Sly & The Family Stone
The Ohio Players
Tower Of Power
Earth, Wind & Fire
Kool and the Gang
Meshelle N'dege O'celo
The Brothers Johnson
The Isley Brothers
The Gap Band
Johhny Guitar Watson
Thanks, what sort of settings are good for chorus. No gain, bass on 7, treble 5, mids 4 with chorus? I am new to funk metal used to be my thing. I have a H&K MK1 TriAmp w/ PRS Custom 22, and others but they are not worth mentioning. A strat is the definitive funk guitar.
Oh man, there really is no one particular sound when it comes to funk guitar, although strats for thinner single coil sounds and 335s for fatter humbucking sounds seem to be the most popular choices. Funk is all about grooving with whatever you got. Your PRS should be able to get several nice variations of funk tones.
Chorus is not a big player in most funk bags. You hear a phaser much more, especially in the '70s stuff. The vast majority is just guitar and amp with a clean tone or perhaps just an edge of gain to funk it up a bit. A lot of funk is not nearly as clean or pristine as people try to make it. A wah and/or envelope filter is nice to have but it is easy to overuse as most people think, "I'm going to play funk, I'd better use my wah." Used sparingly they are fine, but they can be done to death in no time and you will just sound like a cliche.
If I were you, I'd just get a James Brown disc with a sampling of his late 60's early 70's recording, not his earlier more r&b recording, and learn as many guitar AND bass lines (and drum parts for that matter) as you can until they become a part of you. Then, branch out and try some of the other bands that I mentioned.
Don't think about the sound until you're funky. You won't know how you need it to sound until you've gotten going.
The general funk pattern is 1/16th note strumming - keep the hang moving at all times, mute for the *chkychkychky* accents, make the notes jump out. Focus on the four high strings. Chords with 7ths and 9ths.
Most importantly, feel the beat. A guitarist in a funk band is not like a guitarist in a rock band - rather than being the leader, you are the rhythm section. The bass is the drive, the drums are the force, and you're the accent. Syncopation is a good thing.
+1 on Parliamint, a very funky yet accessible band with a large catalog. With George Clinton, its all about the groove and Funkadelic tunes will get you moving in the right direction. Changes to the minimum and groove to the maximum make them easier to cut your teeth on.
Djabro covered alot of ground with his suggestions...all good IMO
While George Clinton is supremely funky, his stuff doesn't very well show off funk guitar - it's mostly bass/horns/keys.
Curtis Mayfield does a good job on showing how to use a wah pedal without the world hating you.
The Meters have some cool funk guitar going on. James Brown has lots...
Best source I've found, really, is this compilation called "Cold Heat: Heavy Funk Rarities, 1968-1974." It's real heavy funk, underground stuff with this dirty soul feel to it, not as polished as the major label funk post-Parliament. The tracks by The Apollo Commanders, The Soul Seven, and Lil' Lavair & The Fabulous Jades, especially.
Good point Antero... I was thinking that you can pick up what you need from any of the players in a good Funk band...especially horns and drums...and bass...and keys, no? Maybe I misunderstood the goal and took "I need to get funky" too generally. Good points and good suggestions...
You can definitely get the right feel from George Clinton stuff, utterly. It's important to listen to anyhow, since the bass/drums/horns are what really matter, neh? That's what the guitar has to lock into...
I was totally weaned on funk. My first album was Parliament's Greatest Hits. :
I'm surprised nobody's mentioned our very own Tomo Fujita. Incredible Funk player and Berklee professor (not to mention just a nice guy). His Accellerate your Playing dvd is something that every guitar player could benefit from. He really gets you aquainted with syncopated rhythms, both chords and single note lines.
+1 for the meters, My friend let me borrow an anthology of theirs, and Leo is just an incredibly understated guitar player, such awesome rhythm chops and great subtle leads, and George Porter Jr. nuff said. Also check out Dr. John's album "In The Right Place" the meters are his backing band and it is just a solid disc all around, grooves galore.