Five Funk Beats You Should Know

If you understand Funk, you’ll have a better understanding of groove and feel in general. In this lesson we’ll cover 5 of my favorite Funk beats. These 5 beats will serve as a good starting point to represent a sampling of some of the different approaches you will encounter when playing Funk. The beats we will cover in this lesson are James Brown’s Cold Sweat with Clyde Stubblefield on drums, Soul Power with Jabo Starks on drums,“Funky Drummer” with Clyde Stubblefield on drums, Herbie Hancock “Chameleon” with Harvey Mason on drums and the Meters' “Cissy Strut” with Joseph “Zigaboo” Modeliste on drums. I picked these 5 beats specifically for a reason. I feel that if you can convincingly play these five beats, you’ll be able to handle most of the funk that comes your way. These beats get referenced often and they are each quite different from each other. I’ve heard these beats referenced when figuring out what to play in a recording session or when writing new material. I’ve also heard most of these songs called out at gigs and Jam sessions. Learning these 5 beats will definitely help you Improve Your Groove.

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