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Unfunky......

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by DWBass, Nov 27, 2017.


  1. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Joined a new band in the vein of Tower of Power and Chicago. However, most of the band have zero to little funk chops. This is gonna be fun. Intro to Soul with a Capital S. Guitarist having timing issues when to start after the 5 hits. Ugh. Drummer doesn't play staccato enough to convey the funk. We just started so hopefully they will woodshed and fall in line.
     
  2. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    Always tough. You want to chime in to help without being seen as a know-it-all. Highlight the things they do right (listen for them) rather than the bad things as much as possible.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
  3. I play with a good group of folks doing a gamut of 70s to 2000s tunes. I'm by far the youngest at 45. The acoustic guitarist/rhythm player has absolutely no soul. Very boring up down up down strumming on any song he doesn't bring to the band. I try to tune him out.
     
    Ekulati and Ductapeman like this.
  4. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    funk no more: what about metal? :D

    just posted in the thread about a wannabe drummer (reggae): IME, if the drums and bass can do the job = the other players are forced/led (somewhat) to 'do the right thing'. without the drummer's chops/support you may be standing in some tall cotton. it may be worth some time and effort to work with the drummer! best of luck! :thumbsup:
     
    RSBBass, TinIndian, Ekulati and 3 others like this.
  5. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
  6. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Woof. T.O.P. with no staccato on drums. That's a tough one.

    Garibaldi and Rocco are THE best at both adding to a song and getting out of the way by leaving space for the funk to breathe. One of the best rhythm sections in music history in my view. Any other two guys would not have worked in that band in my view.

    And, honestly, Danny and Peter in Early Chicago and CTA were a force to be reckoned with as well.

    Good luck with this one. You guys have bitten off some serious music and hopefully it will all gel soon.
     
    interp, FlatwoundFunk, 2112 and 4 others like this.
  7. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I'll share a rehearsal file. It's rough and also an initial run though. Everyone is still working out the kinks.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
    Fat Freddy likes this.
  8. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather


    We're missing several horns due to the holiday. The song is Make Me Smile by Chicago.
     
    Fretless1! likes this.
  9. It's your drummer and horns more than your guitar player (as best I can hear). There were some times where it got more funky, but the drummer is just not feeling the groove. The horns should work on controlling the notes a little to avoid the Muzak effect (although this could be the interaction with the drums too--or some missing parts). It sounds like the players have the chops for sure- they just need to have the right thing in mind.

    Maybe a playlist to listen? This might be a good chance to pull the, "Guys, I think I gave you bad info. Here's the sound we are going for. Sorry for the confusion."
     
    Ekulati and JeffC23 like this.
  10. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    I've heard worse. Other than the intonation/tuning issues, I think you have some decent musicians who just need to listen a lot of the genre to figure out what they are missing. No magic bullet here.
     
  11. I feel for you, but I can't put my finger on exactly where the non funk starts.

    I think it's way busy drums. Fire the drummer.
     
  12. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    It’s not that bad. Needs work. But it’s not totally hopless. I’ve dealt with hopeless. And that group is far from hopless.

    But yeah. Intonation and tuning as was previously mentioned need to be addressed. But that’s just technical details and should be fairly easy to fix.

    A lot of of what I’m hearing that’s not happening may come from lack of confidence in the parts they’re playing. It seems timid. Which is to be expected if they’re new to the genre. As long as they’re practicing, their confidence should improve. You can’t bring the funk if you don’t have your notes and changes down first. Because funk is playing off the way it’s “supposed” to be played if you’re just playing it straight. So you have to have the straight structure of the song down first before you can start to change it up.

    Keep at it. As long as there’s commitment, and the enthusiasm remains, it’ll come.

    Luck!

    PS - it’s nice you’re working with them. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to players who were better and more knowledgeable than me, or experienced in different genres than I usually play, when I needed their help the most. They made me a better player, and helped instill a much needed degree of confidence in my own abilities as a musician. I feel I owe any upcoming musician as much in return.
     
