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The electric bass first came into widespread use in the late 1950's. A few years later, in the 1960's, a new musical style we now call funk -- unthinkable before the electric bass -- grooved out of the studios of Memphis, Tennessee (Stax), Muscle Shoals, Alabama (Fame), Detroit (Motown), and New York. In the 1960's and 1970's, great players like Donald (Duck) Dunn, James Jamerson, David Hood, Bernard Odum, Larry Graham, Bootsy Collins, Chuck Rainey, Jerry Jemmott, Rocco Prestia, Paul Jackson, and many others, laid the foundations of funk for future generations of bottom-enders.
Classic Funk and R&B Grooves for Bass approaches the music far differently, and far more effectively, than traditional methods. There are no "exercises," only actual bass grooves. Classic Funk and R&B Grooves does cover techniques and concepts, including the use of muted (ghost) notes, string raking, vibrato, syncopation, and the use of non-scalar intervals such as octaves and dominant sevenths. Instead of putting these to work in drills, though, the player goes straight into grooving.
Call it instruction by osmosis, if you will, but bear in mind that the great funk bassists learned to play this way. If you study enough vocabulary, and use it in a real setting, you learn the language.
Every bass groove you find here was played and recorded first in real-time jams with living, breathing drummers, then transcribed later. By contrast, most instruction books are written first, and the musical examples are played to a drum machine. It's critical to the spirit of this book/CD package that live drums are used throughout, and you'll feel the difference from the first track.
In addition to the players named earlier, there are many other fine bassists in funk and R&B. Their failure to get mention doesn't mean their contributions are less appreciated. It just means that there's a limit on the length of this introduction. Suffice it to say that, taken together, these are the cats whose playing makes the genre of funk and R&B what it is: the music you think of first when your drummer says, "Lay down a groove."