Just how can you add to this list, and increase your knowledge even further, so that we all can contribute something?
Some of these are rather obvious, but everyone will do well to pay
attention too all of these hints. All I can do is give you every one of my
tried and true beat mining tips...
1. Be sure to check out some books. They'll come in handy.
2. When you go to a music store, try looking at the hot new singles in rap and R&B. Read the credits on the back and get all the info that's there. When you buy an album, or scope out a friend's, check out the liner notes, and peep all the samples listed,...
3. Then make notes on the names listed from song to song in the publishing credits. Every once in a while, they will list the names of the writer's and performer's without giving a listing of the song title or outright telling you it's a sample. If you know Z. Modelist was the drummer for the Meters and that C. Bobbit wrote mainly for James Brown, then you have simplified your search dramatically
4. Listen to oldies public stations. Call up your local public radio station and get a directory of the shows. I've had lots of luck finding jazz, disco, soul and just plain funk shows. The best ones are focused on the '70's though. That's how I caught the "Mind Playin' Tricks on Me" and "Gz and Hustla's" loops, probably my two rarest contributions to this FAQ.
5. Once you find an artist who's been sampled once, realize that's probably not the end of the trail. Get other albums by the same artists. Look them up on the critic's guides and see which albums were critically acclaimed. See which one's sold a lot.
6. Check out all the members of a group you find funky. Consult your resources and find out what other groups they worked with. Did they ever put out a solo album? Did they start out in another group? Did they produce or write songs for anybody? Did their record label specialize in soul, funk or jazz, like SOLAR, People, Kudu, Westbound, and Stax records did? Groups like Bootsy's Rubber Band, Ohio Players, and solo albums by Bobby Byrd and Weldon Irving fall in these categories.
7. Check out old Billboard Magazines and see what did well on the charts. Sometimes song titles will jog your memory. I got Charles Wright's "Express Yourself" this way.
8. I don't recommend this one everytime you go on a beat mission, but on a whim, I've been known to buy Greatest Hits and solo albums of people I've never even known of before. But your best bet is to find out something about them. Call the public radio DJ's you've found out about and ask them to play something by them.
9. Compilation albums can be handy. Look out for companies that sell mail order CD's and you can find some of the most obscure artists HAVE been re-issued. Don't bother digging up that fat Skull Snaps break, get the reissue.
10. Watch the year. Other's will of course will disagree with this time-line, but I think you will be best off if you stick to these years:
Funk, Soul and R&B: 1968-1974
Rock and Pop: 1970-1979
11. When you go outside these years, you will still find beats, but you will have to wade through garbage records. Your best bet is to get a portable record player and go to stores where they will let you listen to records before you buy them.