10 Funk Songs For Bass Players

This is part of my Bass Guitar Syllabus post where I recommend songs in different genres to listen to (and then ultimately try and figure out by ear). Listening to good music is a form of practice and there is a lifetime of great bass playing to be learnt from these songs!

Make sure to check out the other genres.

With good technique and timing, funk is relatively easy. You need both those elements though so be sure to work on them every day.

There are many forms of funk and if you want to learn a little about the history as well as how to play a hundred funk grooves, then take a look at 100 Funk Bass Grooves

100 Funk Bass Grooves For Electric Bass


1.Uptown Funk

This bass line is played with an octave pedal and features a repetitive groove (common to funk). 

2. Play That Funky Music

In the classic funk key of E Minor. 


3. Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)

Syncopated popping! If you're new to slap, this lesson's for you.

4. Chameleon

Ignore that this line is played by Herbie Hancock's left hand; it's the epitome of a simple repeating bass line anchoring the song.

5. Fire 

Relaxed tempo, melodic groove.

6. Pick Up The Pieces

The funk formula pattern is used on this one, and it's just a case of moving it from the i to the iv chord.

7. Get Up Offa That Thing

James Brown has to feature on any funk list. The original. Features Will Lee on bass (what a career he's had!).

8. 1612

Retro Joe Dart vibes.


9. Chelsea Rodgers

Sickeningly funky repetitive groove from one of Prince's lesser known songs. This uses the Dorian mode (as many funk grooves do)with funky octaves.


10. Cosmic Girl

Pop funk at its finest.

To learn more about what to learn and why head to Bass Guitar Syllabus

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