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Billy-Talent
10-10-2005, 04:14 PM
Hi guys,

I know I don't post here often, but..

I'm doing a project for my music class on what makes funk music funky. What certain series of notes or pauses or stylings make something funky? How is it that two bassists can groove on the same scale and yet one can be infinitely more funkalicious? Any advanced musical theory or just general philosophical funkular rambling would be much appreciated. In short:

WHAT

IS

FUNK?

Caleb3221
10-10-2005, 05:35 PM
Funk is all about feel, and groove. There is a certain, indescribable quality that makes funk music funky. If you listen to an average punk or rock drummer play the "standard rock beat", bass on 1, 3 snare on 2,4, it will sound OK. Then you have a great funk drummer play it, it sounds amazing. And it is basicly impossible to expain why. There is a great funk bassist I was talking to recently, named Patrick Thornton, and as he explained it, funk isn't about what you play, but the attitude and feeling you put into playing it. In funk, a solid but extremely simple groove wins over something much flashier but less groovealicious, as well. Very little emphasis is usually placed on showy playing.
Another characteristic of funk that I notice is that it is very lighthearted, the entire purpose of the music is to have fun. That's even what many of the lyrics are about. The sole purpose of the music is to dance to and have a good time. Sure, sometimes it has a message too it, but that is secondary to the groove. Even the egoistical rantings of "Dr. Funkenstein" are lighthearted and rather silly.

The lyrics almost never carry the song, though, as they tend to in rock and other styles. If you take the average rock song and cut out the lyrics, then the song is usually pretty boring. Cut them out of a funk song, the song sounds empty, but it still holds its own. They tend to act almost as another instrument, adding to the song as a whole rather than covering it up.

That's my rant on what I think makes funk funky. I'm done. For a little bit.

Shout it Out
10-10-2005, 05:43 PM
Funk is slap bass, pretty much. Would porno-style bass be considered funky? I think so.

Caleb3221
10-10-2005, 05:45 PM
That is entirely wrong. One of the least right things I have ever heard. Most of the best funk lines were not slapped, and slap actually came into it's popularity relativley late in the history of funk.

Caleb3221
10-10-2005, 08:25 PM
Ahaha, that made me laugh.

PDWAB
10-10-2005, 09:21 PM
This is the way I look at it:

Rock is based on the 8th note. Listen to some standard rock and roll song and sing "1 and 2 and" and it will feel right.

Then there's stuff like jazz and shuffle which based on triplets, you can sing "1 and a 2 and a" and it will feel right.

But most of the funk I like is based on the 16th note. If you want the groove to feel right, I think, you have to be able to go "1 e and a 2 e and a" etc. Having it based off the 16th note lets it have lots and lots of syncopation which really drives the grooves along. But that's just me.

franz sanchez
10-11-2005, 02:14 AM
Remember that wikipedia is a collection of personal opinions, rather than accepted fact.

Hence all the crap about 'slap-bass' and Hendrix being THE funk-rock pioneer. Both points are very wrong.

Caleb put it spot on - the way something is played is what makes it funky.

Nympho
10-11-2005, 10:12 AM
Hi guys,

I know I don't post here often, but..

I'm doing a project for my music class on what makes funk music funky. What certain series of notes or pauses or stylings make something funky? How is it that two bassists can groove on the same scale and yet one can be infinitely more funkalicious? Any advanced musical theory or just general philosophical funkular rambling would be much appreciated. In short:

WHAT

IS

FUNK?

ur a cracker who listens to billy talent u wudnt kno funk if it hit u right in the face...

Caleb3221
10-11-2005, 03:35 PM
You can't judge someones entire musical taste based on one artist. You can't judge someone's musical taste at all.

franz sanchez
10-11-2005, 04:34 PM
one man's poison being another man's pleasure and all that.

I have plenty of recordings of rock tunes being played by funky musicians, making some great funk versions of rock records - for instance:

Heartbreaker - originally by Led Zep' - done in a stripped down style by the Boogaloo Investigators, or I Just Dropped In To See What Condition My Condition Was In by Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings are a couple of good examples of making something that wasn't originally funk funky, without changing the tune or arrangement (much).

