Cracking The Funk Rock Code

Take Your Bass Playing To The Next Level (And Beyond)

There are only two ways to improve your bass playing:

  1. Improve the technical/physical side of what you play - either improve plucking hand speeds or fretting hand facility or work on improved plucking hand or fretting hand system. This is a long term play.
  2. Improve your Bass IQ - this is working on 'what you play' and improving it by increasing your vocabulary or learning how to connect the vocabulary you know better and so on.  This is Bass IQ.  And growth from improving your Bass IQ works by compounding.  And leads to exponential growth.

In Cracking The Funk Rock Code we'll be focusing on improving your Bass IQ by internalizing the foundational devices of Funk Rock Bass as well as learning how to put them together to create great bass lines.

As a side effect, what we're going to be learning and practicing will also improve the physical aspect of your playing - note that you'll really get these 'side benefits' as you practice the material we're going to cover over a period of time.

I've analyzed (and transribed) a (wood)shed load of funk rock performances -like Billy Cox with Hendrix, Flea, Muzz Skilling and dozens of others -  looking for the commonly repeated ideas, rhyhms and devices found in runk rock.

And I turned this into a sequential learning system that bass players of even relatively moderate abilities can benefit from and improve with (Scroll down to see two lines composed by students who probably have no more ability than you).

Summarized this multi year process reduces down to 4 lines:

  1.  Identifying the core ideas found in runk rock from the late 60s through to the 2000s
  2.  Put those ideas into a sequential learning system
  3.  Add in the secret sauce - a technique I developed called “deliberat composition” - that enables students just like you to put these funk rock devices together to create compelling bass lines.
  4.  All combined and compressed into a short period of learning (though the actual implementationshould carry on beyond this initial short period)


Your Chance To Learn From The Pioneers Of Funk Rock

Jimi Hendrix seems to be the guy credited with pioneering funk rock - either in his Band of Gypsies work, or his post Noel Redding work with Billy Cox on the bass.  I'd argue that McCartney's bass line on The Word was the first true "funk rock" performance. Ultimately that's semantics.

Once the concept of combining funk and rock had been put together other bass players took up that Challenge and ran with it. From Hendrix and McCartney you can trace funk rock through the 70s (and acts like Parliament, War and some of Stevie Wonder's work) and forward to the 90s taking in Prince, the Chilli Peppers, Living Colour, Rage Against the Machine and so on.

This is your chance to learn directly from their work...

All the bass players in funk rock learned from the bass players who came before them (from other genres too).

They had giants whose shoulders they could stand on.

This is your chance to stand on those giant's shoulders.

It's also a chance to learn more in a condensed period of time than most people learn in 6 months or longer.

By the end of the Challenge you’ll have leapfrogged your contemporaries in terms of the devices and ideas that you  know and, much more importantly, you'll know how to put those ideas together to create compelling bass lines.

How The Cracking The Funk Rock Code Challenge Works

Here's How The Challenge Works...

Focusing on something for a focused period of time is a proven way to acquire new skills, take existing skills to a new level...basically to get shit done.

When you enroll there are pre-training days already in your Account .  (As well as some of the bonuses - see below).

The first day of the 'Challenge' goes live on Monday 3rd January.

Every week day a new 'day' will go live in your Account and you'll get an email letting you know that the next lesson is now available.  The weekends are catch up/rest days.

Each new lesson either layers directly on top of a previous lesson or introduces a new device or concept for you to add to your toolbox of ideas.  Each lesson has suggested practice exercises to work on assimilating new devices.  And we'll work on putting those devices and ideas into bass lines using deliberate composition.  (The pre-training days are devoted to deliberate composition).

Daily Lesson Format

Each 'day' of the Challenge has a similar format:

  • there is a PDF of the lesson to download that you can either print out or add to a device like an iPad so you can read when not connected to the internet
  • the text is on the web page along with the music graphics AND the videos demonstrating each example

I took Day 1 from another Challenge and resized it a little and took screen shots of it to give you an idea of how it will look like in your account.  Obviously when YOU access it, it will be much more legible!

