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Fiorenza2

Being funkier?

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I'm going to uni soon with the intent of joining a funk/disco/jazz sort of band a la Jamiroquai, and I'm not confident that I can really "funk" it up. I'm technically sound, but whenever I listen to the likes of Jamiroquai, Chic, EWF, Brand New Heavies, etc, I just don't feel I could replicate any of that style in a creative context (ie: actually writing such bass lines). I tend to overplay, and I can't really grasp the essence of the groove, and I tend to play the same patterns over and over again. (Don't really know how to put it better)

I've heard it's best to learn how to get accustomed to a genre by practising with the relevant group musicians, but I don't have that luxury at the moment. Is there anything I can do in the mean time that can help me out? I've been learning bass lines I deem to be funky, but I don't really feel I'm getting anywhere. Is this just a case of perseverance? Or are there any exercises I can do to speed up the process?

Thanks for reading,
Phil

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Immerse yourself in real funk.

Complete and total diet of old school funk that a lot of those guys were inspired by such as:-

The Meters
Curtis Mayfield
Kool and The Gang
Aaron Neville
Jimmy Castor Bunch
Betty Davis
Gil Scott Heron
Pfunk
Bootsy
Roy Ayers
The Delfonics
Tower ofPower
The Headhunters
The Vibrettes

After a few days of nonstop funkiness, start jamming along with a random playlist of these gems (youtube/grooveshark can really help you here).

Its not how many notes, its not 16th vs 8th notes or anything like that, its the 'shape' of the swing and the rests that define funk feel. There is no better way to get it than to get on with listening to it all the time.

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this is what u need....

[url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLo5jWTeHfc"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLo5jWTeHfc[/url]

...but seriously, it's all about the spaces between the notes and the interplay with the drums - there is no formula, but it has to be loose and unforced

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I'm too old and too white to play good funk, but something that's helped me recently is trying to play certain grooves using the smallest number of notes possible.

There's a particular 4-bar groove in one of our tracks where I used to play 12 or even 16 notes. I now play that phrase with just six notes. It's still identifiably the same groove, but it's now both more spacious and funkier.

Bootsy could do it with just two, of course ...

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Find the right drummer and the rest will follow my son.
Find the wrong drummer and thou shalt never be funky!
Also, nothing wrong with playing the same pattern repeatedly; that's probably the essence of funk...
A.

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Another funk thread :)

I have been trying to learn the funk.....

My muso friends also say that I am too old to funk :)

I will master it.......... because after 30 years of the blues I NEED a change!

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[quote name='moonbass' post='1360303' date='Sep 2 2011, 07:32 PM']Find the right drummer and the rest will follow my son.[/quote]

+1. It's mostly about having a great drummer tbh. The bass just adds colour and counterpoint to the drums.

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I often record myself when I play just for my own benefit, i find that listening to myself play helps me to improve. Maybe by recording yourself and listening back to it you might be able to find a way to improve. Other than that, just keep listening and practicing.

Good luck.

Tom

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