Posted on

Introducing Funk

Funk is a distinct style of music originated by the African American Culture. It hit the scene in the late 60’s early 70’s.

James Brown, as released by image creator Lars...

Image via Wikipedia

Its name originated in the 1950s, when “funk” and “funky” were used increasingly as adjectives in the context of soul music. The meaning being transformed from the original one (pungent odor) to a re-defined meaning of a strong, distinctive groove.

Funk consists a blend of soul music, jazz music and R&B. What separates this genre is the strong bass-line usually played in a style called “slap bass.” The blend of this baseline, complex drum licks, choppy guitar strumming, and synchronized horns (trumpets and saxophones) composed in a rhythmic groove gives Funk it’s distinct sound.

Bootsy Collins

Image via Wikipedia

A few popular artists in this genre are James Brown, Bootsy Collins, Parliament, and Rick James.

In this video Bootsy Collins will break down his basic style of Funk (“on the one”) with his bass guitar. This means playing one consistent note on every one count of the tempo. After playing that specific note (“on the one”), you have freedom to play any note in any order and any way as long as you keep rhythm. Here’s the video demonstration from no other than the man himself.

Promotional photo of Sly & the Family Stone fo...

Image via Wikipedia

The person considered to be the one who brought along the style of “slap bass” is Larry Graham. Larry Graham is part of the group Sly and The Family Stone. Here’s a video of Larry Graham playing this style.


About Cameron

A 90's baby with an old soul. A full time student, (Psychology) & (Public Relations) from the Bay Area, California. Played basketball and drums all my life, amateur guitarist. Big fan of Old-School Hip-Hop, Jazz, Funk & Soul music. I guess you can say I was born a few decades late.

One response to “Introducing Funk

  1. Pingback: Basic Principles of Music Theory Hostility – Rhythm « Slight Curvature

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s