natural styles or ...

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Blunk, Jul 28, 2003.

  1. Blunk


    Aug 14, 2002 i learned to stop worrying and realise that i can't funk it up)

    I was just wondering the other day whether people just naturally have the ability to play certain styles of music.

    I've been trying to practice funk, and i listen to lots of larry graham, rhcp, freak power, the meters, James Brown, etc etc

    But i just don't seem to be able to come up with anything funky...i don't force it either, if its not coming, i try for a wee bit more but not to the point where i get frustrated.

    On the flipside, i can come up with really good punk and heavy rock bass lines with no problem.

    But i'd love to play more funk.

    I've tried the practice and listen this boy just funkless?:bawl:

    Say it ain't so!!!
  2. How about that old disco octave walk up and down the scale? Low G, high G, low A, high A, low Bb, high Bb, etc., straight 8th notes.
  3. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    if you're fairly new to bass i wouldn't worry too much. when i switched from guitar to bass i seemed very unable to "funk it up". since it's my favorite kind of bass playing to listen to, it sort of just naturally incorporated itself into my playing. i didn't even consciously do anything. no - that's a lie. the one thing i did do was learn slap bass from that guy alex S's (forgot his last name) video, but i don't really consider that funk.
  4. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002

    When I listen to my playing on recordings there's one element of my style I cant hide.. I love funk!!!

    I think if you have a natural tendancy towards a feel or a groove then you will always play that way... because you like to... if you want to change the way you play, you can.. but it will take time.

    Also, remember that all your influences make your style what it is. A little bit of rock in everything you do is fine!

    The difficulty I have personally is that funk has a certain groove to it, a certain feel that makes it different from rock and I cant escape it. Even my rock bands have a groove to them that I bring through my funk influences, it just happens!!

    I'd say listening to funk and playing funk for years will eventually give you ability to play it.
    The main thing you should do is find a like minded drummer and jam.. funk is almost totally driven by the syncopation between bass & drums. The Meters being a prime example.

    And remember it's all about THE ONE!!! Nail the one like your life depends on it!!
  5. yoshi


    Jul 12, 2002
    England, London
    By a bunch of funk orientated books and boost your arsenal from them, spotting patterns and trends within the playing style.

    One thing to look out for is the use of muted notes (fingerstyle but slap too).

    One book I can reccomend is '70s disco and funk' by josquin de pres (sp?), done under the Hal Leonard label so check their site.

    Theres also 2 pretty good funk examples in a book titled 'a dictionary of bass grooves' by Sean Malone. Each is performed over the same backing, only one done in slap and one done in fingersyle.

    Edit: I just spotted this thread about good funk books in another area of TB, check it out .
  6. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    I have both those books too!

    The disco and funk book is indeed a bloody example of some serious funky lines - and I think it's pretty cheap too if I remember rightly, £10/!04 or so.

    The Sean Malone book is also a good book, I found it intersting more from the point of view of the summaries of differnt styles - the keys pointers to help you grasp latin or funk, for example.
    But if it's solely funk you want to grasp the jopsquin du pres one is a great start point. I would suggest though that you'd need to copy the CD to your PC and loop the sample tracks as they're only a few bars long in most cases.