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#2164150 - 02/12/10 03:19 PM Funk vs. Disco
Groove Mama Offline
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Thesis statement: Funk is the natural, organic evolution of '60s Soul; pure of heart, music of the people. Disco, on the other hand, is the commercialized, schlocky, bastard stepchild of Soul and Funk. Discuss.

Extra-credit question: Describe the sonic differences between the two.
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#2164153 - 02/12/10 03:30 PM Re: Funk vs. Disco [Re: Groove Mama]
ZZ Thorn Offline
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Words sometimes serve to obfuscate.
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#2164155 - 02/12/10 03:33 PM Re: Funk vs. Disco [Re: ZZ Thorn]
Groove Mama Offline
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Originally Posted By: ZZ Thorn
Words sometimes serve to obfuscate.


And sometimes to clarify, which is my intent here.
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#2164161 - 02/12/10 04:00 PM Re: Funk vs. Disco [Re: Groove Mama]
jcadmus Offline
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BOOM, chaka, ta-boom, ta-chaka-ta, BOOM, chaka, ta-boom, ta-chaka-ta.

vs.

*thump, thump, thump, thump* tss-sup, tss-sup, tss-sup, tss-sup...

Any questions?

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#2164164 - 02/12/10 04:13 PM Re: Funk vs. Disco [Re: jcadmus]
Groove Mama Offline
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Originally Posted By: jcadmus
BOOM, chaka, ta-boom, ta-chaka-ta, BOOM, chaka, ta-boom, ta-chaka-ta.

vs.

*thump, thump, thump, thump* tss-sup, tss-sup, tss-sup, tss-sup...

Any questions?



Nope. Most eloquently stated!
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Queen of the Quarter Note
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#2164169 - 02/12/10 04:47 PM Re: Funk vs. Disco [Re: Groove Mama]
Paul K Offline
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I think it's the presence vrs. the absence of violins is what differentiates the two. "Funky Town" comes to mind. I think that if the strings were 86'd, I'd only hate that tune half as much.


Edited by Paul K (02/12/10 04:48 PM)
Edit Reason: syntax error
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#2164192 - 02/12/10 06:26 PM Re: Funk vs. Disco [Re: Paul K]
jeremy c Offline
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If the drummer plays something besides four on the floor that MIGHT make it funk.
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#2164199 - 02/12/10 06:59 PM Re: Funk vs. Disco [Re: jeremy c]
plankspanker13 Offline
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There's some funk in some disco music, but never the other way around. jcadmus nailed it.


Edited by plankspanker13 (02/12/10 07:00 PM)
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#2164213 - 02/12/10 08:12 PM Re: Funk vs. Disco [Re: Paul K]
Groove Mama Offline
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Originally Posted By: Paul K
I think it's the presence vrs. the absence of violins is what differentiates the two.


See, Paul, that was my first thought as well. But then I got to wondering whether I wasn't missing other, more suble differences.

I still think: Sly? Yes! BeeGees? Blech! But I'd like to be able to better articulate why.
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#2164215 - 02/12/10 08:23 PM Re: Funk vs. Disco [Re: Groove Mama]
Paul K Offline
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I'm OK with the Bee Gee's. It sure ain't funk, but was influenced by the funk. I'm OK with it. The harmonies were hip and close, and not a lot of guys can sing falsetto in a convincing manner-- Falsetto is a big part of the funk.

And the clothes. Great clothes. Nobody dresses like that anymore.

I'm off to find some on Limewire since I've only really listened to it in the car...back in the AM radio days.....I wonder what it sounds like on real speakers.
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#2164240 - 02/12/10 10:18 PM Re: Funk vs. Disco [Re: Paul K]
Bottom End Offline
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Like several have pointed out, the drums (disco saw the beginnings of drum machines in production, IIRC) and other production values distinguish the two.

To most bassists, we all front for the funk in public. But late at night, when we are sure no one is listening, we are copping licks from disco compilations.

You can be proud of your loveof funk, disco is a guilty pleasure.


Edited by Bottom End (02/12/10 10:22 PM)
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#2164242 - 02/12/10 10:37 PM Re: Funk vs. Disco [Re: Bottom End]
Groove Mama Offline
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Originally Posted By: Bottom End
disco is a guilty pleasure.


Hmmm... Dunno about that, BE.