Depending on your current ability level each lesson takes about 30-45 minutes to read, watch the examples and anything from 30 to 120 minutes to put into practice.  (These are approximations - like just about everything the more you put in, the more you'll get out.)

Here's Some Of What You're Going To Learn In The Funk Rock Code!

Here are some of the things we're going to be working on to improve Bass IQ in the Funk Rock Code:

  • 16th Note Rhythms
  • foundational funk rock devices
  • how to use rhythmic replacement to add a 16th note layer to 8th note bass lines
  • the three different types of approach notes - and how these notes push the listener's ear through the chord progression
  • adding colour to the devices you play by using "modifying devices"
  • how to "layer" devices to create complex and sophisticated bass lines
  • combining rhythmic replacement with modifying devices
  • how to use devices for maintenance practice OR improvement practice (and how to tell the difference)
  • hammer-on and pull-offs applied as modifying devices
  • creating (and counting!) bass lines in 7:8
  • advanced funk rock devices
  • playing in the upper register
  • tenths and broken tenths
  • incorporating muted notes
  • detailed instruction to use deliberate composition (Days 7 to 9)
  • incorporating 16th Note Triplets
  • indirect resolutions
  • incorporating slides

You'll also be creating your own lines using all of the above ideas (and more) using a technique that I've pioneered and teach all my students that's called deliberate composition!  (If the only thing you took from Cracking The Funk Rock Code was deliberate composition you'd still be on track to make big improvements in your bass playing.)

Don't Take My Word For It Though

I've run similar Challenges multiple times in the last 18 months teaching several hundred students in the process. I've taken screenshots from various places for you to check out what students just look you have to say about the process...here's the first screenshot:

Or how about this for the kind of effect the Challenge will have not only on your playing but also how you hear bass lines:

(If you need to see more testimonials and comments I've added a bunch at the bottom of the page.)

So How Much Is The Investment In Cracking The Funk Rock Code?

I wanted to make this challenge totally affordable but also be enough money so that those students who take the Challenge value what they've invested in and it gives them a kick to do the actual work.  (If they don't do the work...it's just information that's going unused and collecting virtual dust on the Interwebz).

Now each lesson in the Cracking The Funk Rock Code 30 Day Challenge covers a similar amount of ground as a lesson with a face to face teacher would.  Good teachers (and they are rare as hens teeth) charge around $100 per lesson  (Recently I saw that Jankek Gwizdala was charging $350 for an hour lesson!).  Let's err on the low side and say you can find a good teacher for just $50 a lesson.  30 Lessons  (and there will be approximately 30 lessons in total in the Funk Rock Code) with such a teacher requires an investment of $1500.

Plus the opportunity cost of travel time (if it's not on Skype).  And travel expenses.  And unless you record the lesson in some ways - which most teachers won't allow - then you have to be great at taking notes and recall (which takes up more time).

We haven't mentioned the bonuses and the critique library yet either.

But let's say that's the equivalent of around another 10 lessons worth, then to get an equivalent amount of tuition with a private teacher would take your investment to approximately $2000.

If you enroll on the Cracking The Funk Rock Code today though you won't pay $2000.

You won't pay half of that - $1000.

You won't even pay a tenth of that - $200.

Instead, the investment requires to enroll on this unique program where you can learn the foundational devices and ideas of funk rock bass and put them to use in your own playing is just...


On It's Own That Represents A Great Investment...

But If You Enroll Today...Here's What You're Going To Get

If you're ready to invest in yourself and your bass playing by enrolling on the Cracking The FunkRock Code click the 'Join Now' button below and do your Paypal or Credit Card Thang!

More About The Critique Library

There are going to be a good number of deliberate compositions for YOU - the student - to do through this process.  Starting from early on in the process.

Now if I critiqued EVERY.SINGLE.COMPOSITION produced by students I would have to charge substantially more.