YDload
10-11-2005, 05:37 PM
As a bass player, I'd have to say that funk is the most important style of music that led to the evolution of my instrument as it is today. Funk is the band working together as a unified sound under a groove. Sure there's a melody, but it depends on how you play it in order to make it funky. That's why the bass is often the keystone instrument of funk: it has the ability to play a melody, but it should usually be performed in relation to the rhythm of the song.

Popup-Box
10-12-2005, 03:52 AM
One of the most interesting threads I've run into.

I'm not experienced enough when it comes to funk, but saying funk is slap bass is a somewhat questionable statement.

I remember I used to think that way myself. I automatically thought that when I heard a slap bass line, it was funk. I'm sure this is not neccessarily true, as it's not the sound of the instrument which directs the style. It's rather the approach or should I say feel, of the musicians. I'm quite sure that a good funk artist will even make a stone slapped against tarmac sound good.

PTheory
10-12-2005, 08:56 AM
Funk is about the ONE....everything is on the ONE, the emphasis on the big heavy down beat that lets all the musicians lock into the groove. It all starts with the beat and then the bass, whatever you put ontop is just colour.

If you like funk you should check out Kevin Goin's (Glenn's brother) new band PTheory on the website below. We've spent years working on the essence of funk

Http://ptheory.co.uk

franz sanchez
10-13-2005, 02:35 AM
I'd say you've been working mainly on emulating P-funk. Nothing wrong with that, but it isn't actually THE essence of funk.

dj_ando
10-13-2005, 10:26 AM
well for a start, the backbone of the music is the rhythm section. if you've got no rhythm section, you've got no funk. for me, funk is about syncopation and a real forward motion to the music (despite the often laid back feel), but at the same time, beat 1 is very important - the centre of it all if you like. i guess that's where it differs from jazz, where jazz is all about 2 and 4. i was speaking to an excellent funk bass player about this very thing actually, though from a drummers perspective, and he said that no matter where the rhythms within the band are going, you've always got to have the 1 coming down strong (at least on the drums). it's what everyone works towards and refers to. also, i'd mention something about the use of plenty of repetition in funk. it's generally about grooves and feels, not so much complex melodies/harmonies.

keep in mind, that's just my opinion, and it's what funk means to me :) hope it helps though

edit: doh, beat me to it with the whole 'ONE' thing :p

Caleb3221
10-13-2005, 02:38 PM
The one thing is often misinterpreted, though, in my experience. The one must always be FELT, but not necessarily HEARD. Sometimes you can emphasise the one with complete slience in the middle of a busy beat, or accentuate it by playing a 16th after it. And, sometimes the ONE can even be moved a bit. I was recently introduced to this concept, and don't comprehend it quite enough to explain it, but the way this guy does it makes some **** funky grooves, and as I said, funk is about feel, and if it feels funky, I'm not going to argue that it isn't because there isn't a huge bass hit on beat 1.

EDIT:
Now that I think about it, the 1 is also mainly from the James Brown/George Clinton school of funk. This is probably the best known, most popular, etc, but not the only one. Garibaldi didn't necessarily directly emphasize the one, and there are a few other guys who did unique things breaking away from the "one".

PTheory
10-13-2005, 05:49 PM
Well I agree that there are many variations of funk but the most succesful funk artists James, George, Sly, Meters etc all played of the one. So whilst funk doesn't necessarily have to come off the one the most succesful FUNK artists detailed above all used that formula. So whilst it is a broadbrush statement to say funk is on the one, it was in answer to an equally vague question.

What makes something funky is if it smells and has attitude adn groove....otherwise its jazz /funk. Just my opinion

PTheory
10-13-2005, 06:19 PM
===Origin of funk===

[[Category:Slang]]

The word "funk", once defined in dictionaries as body odor or the smell of sexual intercourse, commonly has been regarded as coarse or indecent. African-American musicians originally applied "funk" to music with a slow, mellow groove, then later with a hard-driving, insistent rhythm because of the word's association with sexual intercourse. This early form of the music set the pattern for later musicians. The music was slow, sexy, loose, [[riff]]-oriented and danceable. ''Funky'' typically described these qualities. In jam sessions, musicians would encourage one another to "get down" by telling one another, "Now, put some ''stank'' ('stink'/funk) on it!" At least as early as the 1930s, [[jazz]] songs carried titles such as [[Mezz Mezzrow]]'s ''Funky Butt.''

