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Understanding funk?
#1974379 10/17/12 02:16 AM
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Hey, I play piano in big band and we are working on a funk rendition of "lover man". What defines funk and what should I listen or rhythyms/harmony in order to understand and internalize funk?

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Re: Understanding funk?
thejazzmann #1974462 10/17/12 08:19 AM
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Think groove. Think percussive. Think simple. Think about finding your part in the groove and sticking to it. Maybe you'll only play one chord every two bars.

Re: Understanding funk?
thejazzmann #1974880 10/17/12 08:48 PM
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Listen to George Clinton, Johnny Guitar Watson - Real Mother For Ya'. etc - Like EW said, it's all groove. Dr John is pretty funky. Big band funk? better google that!


"Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."
David Loving, Waxahachie, Texas
Re: Understanding funk?
thejazzmann #1974885 10/17/12 08:54 PM
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Rick James


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Re: Understanding funk?
thejazzmann #1974893 10/17/12 09:09 PM
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James Brown.


Piano teacher.
Re: Understanding funk?
thejazzmann #1975206 10/18/12 12:51 PM
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Listen to jazz funk for jazz funk, not Rick James and James Brown. In jazz funk the beat is usually divided into sixteenths.

Ramsey Lewis playing a jazz funk ballad, solo starts at 2:10 :

[video:youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=VVxlGO3lktk[/video]

Re: Understanding funk?
thejazzmann #1975210 10/18/12 12:55 PM
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Re: Understanding funk?
thejazzmann #1975211 10/18/12 12:56 PM
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Re: Understanding funk?
Jazz+ #1975317 10/18/12 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Jazz+


Holy Cow, Jazz+! Thanks for posting "So What" -- fab!!!


"Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."
David Loving, Waxahachie, Texas
Re: Understanding funk?
thejazzmann #1975351 10/18/12 05:40 PM
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There is no purer funk than Maceo:

http://m.youtube.com/?reload=3&rdm=mc3h0576m#/watch?v=ABLwmYI09Lw


Also the cats playing behind Bill Withers at his historic Carnegie recording produce some of the most tasteful funk grooves you can hear. Everyone should listen to that recording at least once.


IMO, funk is easy to funk up. If you aren't experienced, definitely keep it simple and try to feel a groove.

Last edited by Hideki Matsui; 10/18/12 05:47 PM.

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Re: Understanding funk?
thejazzmann #1975521 10/19/12 04:42 AM
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Re: Understanding funk?
thejazzmann #1976549 10/21/12 12:02 AM
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"Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" is a 1969 hit single recorded by Sly and the Family Stone, recognized as one of the greatest and most influential funk songs of all time. " Wikipedia...and an opinion I agree with, too

So just to check, I looked up "funk" in the dictionary and here was the definition I found: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23PbXau5Ex4

Last edited by daviel; 10/21/12 12:23 AM. Reason: add Dr John & the lower 9-11

"Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."
David Loving, Waxahachie, Texas
Re: Understanding funk?
thejazzmann #2167837 10/17/13 06:10 PM
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I would pick a funk tune you like, learn it, and then play along with the track. Check out Herbie Hancock on this jam:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmdS_MIxsiE

Last edited by RodScod.com; 10/17/13 06:10 PM.
Re: Understanding funk?
thejazzmann #2167879 10/17/13 08:33 PM
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Give a liste to "Give it up turn it loose" by the one and only James Brown.
Funk - the glue that holds the rhythm

Real Funk, Baby


Barbara
...without music, no life...
Re: Understanding funk?
Music Me #2167881 10/17/13 08:34 PM
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Barbara
...without music, no life...
Re: Understanding funk?
thejazzmann #2168552 10/19/13 01:44 PM
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Hi thejazzman. Key elements to this kind of playing are 1. learn guitar voicings. 2. play small voicings using mostly the 3rd and 7th on a steady repeating rhythmic pattern. 3. avoid upper "jazzy" harmonic chord extensions 4. if the leader of the band is cool and you are on a digital keyboard use a rhodes, clarinet or synth patch instead of acoustic piano. have fun!


Rob Mullins
www.planetmullins.com
Recording Artist and Jazz Piano Instructor
Re: Understanding funk?
thejazzmann #2168641 10/19/13 05:35 PM
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Listen to Rob! He is the man - I used to see him play when he would come out to Long Island NY - guys a great player - I love his One Night In Huston w Wilton Felder - great stuff. I think I have five or so of his CDs - Fifth Gear, Tokyo nights, Soul Scape and a couple others. Big fan. Be sure to check him out.

Another great resource is the Pop Piano book by Mark Harrison - covers a lot of styles including funk RB - highly recommended book and has recorded examples.


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