Funk Part 1 supplement — The Bar Kays' "Shake Your Rump to the Funk"


If you are dancing along to this funk gem, note what happens during the first ten seconds of the song.

0:00-0:02     drums accent the full-band riffs
0:03-0:05     drums play backbeat
0:06-0:08     drums accent the full-band riffs
0:09- . . .       drums play backbeat

This same sequence repeats at the 1:56 mark.

Do you notice how much easier it is to dance with the backbeat in place?  When the drums join the full-band riffs, it creates a temporary imbalance because the strong-beat framework is eclipsed by the accented syncopated notes (the second, fourth, sixth, and eighth notes in the nine-note riff pattern).

ba-PAH ba-PAH ba-PAH ba-PAH BAH

This is the teeter-totter principle in action (and an example of the fun one can create by challenging the dancers).

Note that this arrangement move relies on the drummer Mike Beard's smooth transition from the accented riff to the backbeat.


Thank you for reading.