The word "funk" commonly was regarded as coarse or indecent. As late as the 1950s and early 1960s, when "funk" and "funky" were used increasingly in the context of soul music, the terms still were considered indelicate and inappropriate for use in polite company.

The distinctive characteristics of African-American musical expression are rooted in [[West Africa West African]] musical traditions, and find their earliest expression in spirituals, work chants/songs, praise shouts, gospel and blues. In more contemporary music, gospel, blues and blues extensions often flow together seamlessly. Funky music is an amalgam of [[soul music]] [[soul jazz]] and [[R&B]].
[/b]

franz sanchez
10-14-2005, 09:00 AM
check out these guys - they REALLY have the funk thing down...look at the 'Rumble and Struggle' video clip

http://www.osakamonaurail.com/discography/

HeatherHaze
11-01-2005, 10:31 AM
Funk is more than music, it's attitude. My motto has always been, "If I feel it, I can play it." Funk has always moved me. You can't play funk on purpose. You just have to get out of the way and let it happen.

"Free your mind and your *** will follow."

Rhythm is definately at the core of true funk. It's got to be there or its not funk. The "funk" pyramid begins at the bottom, with drums and bass creating the foundation, and then everything else piled on top. The importance of feeling the "one" cannot be overstated, but like everything else...there are always exceptions.

"The funk is greater than the sum of its parts."

I love the feeling of artistic freedom soloing over a tight groove sticking to the one (speaking melodically now rather than rhythmically). Unlike jazz, funk doesn't move around a lot vertically. A lot of great funk songs never stray from the root at all, and they really don't need to. Funk creates complexity out of simplicity.

With funk, it's not so much what you play...but what you don't play.

Most of all, funk is fun. It is loose, wild, and completely free. Unfortunately (from my point of view, anyway), funk is also tightly interwoven with the drug culture. In fact, quite a lot of funk is all about being "bad." It doesn't mean you have to be bad to be funky, but they often go hand in hand. I am living proof, however, that you can funk it up and go wild without giving in to the "dark side" of funk.

Funkily yours,
Heather Haze

Ma Cherie
11-01-2005, 12:27 PM
it must sound oddly weird and jazzy good

JohnXDoesn't
11-01-2005, 12:31 PM
P-Funk/Uncut Funk/Da Bomb.

Funk can not only move, it can remove. Dig?


/funk

tobo
11-01-2005, 03:30 PM
Funk is about the ONE....everything is on the ONE, the emphasis on the big heavy down beat that lets all the musicians lock into the groove. It all starts with the beat and then the bass, whatever you put ontop is just colour.

If you like funk you should check out Kevin Goin's (Glenn's brother) new band PTheory on the website below. We've spent years working on the essence of funk

Http://ptheory.co.uk

Ironically i started a thread ages ago about "What is the ONE"?... no one really knew that either.... also cure loads of **** neo jokes

6stringslinger
11-07-2005, 04:11 AM
...............ohh god that avater is wonderfull tobo, i could just plant my nose in the middle.....OH WAIT(wakes up) Yeah what makes something funky? oh yeah

i will probably get flamed for a lame, sarcastic answer but if you wanted to get people out of thier seats and onto a dance floor what could you do?

Imagine if someone promised you some sort of "reward", or better yet something makes you feel good.

If you could make more than 75% of the crowd (currently sitting) jump up and start dancing like there is no tomorow........play something that makes thier head bob and hips shake.

Lady Lex
11-08-2005, 07:39 PM
Another aspect is the swung 16ths - that allows for greater movement.
The One, being beat 1 is also another aspect. Because everything, the music, harmony and musical stabs culminate on beat 1.
Being 'Funky' is all about rhythm: the use of riffs and grooves.
And to end: The Bass defines the 'funkiness'. The drummer merely keeps everyone in time, but the Bass drives the music. I love bass.. so much.

AmericanWeiner
11-08-2005, 07:47 PM
Another aspect is the swung 16ths - that allows for greater movement.
The One, being beat 1 is also another aspect. Because everything, the music, harmony and musical stabs culminate on beat 1.
Being 'Funky' is all about rhythm: the use of riffs and grooves.
And to end: The Bass defines the 'funkiness'. The drummer merely keeps everyone in time, but the Bass drives the music. I love bass.. so much.

Herbie Hancock- Sly

Beats can most definitely be funky.

