One of the most difficult genres of music to define is funk. Funk has elements of jazz, rock, pop and funk itself. Funk focuses on the beat and there is plenty of changes in arrangement, timing and structure. Like jazz there are other music styles and lots of improvisation. While it does take a lot of its influence from jazz it is still far different. Funk is constantly growing and changing and it doesn’t always adhere to the rules of jazz. Funk goes back to the early 60’s but modern funk rock bands sound nothing like George Clinton.
What Makes Music Funky
Back in the 60’s funk start with James Brown and his signature sound, from then until now the most distinctive part of funk music is the bass guitar. Prior to soul and funk music you rarely heard a bass guitar whereas funk embraced it. The bass lines used in Funk are what differentiate it from jazz or even soul music. Jazz and soul music use simple rhythms but funk is far more complicated. Here is more on what makes music funky.
Modern Funk Rock
Funk became initially popular in the 60’s but it was rarely heard in the 70’s but it was back on the radio in the 80’s because of artist like Prince, Chaka Khan and Michael Jackson. Throughout the 90’s it was sampled heavily by the hip hop community. In today’s music you can hear a strong funk element in bands like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jane’s Addiction and Rage Against the Machine.
It is not just rock bands that have been sampling funk, you can hear it in Beyonce’s music with the song “Crazy in Love” being the best example. Beyonce isn’t the only diva to use funk either, Mariah Carey and Jennifer Lopez have both incorporated that distinctive funk sound.
If you want bands that do more than just sample that funky sound then start with the genre’s most notable artist, George Clinton who has been making funky music for more than 30’s years. Here are some other great modern funk rock bands you need to check out, Galactic, Late Night Radio, The Pimps of Joytime, The Floozies, Marvel Years and KC Roberts & The Live Revolution.
You can also listen to WeFunkRadio.com for some great funk music and a chance to catch up and coming funk artist.