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In this section you can find things that will assist you in your own computer-based musical productions. There's a lot of original Dubroom material which you can use, but also third party material. There's much more than "just" sampled material, as you can find some little pieces of software, presets and other things as well. Everything in this section is, like all stuff in the Dubroom by the way, legal and -a lot of times- absolutely free of charge. Definitely worth a visit, for novice to veteran.

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General Midi Drum List BPM - Delay Times List

ABOUT CHAPTER 4

Most reggae has a BPM region between 110 - 190 BPM. Where in most popular music the drum hits are recorded on the second and the fourth count, in reggae this is done on the third count. You could see and hear how a basic reggae drum differs from a basic popular non-reggae 4/4 drum rhythm. 

COUNTING 1,2,3,4

Where in popular music the snare is on the two and the four, in reggae these counts are filled with the "Skank". The Skanks are short chord hits played on instruments like Piano and Guitar. I have played reggae with guitarists who were more used to rock music, they had difficulty finding the right place to put in the skank, they played along with the snaredrum and the bassdrum. They knew that they had to be on the two and the four, but since they counted two snare drum hits in one measure, they thought the music was playing on 35 BPM or so, and they intiutively felt that if they would play it only on the snare, they would have to play real slow. To avoid these kinds of misunderstandings, it's best to hold on the the notation way as i used here, that a snarehit comes on the three.

SLY AND ROBBIE

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Sly Dunbar (r) and Robbie Shakespeare (l) are also called the rhythm twins. Sly Dunbar is considered by many the inventor of the steppers rhythm. It's militant vibe makes the rhythm very powerful, suiting well with militant conscious lyrics. 

This is an archived chapter. It has been re-written in September 2014. CLICK HERE for the current version.

MAKING DUB WITH COMPUTERS - PART 5: FOUR BASIC REGGAE RHYTHMS

In the previous chapter I showed that in reggae, the snaredrums come on the third count. This is not so in all reggae rhythms, but basically one could say that the snare comes on the three. I want to remind you on this place, that in music there is not iron rule, rules can be broken, but they have to be learned first in order to be broken in a good way. So basically the snare comes on the third count, and this rule is sometimes broken.

In this chapter I would like to introduce you to the four basic reggae rhythms. In all four rhtyhms, the hi hat and the snares are the same. The difference in the following beat therefore lies in the bassdrum or "drop".  Almost every reggae rhythm is a derivate of one of this basic rhythms. There is also a fifth rhtyhm call Nyabinghy, which I will discuss in a later chapter, but the four I will adress now will give you a very solid foundation to start with. For the audio examples I Used 130 BPM.

STEPPERS

When you look at many dance tracks, they are a "four on the floor". Every four counts in the measure is filled with a bassdrum hit. This is the steppers rhythm, so prominent in many UK Dub/Roots tracks. The rhythm is said to have been invented by Sly Dunbar, the super-tight reggae Drummer that layed down so many crucial drumlines in the Channel One studio as part of the bands "The Revolutionairies", and "The Aggrovators". In a sequencer roll, the rhythm looks and sounds like this:

Steppers Rhythm

LISTEN: EXAMPLE0003.MP3 | EXAMPLE0003.MID

ONE DROP

Another Roots Reggae rhtyhm, that was frequently used by Bob Marley and the Wailers, is the One Drop. Actually, the Wailer's drummer Carlton Barret can be considered "Mr. One Drop" as he made his trademark with his interpretation of the rhythm. As the word says, there is only one drop in the measure, and that is on the third count. This makes the rhythm quite different then most popular music, as most rhythms start with a bassdrum on the first count. Many people find it also very difficult to follow the drums when a One Drop is played. Check it out:

One Drop Rhythm

LISTEN: EXAMPLE0004.MP3 | EXAMPLE0004.MID

TWO DROP

In the early 1980's, a new style called "dancehall" came to exist, with as one of it's center the CHANNEL ONE studio's, with their -then contemporary- house band the "Roots Radics". Some of my favorite Dub albums are from that period: the legendary Geensleeves Series by Scientist. A rhythm very commonly used in this early style of dance hall, is the Two Drop. It has a bass drum hit on the 1st and the 3rd count of every measure. The feel of the two drop is that of an easy skank. Easy does it. Here is the Two drop in sight and sound:

Two Drop Rhythm

LISTEN: EXAMPLE0005.MP3 | EXAMPLE0005.MID

HALF DROP

The two drop can also be played without putting a bassdrum on the 3rd count: the feel instantly changes, and the beat becomes a bit more "easy listening". There is not a real name for this type of beat, but in Jah Roots everytime we talk about the rhythm, we speak about the "half drop". Therefore I would like to use that term for the rhythm in these chapters. Here is the "Half Drop":

"Half Drop"

LISTEN: EXAMPLE0006.MP3 | EXAMPLE0006.MID

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This tutorial is in an unfinished stage, but it does contain the basics to get yourself equipped to use just about any DAW or even hardware studio in order to make DUB from Reggae Music in the authentic and original way. When you have a question or comment you'd like to see addressed, feel free to use the Dubroom Contact pages or join YUKU.com and post your words publicly on the Studio Forum. Click here to read about the latest updates to this tutorial.

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