Quick Hits:

  Blog | Contact | Email | Tweet

  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /homepages/10/d101245530/htdocs/JBerry/jonberry.com/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 906.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /homepages/10/d101245530/htdocs/JBerry/jonberry.com/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 607.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /homepages/10/d101245530/htdocs/JBerry/jonberry.com/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 607.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /homepages/10/d101245530/htdocs/JBerry/jonberry.com/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 159.
  • strict warning: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/10/d101245530/htdocs/JBerry/jonberry.com/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_date.inc on line 151.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /homepages/10/d101245530/htdocs/JBerry/jonberry.com/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_style_default.inc on line 24.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /homepages/10/d101245530/htdocs/JBerry/jonberry.com/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 134.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /homepages/10/d101245530/htdocs/JBerry/jonberry.com/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 134.

The One Drop Reggae Rhythm

In the States, Reggae music is largely synonymous with Bob Marley. Marley's canibus drenched, emotionally charged and extremely well written songs have the transcendent power to serve as anthems for good time frat parties or revolution soundtracks. Three Little Birds tells us to "don't worry about a thing" and listening to it actually convinces you to do just that. War holds a mirror up to the world, showing us that our human nature is flawed and prone to creating dividing lines of religion and race. But what's behind both is a groove that sells each message with authenticity and provides a vehicle to translate it to the heart.

The drum beat is called the One-Drop. And it is all about "feel".

It Doesn't Go to Eleven... It "Drops" On Three

There are so many nuances to this groove but for our purposes, I just want to talk about the fundamentals.

1st: This type of traditional reggae doesn't use an open snare for the backbeat. Instead it uses a side stick (side stick is where the stick lies flat on the drum overhanging the rim to make a click sound).

2nd: The essence of the groove is that the bass drum and side stick are played simultaneously on beat three. Notice I said simultaneously. If you don't pay close attention to that you end up with a flam between the two voices, and that ain't so good (less than desirable). For reference, a typical pop/rock beat consist of snare on beat two and four, and bass on beat one and three, and you end up with something that sounds like this: boom-tap-boom-tap (think Billy Jean). In contrast, the reggae one-drop sounds like this: chick-chick-bomp-chick. Those "chicks" are the hi-hat notes in case you were wondered. Leading to point three... hi-hat accents.

3rd. Reggae rhythms are driven by a "skank" groove that lands on the two and four; listen to the rhythm guitar and keys to hear this. So, to comp with this, the hi-hat often accents the two and four. It's the interplay between the skank groove of the guitar and keys with the one-drop of the drums (and bass guitar of course) that makes this groove so spacious and infectious. As, I mentioned earlier, there are so many nuances and variations to this, but this is the foundation. Did I mention it's all about "feel".

Dig into some Bob Marley (any) if you want examples of this.