"You never stop learning" - P-Funk Legend Bernie Worrell Opens Up In New Interview
Bernie Worrell just might be your favorite key player’s favorite key player. A child prodigy who was interpreting Mozart at the age of 7, Worrell’s unrivaled technical skill and far-out phrasings made him an easy pick for George Clinton when assembling the intergalactic music mob that is Parliament Funkadelic. But in damn-near 50 years of slaying ivory and synthesizers alike, there have been few close-ups for Worrell, whose relentless synth-bass lines laid the foundation for some of P-Funk’s most memorable (and commercially-viable) musical moments, including “Flash Light” and “One Nation Under A Groove.”
Luckily for you, me and the whole funk-loving universe, the ever intrepid Jeff Weiss caught up with the P-Funk legend, prying out some gems on his preference in synthesizers and the eternal education process that is a life lived in music. Read a few clips from their chat below and hit the link for the full script.
Jumping from vintage synthesizers to new models:
“The new stuff, it’s not my forte. I’m used to turning the knobs and creating the sound. A bass line, there’s nothing fatter in my opinion than the Moog. When you go to the other ranges, the higher voicing, higher pitch, octaves, shit everybody mixes differently. Some are more high end or more low end or mid range. I just hear it, try different settings and different wave-forms, and I don’t delve into… I just hear it. If it sounds good, that’s how I do it.”
Growing still in his later years:
“You never stop learning. The minute you think you know it all, you’re in trouble. Different experiences and playing with different people—it’s a learning experience in itself. Because you have to listen. The key to everything is just listening. It’s not just you; it’s a band. Everybody’s playing together, and the key is to listen to what the other person is doing and sharing, and putting whatever you think to the table. One of the gifts God gave me was to be able to play different music, so I’m thankful for that.”