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Trying to Rate Progress Via Funky Songs

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by beaglegod, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. beaglegod


    Jan 6, 2009
    I was just wondering if I could get a bit of feed back from some of you guys that know how to lay down those funky grooves and stay in the pocket!
    Ive learned the following songs and have them "almost down". by that I mean I make one or two mistakes on each particularly when making changes, I think I can get them realy tight without having to "think" through them in a few weeks. Anyway here are my three first ever complete songs::)

    1. I Need Help (cant do it alone) James Brown
    2. Hard Times James Brown
    3. Life Can Be Happy Slave (note the opening run on this still gives me trouble)

    Im focusing a lot on JB as the bass parts are easy to hear and not too lost in the mix and its real real tight stuff.
    Is this descent progress for a begginer? ( 3-4 months )
    Just curious as I would like to start playing with some guys localy I know but gotta get the confidense up a tiny bit, as I find myself being almost on point with these three songs but put me in front of some body and......:meh:
  2. paul_wolfe


    Mar 8, 2009
    The James Brown stuff is good to work on to start with.

    There's a book - called THE FUNKMASTERS i think - written by the same guy (Alan Slutsky aka Dr Licks) who wrote the Jamerson book - that's worth getting hold of.

    Try this exercise to really get you really in the pocket:

    Play the lines you know with a metronome (or drum click) - but with the click set to sound ONLY on beats 2 and 4. It's one of the best exercises I've ever come across in terms of 'nailing' the pocket.

    Post how you get on...
  3. beaglegod


    Jan 6, 2009

    Im gonna get on this one right away, thanks! :p
  4. paul_wolfe


    Mar 8, 2009
    It's a really good exercise.

    If you've got Band in a Box, or Garageband, or any kind of midi software set up it's real easy to set up a loop that goes on for ever (with just clicks - or snare drums, or rim shots, or claps - on the 2 and 4) AND gives you a count in AND you can set to any tempo you like. Very handy.

    After a month of doing that for 10-20 minutes a day, try doing the exercise with the click just on the '2' - film or record yourself doing it and critique yourself ruthlessly. Your 'time' playing will get better VERY quickly (provided you put the work in)

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