Learning Funk vs. Pop Lines

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by greekbassist, Feb 28, 2006.

  1. greekbassist


    Jan 5, 2006
    Hi Everyone!

    I am just curious on what style of music should be learned first.

    I am learning FUNK and R & B and I am learning a LOT. I even created my first Funk Vamp that I am pretty proud of.

    However, the other day, I was listening to Pop country song that my friend wrote and he played guitar and bass. I was really impressed with his pop bass lines.

    After listening to his song I thought to myself, I would of never come up with that kind of bass line.....It wasn't hard stuff he was playing it just sound good.

    As a matter of fact the funk that I am learning is a lot tougher then those bass lines he played on his song.

    Now, I am starting to wonder if learning Funk and R & B before learning pop lines will make me too much of a technical player.

    I REALLY LOVE THE GROOVE of Funk and that is why I chose to learn that style first.

    My question is I wonder if it is okay to learn Funk before learning how to create basic pop lines?

    Thanks Greekbassist!
  2. Zachass

    Zachass Peavey Partizan

    Learn whatever inspires you to learn. In my experience, if you can play R&B and funk stuff, pop stuff shouldn't be too hard for you.
  3. greekbassist


    Jan 5, 2006
    Thanks for the reply.

    I will continue learn what inspires me.

    I never thought I would seriously like Funk or R & B. But now that I have taken up bass I really do like those styles.

    Thanks again!
  4. I would say it depends on your objectives.

    If you want to be really technical, go for the hardest stuff you can find. On the other hand, "hard" music does not necessarily equate to "good" music for many listeners.

    Hard music is a good workout for the fingers, but it is not necessarily true that anyone other than other bass players will want to hear it!

    I would encourage you to learn a little bit of many types of music. Country, pop, rock, metal, funk, jazz, whatever. You can learn something from each and apply that knowledge to your own creations.
  5. greekbassist


    Jan 5, 2006


    I don't want to be a technical player, because I agree with you that most techincal playing appeals only to other bassist.

    The pop line my friend came up with was very nice. Something that I would of never thought to come up with.

    It seems that R & B and Funk is a learnt style. Meaning that once you understand the rhythm i.e. notation and copy the lines that one can create lines from it.

    I created a vamp mixing a Jamerson line and something I came up with...Put some ghost notes in there with cool synocpation and my first vamp line..

    But Pop has always been kind of different for me. Then again, I only started really listening and playing bass two months and copying vamps and style..

    So maybe I should start listening more to pop as well. As a former guitarist I REALLY AM DIGGING THE GROOVE!!!

    Thanks to All!!!
  6. kenlacam


    Nov 8, 2005
    akron, ohio
    I consider myself a funk player, and am proud of it. To me, pop music is little more than fluff, or ear candy-the bass lines aren't very technical, but the purpose of the bass in pop is just to hold it down basically. With funk music, I find that you can really get into the groove and funk it up!
  7. theshadow2001


    Jun 17, 2004
    I think that in a lot of modern pop songs the focus is mostly bass and drums and somehow they manage to have a really big and full sounding record. With a few fiddly samples and stuff on top to finish it off.

    But I would say to play as much different styles of music as you can don't narrow your field....now if I only could take my own advice.
  8. greekbassist


    Jan 5, 2006
    Thanks kenlacam & theshadow2001!

    I love playing funk! I like all kinds of music and would really like to be proficient in every style...

    Don't know if is possible, but I am sure going to try :)
  9. flatwoundfender


    Feb 24, 2005
    Check out the jamerson stuff with motown. he played a lot of funky stuff under pop songs. You can still groove with pop stuff, though I myself prefer to play funk.
  10. emblymouse

    emblymouse exempt Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2006
    W' Sconsin
    Pop is not a 'technique' as far as I'm concerned. As a bass player my first priority is to serve the song. Identify what is called for and provide it. Can you play a funky line in a Pop song? Sure, as flatwound said Jamerson did it all the time, listen to any Supremes or Jacksons. I'd say keep following your ears. The fact that you are asking the question means you are on to something. Funk is where you find it.
  11. flatwoundfender


    Feb 24, 2005
    Yeah definitely, as Jamerson said "if you don't feel it, don't play it". Play whatever fits the song and sometimes funk just doesn't fit. A good bassline supports the song but doesn't stick out. If you check out some James Taylor with Lee Sklar on bass he plays some really great basslines that work with the song. I really don't care for James Taylor though but I enjoy the basslines Lee plays.
  12. greekbassist


    Jan 5, 2006
    Hi flatwoundfender and emblymouse!

    Thanks for the awesome advise!!!
  13. think of a bass line in your mind , pick a key and learn it, then improvise. You can turn most lines into any genre by changing the notation.
  14. well Im a rock player and I just cant play those fast funky octave lines . I can play them Its just that they dont sound "funky" maybe I should just drop the pick some days .

    since Im in a covers band I have to play pop - rock - and funk songs . I get a great rock tone but playing funk is totally different . :rollno:
  15. greekbassist


    Jan 5, 2006
    From what I am learning about Funk you just don't play only octave lines...

    It's taking a chord line and alot of syncopated rhythmic feel and knowing how to throw in Ghost Notes to get that sound...

    I really am digging finger funk a lot. The book that I am learning from is cool...
  16. I remember my first bass leason with my teacher a few mounths ago,

    Him:Why are you plaing so short, it needs to sound like oozing chockolate when you play. Your playing stigato when you should be playing lagato.

    Him(5 mins latter):play a funk line

    Him:Well you pretty much have that coverd for the most part. You need to work on sounding full when playing other stuff though.

    Just thought i'd share, make sure to not play regular lines stigato. They need to feel like molton lava.