Learn and Master Funk Drumming

funk drumming

George Clinton

The Drumming System has a great section on funk. Funk music began in the 1960′s and is still popular today. When people talk about funk, people associate word “funk” with “cool”. Funk is cool!

According to the Drumming System, funk drumming can be defined as adding a more rhythmic element to basic rock beats, making them fancier. This can include putting snare drum notes and bass drum notes on the “e” or the “ah” of a beat.

Funk drumming can also include playing on the upbeats (not playing on the quarter note). This becomes really interesting and fun. Not only will your beats sound cool, but you’ll want to dig in to this style of music. In fact, you can make any style of music “funky”.

Some of the great funk drummers are David Garibaldi, Clyde Stubblefield, Jabo Starks, and Dennis Chambers.

Here are some great funk artists to check out:

  • James Brown
  • Sly and the Family Stone
  • Earth, Wind, and Fire
  • Tower of Power
  • The Meters
  • George Clinton

The Drumming System has a funk beats for drummers at every level. The beginner beats have bass drum notes and snare drum notes on the “e” and the “ah”. They also include randomly open hi-hat notes. The intermediate beats get fancier. The advanced beats include all types of rhythms, including thirty second notes.

On a personal note, I consider funk to be the main style of music that I play. I have been fortunate this year to see my favorite band, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic several times this year. If you’ve never been to a performance, I encourage you to check them out. The band was the strongest groove I’ve ever heard in my life. It’s guaranteed to move you.

funk drumming

Rico Lewis

George Clinton’s main drummer, Rico Lewis, has been an incredible inspiration to me. He’s an interesting drummer because he has a tight groove that is light, yet powerful. He knows how to hold back, yet drive the band simultaneously. One thing that separates him apart from most other drummers is his ability to just play the hi hat alone and keep the groove slamming! Check him out at www.RicoLewis.com.

About Mike Veny

Mike Veny has written 528 articles on this site..

Mike Veny is a professional drummer sponsored by Gretsch Drums, Bosphorus Cymbals, Toca Percussion, Gibraltar Hardware, Vic Firth Drum Sticks, Aquarian Drumheads, Gator Cases & a Member of the Board of Directors of the Fender® Music Foundation. He lives in New York City & has been happy playing drums since 1989. His current projects include recently playing drums on music for the Investigation Discovery Channel & performing with Sean 360x & the universoul spiRitual Ankhestra alongside Ramsey Jones of the Wu-Tang Clan family. Sean 360x is a MySpace chartopping artist & has been #1 on the ReverbNation Electronica/Dance charts for over 16 weeks. Mike also performs with Kim Oler, an Emmy Award winning composer for ABC’s All My Children, As the World Turns,The Tracey Ullman Show, and The Guiding Light.

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