Lady Lex
11-08-2005, 07:55 PM
I didnt say they couldnt be. I said the bass player drives the music, directs the rhythms and the beat.

Lady Lex
11-08-2005, 07:55 PM
I didnt say they couldnt be. I said the bass player drives the music, directs the rhythms and the beat.

Lady Lex
11-08-2005, 08:24 PM
Herbie Hancock- Sly

Beats can most definitely be funky.

also - whats the Sly reference? I am an intensive Herbie fan.. and that doesnt come to mind. If you could clear that up then I can recall who the drummer is :)

dj_ando
11-08-2005, 08:39 PM
sly is the last track on head hunters, it's herbie's tribute to sly and the family stone and the great music they produced. the drummer on that record is harvey mason, an awesome funk/fusion drummer. mike clark is another who played with the head hunters after this album, and his playing is just out of this world - incredibly funky stuff!

Lady Lex
11-08-2005, 08:54 PM
ahh! Indeed! track #3 :)

Mike Clarke is indeed one of my most favourite drummers in the world - and Id say a great deal of that has to do with his continual prescence on Herbie's albums. He rocks out.

:thumbsup:

franz sanchez
11-09-2005, 03:58 AM
This is where we go back to the original discussion - what makes something funky? To me, nothing on the Headhunters LP is Funk, or is particularly funky - most of it leaves me cold to be honest. (Try Herbie's "Fat Albert Rotunda" LP for Funk, not Headhunters).

So we come down to listener interpretation and perspective more than any set rules.

Another reference point. George Harrison's "Something" is not a funk tune. Charles Kynard did a great version of it on his "Wa-Tu-Wa-Zi" LP (Prestige). Now it's still not a pure Funk tune, by Bernard Purdie certainly MAKES IT FUNKY.

dj_ando
11-09-2005, 07:22 AM
thrust and man child are far funkier than head hunters. i like those two albums more and i'm not sure why they aren't more popular.

Jalfraizy
11-09-2005, 01:42 PM
To fully understand the funk theory, it takes many years of practicing to get the groove. I would suggest liteneing to all the funk you can, sit down and concentrate on the music, soon enough you will get the hang of the groove. It takes a little time, but find bands likr Eddie Bo, Funkadelic and the winstons. keep looking and you will find

Lady Lex
11-09-2005, 06:38 PM
Funk is a rhythmic based genre. So a great deal of what makes something 'funky' comes from the rhythm.

You gotta remember what also motivated Funk: with the whole original Civil movement culiminating in Martin Luther King's death, Funk was a celebration (rather than an assimilation with 'White' Culture) of the black african heritage - courses specialising in African Heritage and Culture were offered in universities, traditional African Music was thoroughly explored, rather than a message of 'come white brothers and sisters, let us join hands', the message changed to "Accept us as we are, for we are proud of our heritage".

Listening to funk (mainly James Brown and Bootsy Collins) does indeed help. Thing is though, there are actually different genres existing WITHIN funk itself.

You have:
FUNK
- Always features rhythm (standard rhythm section of keys, bass, drums and guitar), melodic (vocals) and horn sections (can be up to 3 or more horns featured - at least, Sax and Trumpet)
- all instruments utilises Grooves & Riffs (riffs are repeated rhythmic cellular structures; grooves can be harmonic AND rhythmic repeated cellular structures)
- vocal lines always include vocal improv using shouts, hollars etc
- the presence of the horns are rather important - they allow for a thicker texture, and generally have their own different 'voice' compared to the other sections. (in that they play their own lines)
- Subject Themes: moreso 'black' oriented tunes that relate to black communities and also include topics of VERY good times, drinking, sexing, and incorporates black slang.

This then branches out to:

Hard Funk:
eg James Brown (detroit), Parliament Funkadelic (chicago)
Location: southern US
Derived moreso from Blues
- continuous grooves, few harmonic shifts, improv over small cellular structures;
- extensive use of The One; musical shifts eg harmonies etc all climax on Beat 1.

Soft Funk: (what I would label as soft anyway, because its very pop driven)
Derived moreso from the 'white' appeal of tinpan & gospel sounds.
- The Jacksons, Earth Wind & Fire, Commodores
- Location: North US (moreso) like NY, Philidelphia
- The One is used as a musical point, rather than the given
- Subjects deal moreso with good times, dancing, happy happy joy joy (in order to allow white audiences to relate).
- Same use of grooves and riffs, though with far more popular appeal, so tunes are not as 'longwinded' (as say Hard Funk) and are also composed for the dancefloor of clubs.

