What is funk music? According to Encyclopaedia is a rhythm driven musical genre popular in the 1970s & early 1980s that linked soul & later other musical styles within the African American community. Our project with Roy is to record a funk EP but to do that I have to explore on how to record funk keyboards as I will be playings keys on the EP through research.

Funk is described to be unpredictable style or attitude & aggressive urban dance music driven hard by multiple synths involved in the rhythmic counter-play all working toward a groove. A few bands such as Parliament Funkadelic where known for using various keyboards, organs & electric pianos & more often synths are used for baselines & low sound effects. On other circumstances keyboards would be used like guitars to redevelop & displace with extended chords & at times adding percussive effects & rhythm.

Parliament Funkadelic and a few other bands are known for using a variety of keyboards, organs, and electric pianos. More often though synths are used for bass-lines and low sound effects. Bernie Worrell is a great inspiration to me as he was a very prominent keyboard player & composer & a founding member of Parliament Funkadelic.

 There is that notion of funk sounds come from either a Clavinet setting for Fender Rhodes keyboard setting. I would like to explore a little more about that idea so that I may able to understand it & then incorporate it.

Fender Rhodes

Many Jazz fusions artists or tracks use Fender Rhodes as back backing for s funky bass riff. The Rhodes sound is excellent for laying funk baseline in songs as it gives a deep bass & thick chords much indeed for funk. The treble end of the Rhodes can sound a little tiny & can be modified to sound different using an equaliser. The midrange chords are great for comping chords

Hohner Clavinet

The Clavinet has a less distinguished bass than the Rhodes but is unique for soloing & chord comping. Steve Wonders uses this in most of his tracks. The Clavinet setting is almost present in Morden keyboards even as a stock option. The setting also comes quite frequently in rock & it compliments a guitar well but may require more bass backing than Rhodes.

Once you have a particular setting preferred you may need to add an important ingredient on your rig to get a funk sound & that will be using a way pedal. Most softwares have tried to replicate this sound however using a pedal will empower more authentic sound & gives you the ability to articulate chords & solos much promptly.

By incorporating these ideas I hope to get some funky keyboards sound recorded on our EP project & I also will experiment more & see what other sound I might even accidentally create which may even revolutionise that notion.


Backbeat. (2011). Keyboard presents the evolution of electronic dance music

Play – beginner – bring the funk with a centuries-old classical technique. (2006). Keyboard38, 38

Funk – extended funk jams can challenge even the most creative and hard-grooving of keyboardists. here’s how to keep things interesting. (2009). Keyboard42, 42–42.

Vintage sounds channel the funk of herbie hancock’s r“ockit” lead. (2008). Keyboard -Lazaneo California-34(6), 70–70.

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