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is there funk scale

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by warwickben, May 1, 2002.


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  1. my guitar player freind has been teaching me about scales and what not.he told me about the blues scale for guiatre and how theres like othere ones to.
    so i was thinking is there a scale for funk or reagga.if there is can some one tab them out (i know i know tabs are bad) also what are some scales for slaping.please help if you can
     
  2. Most funk stuff I've heard is in stock pentatonic minor. I've heard some pretty cool stuff with harmonic and melodic minor scales, though.
     
  3. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    California
    No, there's no reggae scale. Different genres don't necessarily have different scales and it's not forbiddent to play a blues scale in a tune of another genre - as long as it fits.
     
  4. Right, it took me a while to figure this out when I started. All the scales have their own sound, it's up to you to decide wether that sound is what you want for your music.

    What this means is that there's no "Porn scale" :D
     
  5. The cool thing about funk bass to me is that tonal dissonance is a good thing. You can be grooving in a rigid blues scale (or others...) then break out and play something totally crazy. Hit a random note, hold it out, then switch back to the groove. It has to be done tastefully (which sometimes is difficult), but in my experience, the crowd LOVES it.

    As a side story, I was playing in a cover band back in my hometown, and there were alot of my friends supporting us. We were playing a bunch of boring sing-a-long songs for the drunks in the audience. between a song both guitar players had to change a string, so me and the drummer started a funk beat/groove. We got the whole place goin crazy. In the middle of it, I lost where I was (I wasn't entirely sober), so I just went nuts playing strange runs and smacking my bass to make all sorts of crazy sounds. Everyone started cheering. It was great. Afterwards several people came up to me and told me they LOVED it. I know it wasn't the most musically profound thing ever, but damn it was fun.

    peace.
    nick
     
  6. adamaarts

    adamaarts Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2001
    Corona, CA
    Beta tester Source Audio, demos/reviews of many others
    a great "funk" scale to use is the key of F(major). Which is F G A Bb/A# C D E F. Flea uses it a lot and i have come to like this scale. Here it is tabbed for those who dont like notes.

    G|------------------|
    D|------------0-2-3-|
    A|-----0-1-3--------|
    E|-1-3--------------|

    Have fun!
     
  7. lneal

    lneal

    Apr 12, 2002
    Lee County, Alabama
    Don't forget your 2's and 6's when playing funk. In the key of E: 2=F# and 6=C#.
     
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well - I have played literally hundreds of Jazz tunes in F and none of them had anything to do with funk - I'm sure there are plenty of Symphonies and String Quartets which use F major.

    Funk is a rhythmic feel - not a scale or key!! :rolleyes:
     
  9. Funk Warts

    Funk Warts

    Jun 13, 2001
    London, UK
    In my experience the best two modes for playing in a sort of funk sound are mixolydian and dorian. Both contain 6ths and b7ths, which I find quite funky (see Flea's line in the chorus of 'If You Have To Ask') the differences are that Mixolydian is major and is perhaps a bit 'cheesier' whereas dorian is essentially a funky extension of a minor pentatonic.

    However, as many people have said previously in this thread, funk is mainly about rhythm, with plenty of mutes and weird gaps (!).

    So far with my band I've used solely dorian scales - admittedly it's only three tracks but they haven't sounded too samey......yet!

    That's my two pence worth, or for the sake of international relations, my two cents worth...
     
  10. beermonkey

    beermonkey

    Sep 26, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Preach! Get down Bruce! :D

    couldn't agree more... and I also don't find that a lot of people use a major 7 scale in funk... or at least base the song on it. As someone pointed out earlier, generally you can bet your funk bass line is going to be centered around pentatonic minor. That major 7 is a bit White Bread without the crust for funk; unless it's a passing tone.

    Listen to what Rocco Prestia does with his lines, that's as good a place to start as any.
     
  11. beermonkey

    beermonkey

    Sep 26, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    btw - not to be an anal-retentive bastard, but Bb and A# are not interchangable notes in the key of F major... yes they are the same pitch, but technically Bb is the correct note. Unless you want to be a complete psycho like some orcestral musicians, then there is even a difference in pitch between A# and Bb (it's a few cents). I can't hear it...
     
  12. lneal

    lneal

    Apr 12, 2002
    Lee County, Alabama
    Not meaning to be argumentative, but what about the major 7 thing in "I Got You (I Feel Good)" by James Brown? Its certainly more than a passing tone! Although I agree that in general the major 7 is pretty "White Bread" sounding in funk, ya gotta admit THAT one is pretty funky!

    Rocco is the man!
     
  13. electricdemon3

    electricdemon3

    Jul 28, 2000
    From what I remember, "I Got You" is Mixolidian or based on major dominant 7, not major 7.
     
  14. lneal

    lneal

    Apr 12, 2002
    Lee County, Alabama
    Just checking to see if you were paying attention!
     
  15. adamaarts

    adamaarts Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2001
    Corona, CA
    Beta tester Source Audio, demos/reviews of many others
    just to clear up the Fmajor thing, i meant it as its a good scale to play funk in, its not the only funk scale, its just a scratch of the surface.
     
  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    It's not a "funk scale" at all!! :rolleyes:

    It's just FMajor - end of story!
     
  17. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    I think we're done here.
     



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