Hard Funk evolved to the more grittier rap/ hip hop genres.
Soft Funk evolved to Disco.

In other words, for a greater understanding of Funk, James Brown is definitely THE best - particularly early 1960s when Bootsy was in the band.

Herbie is not really primarily Funk. His music evolved from Funk into Jazz Funk aka Jazz Fusion aka Fusion aka Jazz Rock. This music came out in the late 1970s and incorporated a great deal of electronic instruments, intended to be listened to in the comfort of one's home rather than at a concert. Best music ever though :)

franz sanchez
11-10-2005, 02:38 AM
Interesting points - though no P-Funk offshoots (Bootsy, Clinton etc) can really be described as 'hard' funk. Listen to some of EW&F's earliest albums, and there's nothing soft about their funk (the same with Kool and the Gang) - yet they're better known for more 'disco' tunes than funk.

It's not easy to make generalisations or to pigeon-hole artists and sounds - for instance, many musicians known for their funk and soul output added country & western tunes to their albums (e.g. The Meters and tracks like Wichita Lineman).

I also know of plentry of Funk recordings that I don't think are particularly funky...

Hard funk hasn't evolved into anything - it's still around and very much alive - see some of my other posts for suggestions on further listening in terms of current bands playing 'authentic' funk. Hip hop, in it's infancy, was as much influenced by european electronica as funk and disco. The earliest recorded rap tunes were heavily disco-orientated, as that was the commercial sound of the time (gotta get your records played and sold...).


Meanwile.......despite everyone's inputs, we're no closer to what makes something funky, other than the listener's views.

Lady Lex
11-10-2005, 05:47 PM
First: the terms 'Hard' and 'Soft' Funk have been classified by myself. And it doesnt refer to anything other than ensuring the differences are well noted. There are of course cross overs - as with everything in music. :)

What makes something Funky is not simply a matter of perspective -

Funk being rhythm based, utilises:
- The One (where everything musically climaxes at beat 1)
- Swung 16ths
- Riffs and Grooves
- syncopated rhythms
- prominent bass lines and percussion
- rhythmic horn lines
- rhthymic based guitars
- keys provide colour and enhance the rhyhtmic stabs from the other instuments.

The melody (if any) comes mainly from the vocals (the melodic section).

wait - are we referring moreso to Funk the genre, or 'funky' the application or even the slang?
White people use the term Funk as a positive thing, but Black people use the term Funk as a negative thing.

Can we clarify then please?

franz sanchez
11-11-2005, 08:59 AM
What makes something Funky is not simply a matter of perspective

...well I think it is ;) - besides, the many varied opinions (see the RHCP-Funk? thread for examples) of people using this board put that to rest. Different people will use adjectives in their own way - what makes something smelly rather than aromatic? What is the difference between colourful and garish?

However, what makes something FUNK (rather than funk-y) is a little more different, and i don't think that you or I, or Keb Darge, Louis Vega, Bootsy, James Brown, Eddie Bo, Gabriel Roth or Timothy McNealy (look these names up if they're not familiar) could come up with an all encompassing checklist to define what makes something funky.

The characterisics you've posted above is well thought out, but for every point you've made, one could list many funk recordings that directly contradict them.

I hope this post don't come across as dismissive - the more people are interested in funk music the better for me.....more people to perform to and sell records to!! ;)

Saxamassima3
11-13-2005, 12:03 PM
soul

Lady Lex
11-13-2005, 05:26 PM
However, what makes something FUNK (rather than funk-y) is a little more different, and i don't think that you or I, or Keb Darge, Louis Vega, Bootsy, James Brown, Eddie Bo, Gabriel Roth or Timothy McNealy (look these names up if they're not familiar) could come up with an all encompassing checklist to define what makes something funky.

The characterisics you've posted above is well thought out, but for every point you've made, one could list many funk recordings that directly contradict them.


see.. in order for me to come up with that list, I actively researched over 900 different tunes that had been released between 1963 - 1979. Those were the common components with all that had been 'termed' by Billboard etc as 'Funk oriented'. Other tunes simply were not funk: Blue Bayou ;)

And the difference between Soul and Funk comes down to the motivations:
The message of Soul was "I am equal to you; I want to be assimilated into your culture", therefore promoting a white appeal in many soul tunes.
The message of Funk was "I am my own person. I am proud of my heritage and I embrace it". (kinda thing), therefore embracing all cultural aspects that came to be (west) african.