1979 Disco Demolition

I was never a Steve Dahl fan, but this spectacle did my heart good. Maybe it was just a Chicago thing...
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#2164254 - 02/13/10 01:34 AM Re: Funk vs. Disco [Re: Groove Mama]
Davo-London Offline
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Is Sister Sledge and Chic disco or funk? Does it really matter? Funk is generally lot's more fun to play and allows more room for exposition and exploration.

Learnt a couple of Chic lines recently and they are wonderful along with an articulate drummer.

Or am i taking this post too seriously?

Davo
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#2164255 - 02/13/10 01:35 AM Re: Funk vs. Disco [Re: Groove Mama]
Michele C. Offline
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Never liked disco, rather there have been times wen I danced with house music, much more fun, especially on the beaches of berkeley at five o' clock many years ago.
On the other hand, I can feel a lot of differences and analyze them all in terms of sound, rythm nd other musicologcal variables, but in the end, here as in rock-blues versus hard rock, I think the answer boils down to how much Africa you can feel into the music.
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#2164261 - 02/13/10 02:57 AM Re: Funk vs. Disco [Re: Michele C.]
Chad Thorne Offline
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Don't be hatin'. Disco is good. Funk is good. Each requires a level of musicianship to execute. The BeeGees rocked cosmically. And I guarantee that it makes little difference to the listening/dancing audience whether it's funk or disco as long as it grooves. I defy ANYONE to be in the presence of a tight band playing disco and not tap toes/snap fingers/wiggle butt.

That said: We gonna turn this mutha out.
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#2164282 - 02/13/10 05:37 AM Re: Funk vs. Disco [Re: Groove Mama]
picker Offline
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Originally Posted By: Funkslap Mama
Originally Posted By: jcadmus
BOOM, chaka, ta-boom, ta-chaka-ta, BOOM, chaka, ta-boom, ta-chaka-ta.

vs.

*thump, thump, thump, thump* tss-sup, tss-sup, tss-sup, tss-sup...

Any questions?



Nope. Most eloquently stated!


+1
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#2164311 - 02/13/10 07:13 AM Re: Funk vs. Disco [Re: Paul K]
jeremy c Offline
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You have to hear the music on a big system.

When disco first arrived, I used to go to a large gay club (don't ask, don't tell) with a very large sound system. Nothing like that had existed before. The place was a madhouse and the music drove people crazy (as did the drugs and sex).

My two favorite songs to hear on that sound system were Love's Theme by the Love Unlimited Orchestra (violins to the max) and Keep on Truckin' by Eddie Kendricks.

I could tell you many stories from those days, but this is a family forum.

People still do dress like that. Go to church in the 'hood and you'll see.
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#2164377 - 02/13/10 11:00 AM Re: Funk vs. Disco [Re: jeremy c]
Bottom End Offline
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Originally Posted By: jeremy c
You have to hear the music on a big system.

When disco first arrived, I used to go to a large gay club (don't ask, don't tell) with a very large sound system. Nothing like that had existed before. The place was a madhouse and the music drove people crazy ...


+1. For several years in the early '80's I lived very close to a large outdoor dance club. Whether I like it or not, I recognize a ton of dance music from bass lines alone.
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"Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, yet you cannot play upon me.'-Hamlet

Guitar solos last 30 seconds, the bass line lasts for the whole song.


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#2164390 - 02/13/10 11:43 AM Re: Funk vs. Disco [Re: Bottom End]
EZ Offline
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You can't get real funk until you have not took a shower for about a week, then you will know the true meaning of funk. Na nu na nu, all jokes aside. IMHO funk is not what you play but how you play it, it is a feel a attitude, you cannot learn it you have to feel it. Look at it like playing reggae you can play the right notes all night, but unless you feel it, it will never sound like reggae.
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#2164407 - 02/13/10 12:49 PM Re: Funk vs. Disco [Re: EZ]
TimR Offline
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Rythmically it is in the 16ths.
Disco usually has the accents on the 1st and/or 3rd 16th in each beat. Funk often has accents on the 4th 16th in each beat.

Not a hard and fast rule - there are no rules in music.
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#2164411 - 02/13/10 01:12 PM Re: Funk vs. Disco [Re: TimR]
picker Offline
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Real funk accents on the ONE.
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#2164412 - 02/13/10 01:14 PM Re: Funk vs. Disco [Re: TimR]
jcadmus Offline
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Was never really a fan of Disco.

