Writing Funk Grooves for Drums and Bass

Learn the fundamentals of a great funk groove and how to adapt them to create better beats and bass lines in your music.

45 Minutes
5 Sections

What makes a great funk groove? Is it the funky drummer? Or the booty-moving bass lines? In this free course we take a look at some of the fundamental characteristics of a great funk rhythm section and how to adapt those lessons to your own music, whether as a bandleader, songwriter, producer, or performer. 

By the end of this course, you'll be able to better communicate with drummers and bassists about what you want, as well as write better funk-influenced parts for your music. We start with some fundamental characteristics common to funk before taking an in-depth look at how they're used in a modern context by deconstructing Anderson .Paak's "Come Down." Dive in to get started!

Efa Etoroma, Jr. and Carter Lee

Efa and Carter are a professional LA-based drummer and bassist who have each performed and recorded music of many different styles with a wide range of artists. In addition to playing with acts like Moonchild and Sensae, Efa serves on the DJ/Production faculty at the Musician’s Institute in Hollywood and teaches songwriting and music production at Citystage LA. Carter is currently involved with groups like DRTV and the Marias, and serves as Music Director of the Loud Program, a non-profit organization that brings rock music and instruction to underserved schools.

Efa uses Yamaha Drums, Paiste Cymbals, Promark Sticks, Humes and Berg Cases, Remo Drumheads exclusively.

More About Efa Etoroma, Jr. and Carter Lee
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rhythm section
writing funk grooves for drums and bass
efa etoroma jr.
carter lee
song analysis

Course Outline

  1. Section 1

    Play That Funky Music

  2. Section 2

    Get Funked Up

  3. Section 3

    Funky Drummer

  4. Section 4

    Get Down on It

  5. Section 5

    Give Up the Funk


Who is this course for?

This course was designed for bandleaders, songwriters, and producers who are hoping to strengthen their rhythm section writing and communication skills. While it's more for bandleaders and songwriters than performers, we won't turn you away if you're a bassist or drummer looking for an extra perspective as well.

What are the requirements?

Those who can read music notation will likely get more out of this course. If reading music is new to you, or if you'd like to brush up on your skills, we highly encourage you to checking out this FREE course. We also recommend a basic to intermediate understanding of harmony and rhythm.

How long does it take?

You can get through the videos and readings in this course in under an hour. As with any music learning, it will be even more effective if you can commit at least a few hours of practice to the concepts you've learned.

What what can I expect to get out of it?

By the end of this course, you'll be able to confidently write simple, funk-influenced grooves for drums and bass. You'll have a deeper understanding of how drummers and bass players approach a new part, so it'll be easier for you to explain what you're going for in your arrangements.