Damn I loves de funk

Caleb3221
11-13-2005, 08:04 PM
Just replying to the "black people view funk as a negative thing", that is completley racist and wrong. I know the black guys I hang out with are known to say "Damn, that's funky" when they hear something they like. Even my old drum instructor, who is a pure funk drummer and grew up on funk, would often use the term funk or funky as a compliment.

Lady Lex
11-13-2005, 08:48 PM
Hmm.. i aint white. So I think I can say that if I like. If Im racist for poking fun at my own black skin - lynch me in your whitey way ;) (ps please.. joke okay?)

And Ive only ever heard black people refer to funk moreso in a negative connotation. And when I spoke to Billy Cobham at one of his gigs once, I asked whether funky was a good thing or a bad thing: He said in music - its the best. But he'd feel embarrassed if someone said he smelt a bit funky. :)

dj_ando
11-13-2005, 08:58 PM
soul
i'd say that's a requirement for all good, genuine music. it's got nothing to do with funk specifically, people just tend to associate it with the whole funk/soul/gospel corner of things. you don't need to be playing something funky to put soul into your music.

franz sanchez
11-14-2005, 02:19 AM
The message of Soul was "I am equal to you; I want to be assimilated into your culture", therefore promoting a white appeal in many soul tunes.


..not so sure about this - those gospel singers that wanted to 'sing soul' were often ostracised by their own communities for their immorality.

'Soul' music's popularity, IMHO, lay as much with the sheer talent of the artists, and the cross-cultural themes of love, lust, heartbreak etc. Also, for white audiences (of the time), 'race' music (horrible term coined by separatist attitudes) was somewhat forbidden, and therefore more alluring.

Lex, we're going a little off-topic here, but the research you put into this sounds interesting. Wanna discuss this at length via email?

Saxamassima3
11-14-2005, 10:12 PM
i'd say that's a requirement for all good, genuine music. it's got nothing to do with funk specifically, people just tend to associate it with the whole funk/soul/gospel corner of things. you don't need to be playing something funky to put soul into your music.

does soul make things funky? hell yeah it does, so i'd say don't be such a **** and stop analyzing everything. i didn't even say it has to do with funk specifically, with all do respect :rolleyes:

Lady Lex
11-15-2005, 08:19 PM
..not so sure about this - those gospel singers that wanted to 'sing soul' were often ostracised by their own communities for their immorality.
If that is the case (and it was), they werent ostracised only by their own communities, but also by the white communities. Imagine.. these mofo singers who get onto a stage in front of 10,000 people and hailed as Gods and then cant get a cup of coffee because the store serves "White Only". *rolls eyes. How far we have come since then!
As Gospel roots are with the church, it would not have been looked upon highly to flaunt your talents for money I guess. The movie Colour Purple comes to mind.. (as a silly example)

'Soul' music's popularity, IMHO, lay as much with the sheer talent of the artists, and the cross-cultural themes of love, lust, heartbreak etc. Also, for white audiences (of the time), 'race' music (horrible term coined by separatist attitudes) was somewhat forbidden, and therefore more alluring.

Yeh absolutely! Im of the opinion that early 1900s Racism was an atittude espoused by higher classes , because when you read a great deal about the times - you find that the lower classes, both black and white, lived together, sang together in church, played together, lived side by side together.. There are all sorts of entries that report on the free mix between lower class black and whites. IMO: Talent knows no boundaries - be they colour, linege or even genre ;)

And there were all sorts of 'coloured' inspired terms: Sepia Music, Ebony Music, the best was CrossOver Music. :lol: Seriously.. the labels were trying so hard to find a term that was appealing to white audiences but couldnt seem to get past their own issues of race! This was, however, in the leadup to RocknRoll. In 1953, Jerry Wexler saved the day when he announed on air "Lets Rock It Roll It" and thus came to Rock and Roll - thank gawd! Bill Haley had been known as a CrossOver artist until 1953 - but when you listen to this music, its definitely what RocknRoll came to be known as (well.. . crossover from Western Swing at any rate, with a few other genres like BueGrass chucked in there too!). There was DoWop at the same time too - which is rather un-coloured ;)

Lex, we're going a little off-topic here, but the research you put into this sounds interesting. Wanna discuss this at length via email?
it would be my pleasure to chat about it. It was exceedingly interesting - I even 'flirted' a little with Western African music in order to gain a greater understanding of funk roots. ladyoflexicon@yahoo.com.au
Funk in the subject please :) PS I feel privileged.

