Funk, more than most other musical styles, is based on rhythm and groove. Any good funk tune will make you want to get up and dance! It is hard to listen to the likes of James Brown, Sly Stone or Stevie Wonder without tapping your limbs with the tune.
This groove in funk music is usually created by a strong rhythm section, consisting of a bass player and a drummer. The bass player not only locks in with the drums to create a funky groove, but also lays the basis of the harmonies and melody of the tune.
Playing funk piano without a full band setting and a rhythm section means that the bassline is now played by the left hand of the pianist.
Here is an example of a funky bassline. It consists of notes of the C blues scale.
The C Blues Scale
Locking them into a strong rhythm makes it sound funky right away. Bar 4 can be seen as a turnaround which works really well, even though it is reduced to only four short attacks.
Adding drums to this bassline gives the groove even more funkiness!