The modern funk bassist has an important job aside from playing with good time, tone, and technique. This bassist has to capture grooves spanning several generations and genres of bass playing. From hip-hop and electronic music, to indie rock and grooves from the ’60s-’80s, there are a lot of bases to cover.
In his course, Modern Funk Bass, Steve Jenkins shares his go-to approaches for honing these techniques.
Here are nine video funk bass guitar lessons from the course. For the full course, check out Steve Jenkins’ Modern Funk Bass on TrueFire!
Bass Guitar Lesson – Boogie On: Overview
“Boogie On” is a tribute to one of the grooviest, funkiest bass players of all time: Stevie Wonder’s left hand!
Bass Guitar Lesson – Boogie On: Performance
“Boogie On” has a bunch of different concepts. Even though it’s somewhat reminiscent of a Stevie Wonder bass part, it’s also an example of how combining an octave pedal and an envelope filter can get some really cool bass synth sounds.
Bass Guitar Lesson – Boogie On: Breakdown
Here’s where I explain how to use effects and emulate a funky synth bass sound.
Bass Guitar Lesson – Clockwork: Overview
“Clockwork” is a good blend of electronic music and syncopation. It has a half-time/double time feel similar to the kind of beats Timbaland made in the 90’s. I’m also using an octave pedal to get a synth sound.
Bass Guitar Lesson – Clockwork: Performance
Check out how smooth and relaxed the hits towards the end of this track are. The idea is to stay relaxed and not get thrown by the upbeats.
Bass Guitar Lesson – Clockwork: Breakdown
In addition to explaining the sonic choices for this example, I also explain the section that contains all upbeats at the end. I’ve also included a slower version that you can practice with.
Bass Guitar Lesson – Graham Funk Railroad: Overview
This is a groove in the style of the father of slap bass himself, Larry Graham. This bass part also features octaves and syncopation.
Bass Guitar Lesson – Graham Funk Railroad: Performance
While watching this performance of “Graham Funk Railroad,” pay close attention to the length of all of the different notes that are slapped and popped. That’s a big part of why a bass line like this works so well over this groove.
Bass Guitar Lesson – Graham Funk Railroad: Breakdown
Here I explain what’s happening detail by detail in “Graham Funk Railroad”.
Digging these free video funk bass guitar lessons? Check out Steve Jenkins’ full course, Modern Funk Bass.