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#1974379 - 10/17/12 03:16 AM Understanding funk?
thejazzmann Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/25/11
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]
Exalted Wombat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 1231
Loc: 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.

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

Registered: 11/14/07
Posts: 933
Loc: 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

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#1974885 - 10/17/12 09:54 PM Re: Understanding funk? [Re: thejazzmann]
SBP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/12/12
Posts: 258
Rick James
_________________________
2012 Kawai K3

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#1974893 - 10/17/12 10:09 PM Re: Understanding funk? [Re: thejazzmann]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3773
James Brown.
_________________________
Piano teacher and Blues and Boogie-Woogie pianist.

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#1975206 - 10/18/12 01:51 PM Re: Understanding funk? [Re: thejazzmann]
Jazz+ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 838
Loc: Banned
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 :


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

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 838
Loc: Banned
_________________________
Roland FP-4 digital piano, Mason & Hamlin acoustic piano.

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#1975211 - 10/18/12 01:56 PM Re: Understanding funk? [Re: thejazzmann]
Jazz+ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 838
Loc: Banned


"So What"


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#1975317 - 10/18/12 05:24 PM Re: Understanding funk? [Re: Jazz+]
daviel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/07
Posts: 933
Loc: Waxahachie, Texas
Originally Posted By: Jazz+


"So What"



Holy Cow, Jazz+! Thanks for posting "So What" -- fab!!!
_________________________
"Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."
David Loving, Waxahachie, Texas

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#1975351 - 10/18/12 06:40 PM Re: Understanding funk? [Re: thejazzmann]
Hideki Matsui Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/19/10
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.


Edited by Hideki Matsui (10/18/12 06:47 PM)
_________________________
Shigeru Kawai SK5
Vintage Vibe 64
Roland LX-15e
Roland Jupiter 80

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#1975521 - 10/19/12 05:42 AM Re: Understanding funk? [Re: thejazzmann]
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1379
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
_________________________

I never play anything the same way once.

https://soundcloud.com/chrisb/sets
https://www.youtube.com/user/djboing/videos

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

Registered: 11/14/07
Posts: 933
Loc: 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


Edited by daviel (10/21/12 01:23 AM)
Edit Reason: add Dr John & the lower 9-11
_________________________
"Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."
David Loving, Waxahachie, Texas

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#2167837 - 10/17/13 07:10 PM Re: Understanding funk? [Re: thejazzmann]
RodScod.com Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/17/13
Posts: 5
Loc: 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


Edited by RodScod.com (10/17/13 07:10 PM)

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#2167879 - 10/17/13 09:33 PM Re: Understanding funk? [Re: thejazzmann]
Music Me Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 10/23/12
Posts: 372
Loc: 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...

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#2167881 - 10/17/13 09:34 PM Re: Understanding funk? [Re: Music Me]
Music Me Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 10/23/12
Posts: 372
Loc: PA
_________________________
Barbara
...without music, no life...

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#2168552 - 10/19/13 02:44 PM Re: Understanding funk? [Re: thejazzmann]
Rob Mullins Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/10/04
Posts: 332
Loc: 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

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#2168641 - 10/19/13 06:35 PM Re: Understanding funk? [Re: thejazzmann]
RonL Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/10/12
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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