Groove is the main principle in funk drumming. Funk drumming is one of the most fluid, yet also one of the broadest styles in modern music. Knowing this, it may seem a bit difficult to find out how to even start studying funk drumming.
In this article, we will explore the basics of funk in a short Funk drumming lesson that will help you to get your feet on the ground in the right place.
The first, and most important aspect of funk, is rhythm. Without rhythm, one cannot groove, and without groove, there is no funk.
This means that you will be making a new best friend; the metronome. You and the metronome will be spending a lot of time together, so it is best that you get acquainted early on. The metronome is a time keeping tool. However this may sound, it is not a clock. A metronome keeps time within a measure of music using a system of endless clicks, perfectly spaced to a given tempo.
Each click represents a beat, and in a basic 4/4 measure, four clicks equal an entire measure.
To start, play a snare drum stroke on the first click. Let the note ring out until the second click comes around. On the second click, repeat the stroke. Repeat for all four clicks. This is a basic 4/4 drum measure. It is also the most common measure used in basic funk drumming.
When you get a feel for quarter notes, try eighth notes. Two eighth notes equal a quarter, which means that each click will be broken in half; one stroke on the first click, one in between the first click and the second click.
The beat on the first click is called the on beat. The on beat is the primary beat of the measure. This is the beat that funk drumming tends not to focus on. The second eighth note is the off-beat. This note is the main focus of funk drumming rhythms.
To get a feel for a basic funk drumming snare pattern, try playing the off-beats only. It may help if you double the speed of your metronome, using each click as an eighth note instead of a quarter note. This means that if your 60bmp clicks were quarter notes, your 120 bmp clicks will be equivalent to eighth notes.
Count with your voice the number of the on beat as such:
One Two Three Four
Skip each off-beat. Next, count the on beats and the off-beats as such:
One and Two and Three and Four and
The and’s will be the notes that you will strike the snare on, and the primary beats (the numbers) will be rests. Take your time; at first, this exercise will not be easy. However, it is necessary as funk drumming focuses mainly on the off-beat.
Now that you know the basics of funk as far as approaching rhythms, the next step is to practice this funk drumming lesson. Don’t stop using the metronome; it is your lifeline to perfect rhythm. Practice hard, and most of all, have fun.
#1 – 5 Tips You Should Bear in Mind to Succeed in Funk Drumming
In the funk genre, there are tons of techniques and style specific skills that you would need to incorporate into your playing. We list the 5 most important tips to get you started and set you up for success.
#2 – Snare Drum Techniques Commonly Used in Funk
The snare drum is one of the most prominent tools in funk styled genres. Besides being useful as a tempo marker, the creative use of snares could also generate unique patterns and beats.
#3 – How Do Develop a Good Sense of Groove And Play With Fluidity
What are grooves and more importantly, how do you get groovy? Well, having a great sense of groove is basically having the ability to play drums and making your parts flow with fluidity into the song.
#4 – Simple Ways to Pick Up Funk Grooves and Beats
Like many other popular genres today, funk drumming has found its use and influences in modern day music. Contrary to popular belief, funk beats in itself can range from very simple (variations of rock beats) to being very complex (variations into sub-latin genre).
#5 – Hi-Hat and Ride Cymbals Variations You Can Use
Syncopation is achieved through the use of the hi-hat and ride cymbals. can open up new worlds of music for you. Check out this article as we show you some examples that you can use to jive and groove to the beat.
#6 – 3 Ways on How to Improve Your Drumming Groove
When we talk about grooves, one of the most commonly asked questions that I get asked about this ‘mysterious’ term is: What does it mean and how do you get better in it? In this lesson, we will share some insights with you.
#7 – Making the Best Use of Your Left Foot In A Groove
I know a lot of drummers out there tend to neglect the left foot when playing a pattern on the drums. We’ll show you some exercises that you can do to improve foot control and incorporate more dynamics to your playing.
#8 – Linear Fusion Groove Drum Fills
So you might be wondering, “What the hell is a linear fushion groove?” These are usually the result of continual evolution of modern drumming concepts. A linear fusion pattern is basically a combination of 2 different rhythms.
#9 – Disco Styled Beats to Get the Dance Floor Moving
While the disco craze and era has lost its popularity in recent years, there’s still a lot of benefits for a drummer to learn beats and rhythms that are great for dancing. One of them is to expand your knowledge while other reasons may include good synchronization skills and catchy beats.
#10 – 3 Funk Rhythm Exercises That You Can Learn Today!
Funk is really all about getting the rhythm and correct feel in your playing. In this tutorial, we will show you some simple patterns and beats to get your hands wet. As we move along, you can work your way to coming up with your original rudiments.
Would you like to learn drums while having fun with play-along songs at the same time? At Drumeo, you can access a massive library of lessons and get 2 brand new songs to jam along every month. This will help you apply your new found skills in practical scenarios!