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There is no funk equivalent to rock's Gibson Les Paul/Marshall or blues' Strat/Bassman amp tone recipe. Fantastic funk can be and has been played on practically any guitar or amp. That said, many great funk guitarists favour clean, single coil type sounds for their rhythm (and often lead as well) parts. For a soulful, biting sound a Fender Telecaster-style guitar in the bridge position works miracles. A Stratocaster offers a more refined sound, perfect for the disco end of the spectrum. As a side note, much of the infamous early funk rhythm guitar on James Brown's singles was created using Vox guitars and amps, as the Godfather had secured an endorsement deal without consulting the players. So as you see, anything may work in the right hands!

Keeping it clean

To those accustomed to rock or blues mores, the amount of cleanness may come as bit of a shock. In fact, a good funk tone is often closer to country than to either of those styles. Transistor amps, for instance, are definitely not frowned upon in funk as they are in other genres (The Roland Jazz Chorus and Fender Princeton spring to mind). Also, the notion that a good rhythm tone ALWAYS has a little crunch doesn't go for funk.

To good effect

A funk lead style as such doesn't really exists. Funk music is a combination of different styles and this shows especially in the abundance of different lead styles and tones. The influence of Jimi Hendrix looms large over Funkadelic's great lead players, most notably Eddie "Maggot Brain" Hazel. So fuzz, wah wah and tape echo abound, especially on the early albums. From the mid-seventies onward, Funkadelic's lead tone smooths out, essentially classic rock sounds are used but often with some modulation effect. Do however keep in mind that sharp-edged distortion is more widely-used in funk than warm tubelike overdrive. The same is heard in Ernie Isley's playing on the classic That Lady by the Isley Brothers. Others (like the Meters' virtuoso Leo Nocentelli) use the same clean tones for lead and rhythm. A good compressor makes this combination easier to achieve as it leads to more compact rhythm and more defined lead. Compression is an essential funk effect anyway, used over-the-top (think of some of Prince's completely squashed sounds on early albums) or more subtly.

Another essential effect is wah-wah, as heard on Isaac Hayes' Shaft and the thousand Blaxploitation title tracks that followed. Modulation effects are also commonly heard in funk. Chorus is a bit "vanilla" for many funk player's tastes and heavy stereo chorusing often gives away a jazz or pop player dabbling in funk. A phaser gives a more authentic funk sound and feel. There are many effects units on the market, but for an authentic funk sounds I'd recommend getting (reissued) original pedals from the 70's. Jim Dunlop in particular offer many reissues of classic wah-wah, fuzz, phaser and other pedals. Prince is known for using Boss pedals, so if you're into his sounds, check them out (especially the different distortion effects).