So far on the theme of basic drum beats, we have looked at the BASIC ROCK BEAT and the BASIC BLUES SHUFFLE. Although one featured straight 8th notes, and the other swung 8th notes, the construction of the grooves were fairly similar.
However, today we are looking at the basic reggae drum beat, or in fact three beginner reggae grooves to get you started. Originating in Jamaica, this style of drumming went through several stages before it arrived at the classic reggae sound that we know so well through artists such as Bob Marley with drummer Carlton Barrett.
This style is not hard in theory, but in practice it can take some getting used to if you’ve come from a rock/pop background. This is mainly to do with the unusual emphasis within the beat. Here we are accenting beats 2 and 4 on the hi-hat. We have omitted the big snare drum backbeat that drives rock music, and we have also discarded the big bass drum emphasis on beat one.
Take it really slowly on each stage and have fun. As always, listen to some authentic reggae to really get inside the style and pick up on all the nuances of the rhythms.