With beginnings that go back as early as the 50s, funk music has influenced every new genre throughout every decade. Still as fresh as ever, no genre makes you want to get up on your feet and break into dance the way funk music does.
The 50s and 60s were a time when music innovation was rife. New genres were popping up everywhere, combining the elements of established genres like soul, jazz and R&B, putting more emphasis on the rhythm and groove. The bass guitar and the drums were more important than they had ever been. The appearance of hard syncopated bass lines and drum beats, accented by guitarists playing complex jazz chords and intricate, percussive, strumming patterns soon became the defining element in funk music. This rhythmic approach become known as a “groove”, and this gave rise to a style of music more danceable than ever before.
The funk groove was pioneered by James Brown, duly recognised as the King of Funk. His sound spawned a host of other funk acts like Sly and the Family Stone, and later on in the 70s, bands like Kool & The Gang. By the 70s, funk was reaching its zenith, and was influencing newer genres like hip hop, finding its way into mixing decks of the New York-based DJs.
Funk took the 80s by the scruff of the neck, fully embracing the technology that came with it, exemplified by icons like Prince and Michael Jackson, who incorporated elements into their music. Rock bands in the 90s drew heavily upon funk to solidify their groove with bands like Red Hot Chili Peppers leading the way. Today, many genres can trace their roots back to the grooves of funk music, and we can be sure it will continue inspiring the new generations of musicians still to come.
Funk music is a joy to listen and dance to, and even better to make. Whether you’re a bassist, a drummer, a vocalist or just a fan, We’ve designed BandLab so that all levels of creators can make music they love, easily. We’ll show you how you can put together a funk track on BandLab.
The Looper Funk Packs
Not knowing how to play any instruments shouldn’t stop you from producing. Give the Looper on mobile a try. All it takes is a few taps, a dash of your creativity, and you can create a professional sounding funk track in no time.
Right now, there are two funk packs for you to choose from. But funk is such an eclectic genre, you could easily produce a track using loop packs from other genres like Disco, Pop, Indie and more. Always look out for our latest updates – we’re always creating more loops to empower you creators out there.
If you’re ready to take another step up, head to the Mix Editor on the web. Loops give you a greater level of creative freedom when it comes to designing your sound. Made in-house by our professional sound team, it’s simple to use too – just select a loop you dig, drag and drop them into your track.
When you get to the Mix Editor, click Loops and then select “All Loops”. Choose your filter – this time you’ll want to select Funk. You can further sort the loops by their instruments. From drum loops, funky basslines, comped guitar riffs, and even vocal samples, there is a huge range of loops to piece together a track that you’ll be proud of.
Funk is all about the groove and feel. It’s not uncommon to hear tempo fluctuations midway through a song. But that’s not to say a straight groove created with a drum machine has no place in funk – this sort of beat can be found on many funk, R&B and soul records in the 80s. A rock-solid straight groove gives the perfect “behind-the-beat” accompaniment for the rest of the instruments.
Use the Funk Kit for an old-school funk drum sound, but you’ll never go from with the classic, timeless 808 Kit for a more electro-funk drum groove in the style of a Marvin Gaye or Prince song.
There are loads of ways to experiment on BandLab and these tools are just a start to your journey creating your perfect funk track. Get creating, and remember to share your music in the BandLab community and beyond.