The critique of student compositions is an important part of the learning.  So for this run of the Funk Rock Code I'll critique 5 compositions for every student. These critiques will go directly into the Funk Rock Code so that every student can learn from the critique.  This might sound a little itimidating - believe me, it's not. And it's an efficient use of time because not only do you learn (and improve) from making your own mistakes, you also learn and improve from seeing areas where other students can improve.

So you can see what student's can do with the right teaching, here's an example of a deliberate compostion from Day 24 of a different challenge - this one is from a student who is primarily  a blues player and never played any soul or R&B:

And here's another one where the student created sound files of his compositions so I could listen to them as I followed along with the notation.

Here's the audio file to listen to on Soundsloud (by clicking):


And here's a photo of his composition - and so you know this composition which is sophisticated and complex is wayyyyyy beyond his current level of playing. But by learning about the different foundational devices that Jamerson used and how they go together he was able to create a bass line like this:

Need More Information Before You Make Your Decision?

Here's some information on the bonuses that go with the Funk Rock Code:

Bonus 1 - Deliberate Practice For Bass Version 1.0 (value $47)

In 2010 I wrote a 300 plus page book about applying Deliberate Practice for bass which used to sell for $77.  Now I no longer sell this book because my understanding of deliberate practice has outgrown what I originally wrote about - but the information isn't outdated in any way and is still 100% relevant.  One day I'll write Version 2.0 which will layer in the understandings I've gained in the last 8 or 9 years that go beyond this...but this is still a great place to start learning about what should be a foundational level topic but that: (a) no-one really teaches and (b) no-one who does mention it seems to properly understand

Bonus 2 - Analyzing Bass Lines (value $47)

This is a collection of columns that I wrote several years ago and compiled into a PDF eBook.  Analyzing bass lines will allow you to discover your own patterns and ideas - this eBook will teach you the process of going through this and being able to do it.

Bonus 3 - How To Practice In your Dead Time (value $47)

This is an eBook I wrote in 2011 about how you can use time when you don't have your bass handy to practice your bass. If you productively use 30 minutes of 'dead time' a day you'll get an additional 150 hours of practice in the next 12 months!  (Which is actually priceless!)

Bonus 4 - Funk Rock Song Library (value $47)

I've put together a collection of funk rock songs from my archive so that you can learn some of these great songs - but also so that as we learn more of the foundational devices and ideas that go into funk rock you can go back to these song lessons and see how they were originally used.

Bonus 5 - Funk Rock Grooves (value $27)

At the end of each lesson I'll add a "Funk Rock" style groove with practice track to practice with, and also with notes on how I've created it and why. So not only will you get a handy collection of grooves that you can practice but you'll also get a detailed and annotated look at the deliberate composition process.


Bonus 6 - 30,000 Foot View of The Deliberate Composition to Spontaneous Composition process (value $27)

At the end of the Funk Rock Code I'll publish a bonus "day" (1 of 2)  that outlines the steps needed to go from deliberate composition - which we'll focus on in the Funk Rock Code - to being able to create lines spontaneously.

Bonus 7 -  'The Sing It Say It Play It Reports' Class (value $20)

Sing It Say It Play It is a really cool ear training method pioneered by Jerry Jemmott. This method is designed to help you play what you (pre) hear in your head. I wrote a report on this 10 years or so ago to help you implement it...and I recently wrote a second version that uses the method but with devices rather than individual notes.

You've Now Got Three Choices...

It's time for you to make I decision - and the way I see it you have three options:

Option #1 - do nothing and your bass playing will stay pretty much exactly as it is right now

Option #2 - create your own program to study funk rock.  You'll need to transcribe a bunch of stuff because Flea is the only funk rock player whose work is commerically available. There are a few Billy Cox lines that you can find too...but that's about it.  Then you'll need to analyze your collection of transcriptions looking for commonly used rhythms and devices.

That's not all though.

Then all you'll need to do is work out a sequential learning system to internalize and assimilate those devices and ideas AND develop a system to teach yourself how to take those devices and ideas and turn them into good bass lines.

