Fleshing Out Your Funk
Sometimes all that’s needed is a fat backbeat on the snare and a bass drum pattern that complements the bass line — something like Ex. 1. But other times the groove can be a little thicker or seasoned in a slightly different way that can powerfully affect the music. Exs. 2 and 3 take the same groove and change the feel by changing the hi-hat pattern. This is subtle but very effective. Exs. 4—6 change the ride pattern to fill in the cracks a bit. These can be helpful to lock in the feel at different tempos. And Exs. 7 and 8 flesh out the snare pattern with some ghost notes. Be careful to keep these low and subtle, as they can be distracting when they get too loud, and the power of your groove may suffer. And of course, all of these ideas can and should be combined in a myriad of ways.