Like all genres or styles, the DNA of what makes up a great funk beat is very hard to pin down. Closely linked to rock drumming and inspiring hip hop, the typical elements of funk are it’s dance-ability and syncopation.
One think present in classic funk records like James Brown or The Meters are ghost notes. Ghost notes are quieter notes that create internal dynamics and give some propulsion to the groove. Check out what happens in the video when I add ghosts to a simple groove. It’s hard to describe, it just makes it…. well… FUNKIER!
Recommended listening: You can’t go past any of James Browns drummers. Guys like James Gadson, Clyde Stubblefield and John Jabo Starks. More recently Nate Smith will blow your mind.
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