Lady Lex
11-15-2005, 08:29 PM
does soul make things funky? hell yeah it does, so i'd say don't be such a **** and stop analyzing everything. i didn't even say it has to do with funk specifically, with all do respect :rolleyes:

I look upon the soul as a bit of a higher form. To me, funk is about earthiness, baseness, music to erm.. do the nawty biz to ;) Whilst it may take soul, it also takes the erm.. desire for copulation to make things truly funky j/k

Theres nothing wrong with analysing the krap out of something. Its what people like to do. If you dont like to do it - dont. But at least have a bit of tolerance for those who enjoy the analysis of, for breakfast lunch and tea :) to me, theres (almost) nothing better to sit down to a great tune and just musically analyse the hell out of it.. just for the simple pleasure of it. :)

Saxamassima3
11-15-2005, 09:01 PM
I look upon the soul as a bit of a higher form. To me, funk is about earthiness, baseness, music to erm.. do the nawty biz to ;) Whilst it may take soul, it also takes the erm.. desire for copulation to make things truly funky j/k

Theres nothing wrong with analysing the krap out of something. Its what people like to do. If you dont like to do it - dont. But at least have a bit of tolerance for those who enjoy the analysis of, for breakfast lunch and tea :) to me, theres (almost) nothing better to sit down to a great tune and just musically analyse the hell out of it.. just for the simple pleasure of it. :)

well that may be, but there are always douchebags that do it to be a butthole

TheDrunkenBoat
11-17-2005, 12:22 AM
that whole bit about soul music being a bid to appeal to whites and preaching assimilation of black culture is straight up bull****. what's going on, anyone? and i could also refer to george clinton's early work as a member of the parliaments, most definitely a soul group, but most definitely not a conformist group.

JohnD
11-17-2005, 03:48 AM
Like James Brown said in that documentary, when one of his players questioned a groove because it couldn't be written on a piece of paper. 'Don't you trust the ears god gave you?'. To me that's the perfect explanation of funk, it's not music that is supposed to be explained - it's supposed to be felt by people who got the gift to feel it, we're blessed because it's my understanding most people can't feel it.

But what JB did was to only use rhythms, no melodies. This makes funk sound confusing to some because they can't piece it together. It took me a while to fully understand funk (if that's possible)

That the same bass line can sound badass by someone and lame by someone else probably got to do with the emphasis and timing which is as important in funk as in stand-up comedy, if it's off it sucks no matter how great it looks on paper.
There are rules to written music but the only rule in funk is that if it can't make you move any part of your body it's not done right.

And beats can be extremely funky, just check out some of the old-school hip-hop based ONLY on a drum break from a 45 rpm taken down to 33 rpm.

rhcp pman
11-17-2005, 07:48 PM
Is Backwoods by RHCP funk, or just funky? I've come to the conclusion that most of Freaky Styley is funk. But I've only just been getting funk lately with James Brown, George Clinton and Funkadelic.

franz sanchez
11-18-2005, 02:50 AM
Is Backwoods by RHCP funk, or just funky? I've come to the conclusion that most of Freaky Styley is funk. But I've only just been getting funk lately with James Brown, George Clinton and Funkadelic.

There's always one....:rolleyes:

Sorry, don't mean to come across as condescending or anything, but there's another thread for that discussion.

However, we all seem be in agreement that it's perception and interpretation that makes something funky. But it doesn't necessarily make it funk...

Lady Lex
11-18-2005, 03:25 AM
that whole bit about soul music being a bid to appeal to whites and preaching assimilation of black culture is straight up bull****. what's going on, anyone? and i could also refer to george clinton's early work as a member of the parliaments, most definitely a soul group, but most definitely not a conformist group.

