all over
    hey bassn' Anthony Vitti is my teacher.
    he's is an awsome teacher and i would definatley recommend his stuff. he says that its not the notes that you play because anybody can play the notes, but it is how u play them. it's the duration that u choose to give each note. Also you want to sound tight and solid. it is playing the simple stuff that you have to vamp and every note has to be the same as the last in length and tone.
  18. Lowend4s


    Jan 2, 2001
    I totally agree that the funk is all about feeling.

    Just listen to many funk bassists.

    And jam with as many people as possible.

    Drummers will help much.
  19. furiously funky

    furiously funky Guest

    Dec 28, 2002
    yes, funk is about feeling, but cant listening to great artists not also be complimented by books and videos??
    why limit yourself to one style of learning???
    check out Roccos fingerstyle funk video.
    (it complimented the cd's i listened to when i started)
  20. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    Jon Liebman has a couple of books out. They are titled "Funk Bass" and "Funk Fusion Bass" Both are very good books, but once you get past the technique drills and exercises, he more or less just arms you with some grooves.

    Funk as stated earlier is a feel. You have to feel it in order to play it. You can have all the books, videos, and I dare say teachers in the world tell you and try to instruct you on it, but if you dont listen to it, then you'll never get it.

    There are some great recomendations of who to listen to in this thread. I definatly recomend James Jamerson and the funk brothers work. It can be found on most of golden era of motown. They didnt get the name The Funk Brothers for nothing.

    Also check out some Spyro Gyra, Road Scholars is a good one. Theres quite a few good grooves on that and Scott Ambush is a great player. I dare say to even check out some Bob Marleys stuff, IMO Family Man lays down some funky lines. YMMV on that issue though.