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#1974379 - 10/17/12 03:16 AM Understanding funk?  
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 5
thejazzmann Offline
Junior Member
thejazzmann  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 5
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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#1974462 - 10/17/12 09:19 AM Re: Understanding funk? [Re: thejazzmann]  
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,234
Exalted Wombat Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Exalted Wombat  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,234
London UK
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.

#1974880 - 10/17/12 09:48 PM Re: Understanding funk? [Re: thejazzmann]  
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 933
daviel Offline
500 Post Club Member
daviel  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 933
Waxahachie, Texas
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
#1974885 - 10/17/12 09:54 PM Re: Understanding funk? [Re: thejazzmann]  
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 258
SBP Offline
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SBP  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 258
Rick James


2012 Kawai K3
#1974893 - 10/17/12 10:09 PM Re: Understanding funk? [Re: thejazzmann]  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,866
rocket88 Offline
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rocket88  Offline
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Posts: 3,866
James Brown.


Piano teacher and Blues and Boogie-Woogie pianist.
#1975206 - 10/18/12 01:51 PM Re: Understanding funk? [Re: thejazzmann]  
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 838
Jazz+ Offline
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Jazz+  Offline
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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]

#1975210 - 10/18/12 01:55 PM Re: Understanding funk? [Re: thejazzmann]  
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 838
Jazz+ Offline
500 Post Club Member
Jazz+  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 838
Banned


Roland FP-4 digital piano, Mason & Hamlin acoustic piano.
#1975211 - 10/18/12 01:56 PM Re: Understanding funk? [Re: thejazzmann]  
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Jazz+ Offline
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Jazz+  Offline
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#1975317 - 10/18/12 05:24 PM Re: Understanding funk? [Re: Jazz+]  
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 933
daviel Offline
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daviel  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 933
Waxahachie, Texas
Originally Posted by Jazz+


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


"Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."
David Loving, Waxahachie, Texas
#1975351 - 10/18/12 06:40 PM Re: Understanding funk? [Re: thejazzmann]  
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 787
Hideki Matsui Offline
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Hideki Matsui  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 787
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 06:47 PM.

Shigeru Kawai SK5
Vintage Vibe 64
Roland LX-15e
Roland Jupiter 80
#1975521 - 10/19/12 05:42 AM Re: Understanding funk? [Re: thejazzmann]  
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1,379
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member
chrisbell  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1,379
Stockholm, Sweden

#1976549 - 10/21/12 01:02 AM Re: Understanding funk? [Re: thejazzmann]  
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 933
daviel Offline
500 Post Club Member
daviel  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 933
Waxahachie, Texas
"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 01:23 AM. Reason: add Dr John & the lower 9-11

"Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."
David Loving, Waxahachie, Texas
#2167837 - 10/17/13 07:10 PM Re: Understanding funk? [Re: thejazzmann]  
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 5
RodScod.com Offline
Junior Member
RodScod.com  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 5
Washington DC
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 07:10 PM.
#2167879 - 10/17/13 09:33 PM Re: Understanding funk? [Re: thejazzmann]  
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 394
Music Me Online content
Full Member
Music Me  Online Content
Full Member

Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 394
PA
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...
#2167881 - 10/17/13 09:34 PM Re: Understanding funk? [Re: Music Me]  
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 394
Music Me Online content
Full Member
Music Me  Online Content
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PA


Barbara
...without music, no life...
#2168552 - 10/19/13 02:44 PM Re: Understanding funk? [Re: thejazzmann]  
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 335
Rob Mullins Offline
Full Member
Rob Mullins  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 335
LA CA
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
#2168641 - 10/19/13 06:35 PM Re: Understanding funk? [Re: thejazzmann]  
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 181
RonL Offline
Full Member
RonL  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 181
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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