Who had the money to finance the labels DrunkenBoat? Who were at the head of labels? Who do you think made the decisions in labels? You think during the 1950s & 60s that any high-powered corporate executives with black skin were about? This is Soul from 1960s too BTW. Whats Going On was mid-late 70s. And I dunno.. Id call that RnB rather than Soul.. but thats me :)

Look at the message - not necessarily the music. Think about Martin Luther King and his message. Martin Luther Kings' death IMO spurred on the message for Funk (Malcolm X, Black Panthers etc) for so many reasons - one being that black people realised that assimilation into white culture was not necessarily for them; and that they shouldnt be ashamed of their traditions and african culture.

dwguru
11-18-2005, 09:22 AM
Great ques. "Funk" is the attitude, the pulse. What defines "Funk" is the rythem...Playing off the "down beat", shading ghost notes on 2 & 4...allowing the pulse come before and after the intended beat. Like one guy said, think of 16th notes, 1e&a 2e&a 3e&a 4e&a... Play bass on the & of 1-3 snare on the & of 2-4, 16th notes on the closed hi-hat opening on the a of 1-3. That is the all standered "Funk" rythem, listen to James Brown...His rythem section are some of the most sampled "Funk" grooves in todays music...

Lady Lex
11-19-2005, 06:37 PM
the down beat? can you clarify what down beat means?

Because Ive seen docos and read plenty of papers where James, George, Fred Wesley, Bootsy - hell, heaps of funk musos, all claim The Beat in Funk was The One. Heck.. I hear it in the music.

Im curious - what is this down beat you refer to?

rhcp pman
11-20-2005, 03:17 AM
There's always one....:rolleyes:

Sorry, don't mean to come across as condescending or anything, but there's another thread for that discussion.

However, we all seem be in agreement that it's perception and interpretation that makes something funky. But it doesn't necessarily make it funk...
Sorry, I'm new to Jazz/Funk section. Just wandering over from RnM.

franz sanchez
11-20-2005, 01:55 PM
No probs - stick around for a while and have a little fun. ;)

The old RHCP thing is a long running discussion in this forum - plenty of differing opinions being expressed about it too.

Feel free to ask questions on all manner of jazz and funk things, but be sure to also have a search through the old posts too - loads of information there....

Tarquin1986
11-20-2005, 03:25 PM
mojo

some jive turkey
11-29-2005, 11:07 PM
Jeez, where to begin with this?

At the top I suppose.

*School Project about funk huh?
gee I remember back before internet forums we had libraries where we had to go and do our own research. (just kidding man)

*Funk is slap bass?
That's like saying rock music is about double bass drumming or palm-muted power chords. Those are all just techniques, they don't make music. I realize you're just making an oversimplified statement, but come on. We expect better.

I don't think funk music isn't about any one particular instrument. I'm not going to be dogmatic and say what funk is or isn't but when I think of funk I think of a group acting together on a groove. I think it's about paying attention to what's happening around you and how you fit into the sound. I think it's about injecting feeling into the rhythm on whatever instrument you play your funk on. It's about how the pieces fit into the big picture of funk. This is how even drum machines can churn out funky sounding patterns, but it takes a human to put it together to make it funk.

And with all the theory being thrown around, I'm surprised no one has gone off on a rant about syncopation.

Lady Lex
11-29-2005, 11:35 PM
Umm.. read back thru the posts - subdivisions and syncopation is definitely mentioned :)

But yeh - I like that you mentioned the human element. With the wonderful technologies of drum machines etc.. we forget the human element of soul. Except.. my latest Pro Tools programm can offer swing subdivided 16ths for rhythms... far better than most humans can *damn.

some jive turkey
11-30-2005, 08:35 AM
Umm.. read back thru the posts - subdivisions and syncopation is definitely mentioned :)

But yeh - I like that you mentioned the human element. With the wonderful technologies of drum machines etc.. we forget the human element of soul. Except.. my latest Pro Tools programm can offer swing subdivided 16ths for rhythms... far better than most humans can *damn.

Yep, I missed it on the first read, I only saw a brief mention of syncopation, but I'm surprised it wasn't covered in more detail.

Drum machines, electronic drums, and production software have all come a long way in recent years, but as a friend of mine says: "Drum machines ain't got no soul"

I still think there is a componet-type orchestration factor involved with funk.

drummerafn
11-30-2005, 10:29 AM
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drummerafn
11-30-2005, 02:42 PM
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