August 31, 2008

Reggae One Drop

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Reggae is a style that can perplex younger players, especially if they have been brought up playing and listening to rock based music. The 'One Drop' groove is the most recognisable reggae groove and I think it is also the nicest sounding. You will notice that there is no emphasis on beat one of the bar - very different from most western musical styles. If you have not heard reggae music before it is very important you do in order to understand how this groove sits. There is a strong accent on beats 2 and 4 on the hihat, which syncs up with the guitars part (the skank). The emphasis of the groove is on beat 3, played with cross stick and bass drum. If you listen to some reggae you will hear that this groove can be played with either a straight eighth note feel or a swung eighth note feel. Practice and get comfortable playing both.

Some good reggae artists to check out would be Bob Marley and The Wailers. Toots and the Maytals, Burning Spear and Steel Pulse.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This post is EXTREMELY helpful. I am trying to teach a bunch of eager adolescents by the seat of my pants and you just helped me out so much! Thanks.