If you're willing to work hard transcribing and analyzing you may be able to pull it off. (If you need to budget time for this....500 hours would be a good starting point)

Option #3 - let my system do the heavy lifting for you.  It's already been used by several hundred students with highly positive results that YOU could have for yourself.

Of these three options, ask yourself this question: What's Going To Be Easiest For You?

In my experience there are two types of students....those who dream about playing to a higher level without taking the required action to make it happen.

And those who are ready to take action when the opportunity presents itself to them.

Which one are you: the dreamer (who in 30 days time will be in EXACTLY the same place you are now) or the action taker (who in 30 days will be finishing up the Cracking The Funk Rock Code and be armed with a ton of ideas to put into your bass playing in the coming months)?


One Final Thing To Note

The Funk Rock Code will only run ONCE where I directly critqiue student's compositions. When this runs again in the future (tentatively scheduled for November 2021) it will be the same price - but there won't be any personal feedback.

That personal feedback is (IMO) a priceless part of the learning equation.

So if the Funk Rock Code appeals to you....now is the best time.

Guarantee 1 - Day 10  100% Money Back Guarantee:  I know that you'll find the unique tutorial combination of video, notation/tab and backing tracks in the  Cracking The Funk Rock Code  will help you step up your bass playing, understanding of bass line creation AND putting your own bass lines together.

If for whatever reason you're not satisfied by Day 10 of the challenge all you have to do is drop me an email and let me know.  I'll refund your purchase ASAP with no hassles and no hoops to jump through, and we can part as friends.

Guarantee 2 - "End Of Challenge/ Made No Progress"100% Money Back  Guarantee

If at the end of the Challenge you did everything that was asked but made no progress in your playing or understanding of how great bass lines are created then all you need to do is drop me an email to let me know and enclose all the deliberate composition exercises - completed by you -  from the Challenge and I'll refund your enrollment fee with the same lack of drama as described above.


Enrollment Instructions:

  1. Hit the bit yellow JOIN NOW button below.  That will take you to the offical enrollment page on my 80-20 Site.
  2. If you've never enrolled on a course there before then set up an account using your best email address and a password (so you can access the Challenge information and receive the Challenge emails) and then proceed and do your Paypal Thang.  (You can also enroll using credit card).
  3. Dive into the pre-training lessons and the bonuses that are waiting for you in the members area!

When you go to a gig, a jam or a rehearsal or play with other musicians  no-one will care whether you can play diminished scale licks or machine gun triplets or non-muddy chords.

Instead they'll ONLY care  about you filling your role as a bass player.  Here's your chance to learn how to put together your own authentic funk rock bass lines.

Taking the Funk Rock Code will jump start the process of incorporating the foundational playing devices of funk rock into your vocabulary plus you'll learn how to develop original bass lines using these foundational devices and ideas.

Paul Wolfe/how-to-play-bass.com

P.S. In case you're one of those people like me who likes to skip to the end...here's the deal:

When you join the Cracking The Funk Rock Code (for just $127 ) you're going to get access to a unique "Challenge" that will improve your bass playing, improve your understanding of constructing bass lines and kick start the process of confidently creating your own interesting bass lines modelled on the earlier playing of guys who wrote the book on funk rock bass!  Plus there's several hundred dollars of bonuses....so you've got multiples in terms of value for money BEFORE you even go to the first pre-training day in the Funk Rock Code!

  • Q.Do I Have Access To The Lessons For Just The 30 Days Of The Challenge?


    The Lessons appear on a daily basis….once the Challenge is complete and all the lesson have been published,  you will  retain unlimited access to the Lessons.


  • Q.What Level Of Theory Do I Need To Have?

    A.Required theory level is pretty basic – you need to know what root notes and thirds and fifths and sixths and so on are.  And how to find them in specific keys or chord centres.

More Testimonials And Comments

As I said in the body of this page, I've taken several hundred students through similar learning experiences in the last 18 months and here are screenshots of emails and facebook comments from just a few of them for you to check out.

The following is a screenshot of email answers from Student Tim G: