Matt Byrne: An Entry Point For Funk

Funk It Up

By Matt Byrne Originally Published In DRUM! Magazine's August 2009 Issue

In this lesson, we will explore some different “in-the-pocket” funk-style beats. These beats are relatively straightforward, with the focus mainly on the interplay between the opening of the hi-hat and the kick-drum pattern. In these examples, we are dealing with a right-hand sixteenth-note sticking on the hi-hat, right-hand quarter-note sticking on hi-hat, and alternate-hand sixteenth-note sticking on hi-hat. Mastering these beats will really help develop your backbeat and will give you a better understanding of what it means to play “in-the-pocket.”

Overall, these beats should be used as a blueprint for you to develop new ideas. Create your own variations, whether they be subtle or so extreme that the original beats evolve into something completely different and fresh. That is the point of this exercise – to master something pretty tight and straightforward and inject your own style into it and make it your own.

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