  13. I'm having a hard time telling if part of what I'm hearing with the drums is lack of good representation on the recording. I don't really doubt the dynamics are off, but I'm not sure I'd hear them all that well if they were better. (snare sounds like it's underwater).
     
    FlatwoundFunk, geoff_in_nc and DWBass like this.
  14. here's my .02.

    drummer - playing on top of the beat, just needs to sit back a little, chops sound there, just needs to lay back a bit and ease off all the fills
    horns - they need help. intonation, honks/squeeks, the feel is off, i'd say this is the biggest issue especially for bands that have such prominent horns.
    guitar and keys - definite timing issues and groove issues, playing too straight.

    horns guitar and keys the biggest offenders for me, drums workable.

    best of luck brother
     
    DWBass and InhumanResource like this.
  15. Honch

    Honch Guest

    Sep 7, 2006
    I always find it pecuilar when some bands are gathered together even as a project to do a certain genre, and they are not even close to it, any time, regardless fo rehearsal or woodshedding. If they don't hear the gnarls yet, they never will. Microrythms, syncopations, breaks, stops, pauses are what ticks and kicks in this kind of music. I was in a band too, jazz band, that was all cool members, except for the drummer who was the BL and gathered us all up. He couldn't cope playing a simple swing beat, with ride, until he got cramped up and tired, and then all of sudden, on a whim, shifted over to samba in the middle of a tune, in a middle of a bar, and at no point telling us when. He didn't hear that it throw it all off. He chose the numbers, and I said to him after first rehearsal "why do you choose songs that you haven't got the chops to play yourself in the first place?" we weren't friends before, not even aqcuaintances, and not afterwards either. The others blushed embarrasingly, while he went silent, and stumped. It lasted 2 more rehearsals with another bass player who said exactly the same thing. The worst of it all, that the drummer worked as a drum teacher too :confused: o_O.... chills sends down my spine.
     
  16. Honch

    Honch Guest

    Sep 7, 2006
    I've sure had heard worse. But it all sounds to me, that most of the people are very musical, but in a totally different language, genre, or style. Like they're not really used to this style at all. He's no Danny Serafine that drummer. I've heard worse horns. He's too flashy that drummer and doesn't close the hi hat and lifting it when he should. Half open all of the time. As people said before, not totally hopeless. Promising. I e that you can - eventually - hone it. Just because you can play virtuosic on - say - guitar, doesn't mean you can kick a groove. I remember that even Buckethead audtioned for RHCP when they needed a guitarist (early years, not when Fruisciante left first time), they were impressed, but they needed someone who also could kick a groove too. The words also, and too are very important here.
     
  17. 12BitSlab

    12BitSlab Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2016
    Back in the day, I played a lot of Chicago and TOP. Overall, not bad at all. the first thing I would do is ask your drummer to "tune" his drums tighter. Funk will never sound quite right when the heads are as loose as he is playing.
     
  18. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    The musicians are good. They don't know the material and are reading charts. I'm the only one who knows the songs and have them memorized. The drummer is definitely lacking groove. The guitarist doesn't know the material at all. The charts themself need tweaking. Wrong notes and missing bars, etc. I can see I'm going to be a pain in the ass to these guys.
     
  19. DrayMiles

    DrayMiles

    Feb 24, 2007
    East Coast
    You can't polish a turd... If they have riga-mortis in their funky bone, you'll come across in a negative vein trying to give them a funk injection with advice or opinions. Some folks fake the funk, others feel it. Some people don't like being told what to do... The funk can be smelly, but it should never be moldy. If the drummer and guitarist don't feel it, there's possibly way too much work involved for you. Frustration will come a knocking on your door... Resentment on theirs... IMO... Good Luck!

    I have seen a light... I will investigate ("I am Nomad, I am purrfect... I am programmed to in-vest-i-gate.") :)

    D.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017

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