But in retrospect, some of the stuff Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards were doing with Chic was brilliant -- they made disco that had a groove.
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#2164423 - 02/13/10 01:50 PM Re: Funk vs. Disco [Re: picker]
Slinky P Offline
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Loc: The Jerey Shore, NJ, USA
Originally Posted By: picker
Real funk accents on the ONE.

Funk = ONE n 2 n 3 n 4 n ONE
disco = lots of octaves and not as much rhytmically.

Lots of funk is rhythmacally complex although sometime single chord jams (but sometimes complex progressions)
Its played with an attitude, its nasty, it stanks. And the One is accented by pretty much the entire rhythm section. (classic James Brown and P-funk)

Disco has a lot less attitude. Four on the floor bass drum, bass parts not as rhytmacally intense (I always think of eigth note octaves)but there are exceptions.
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#2164424 - 02/13/10 01:53 PM Re: Funk vs. Disco [Re: Groove Mama]
b5pilot Offline
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Disco is what happend when record execs tried to get funky.
Just kidding, sort of. Disco to me seems very over produced.

Sadly, back when I was a guitar player in the late 70's I was a die hard rocker and a card carrying member of D.R.E.A.D - Detroit Rockers Engaged in the Aboluton of Disco. Oh yeah, "Disco sucks"!

Now that I play bass, I really like funk and some disco. Weird how a different perspective sheds a light on narrow thinking. What A dumbarse I was!
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#2164425 - 02/13/10 01:54 PM Re: Funk vs. Disco [Re: Slinky P]
jeremy c Offline
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on Give It Up or Turnit Loose by James Brown, the bass NEVER hits on the one. It's always one sixteenth note ahead.
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#2164499 - 02/13/10 09:30 PM Re: Funk vs. Disco [Re: Davo-London]
Groove Mama Offline
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Originally Posted By: Davo-London
Is Sister Sledge and Chic disco or funk? Does it really matter?

Or am i taking this post too seriously?

Davo


First off, Davo, never take me too seriously. This is merely an exercise whereby I'm inviting others to challenge my assumptions. If you think I'm full of it, I invite you to say so. Present a compelling argument, and I'll rethink my position.

That said, I'll admit without coercion that one of my fave bass lines of all time is that of Anthony Jackson on Steely Dan's "Glamour Profession," which is undeniably heavy on the disco vibe. So there you go.
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"Think like a drummer, not like a singer, and play much less." -- Michele C.

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#2164500 - 02/13/10 09:32 PM Re: Funk vs. Disco [Re: Michele C.]
Groove Mama Offline
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Originally Posted By: MicheleC
I think the answer boils down to how much Africa you can feel into the music.


That's a pretty succinct answer, Michele. I like that.
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Queen of the Quarter Note
"Think like a drummer, not like a singer, and play much less." -- Michele C.

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#2164503 - 02/13/10 09:35 PM Re: Funk vs. Disco [Re: Chad Thorne]
Groove Mama Offline
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Originally Posted By: Chad
Don't be hatin'.


Believe me, Chad, I'm trying to keep an open mind here. The two are obviously closely related; hence, my puzzlement as to why I like one and dislike the other.

Originally Posted By: Chad
And I guarantee that it makes little difference to the listening/dancing audience whether it's funk or disco as long as it grooves.


And here we've come full circle, back to that groove thang. Interesting.
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Queen of the Quarter Note
"Think like a drummer, not like a singer, and play much less." -- Michele C.

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#2164505 - 02/13/10 09:37 PM Re: Funk vs. Disco [Re: jeremy c]
Groove Mama Offline
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Originally Posted By: jeremy c
I could tell you many stories from those days, but this is a family forum.


Sounds like a conversation best had over a good bottle of wine.
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Queen of the Quarter Note
"Think like a drummer, not like a singer, and play much less." -- Michele C.

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#2164506 - 02/13/10 09:38 PM Re: Funk vs. Disco [Re: EZ]
Groove Mama Offline
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Loc: St. Louis, MO
Originally Posted By: EZ
IMHO funk is not what you play but how you play it, it is a feel a attitude, you cannot learn it you have to feel it.


I get this, EZ, I really do.
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