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Ska And Reggae History And Development Drummers Guide

With the popularity of Blues already established in Jamaica, radio broadcasts from New Orleans introduced the music of Fats Domino, Lloyd Price, and other New Orleans singer, songwriters to Jamaica. The influence of New Orleans Second Line along with the sounds of early Rock n' Roll, Jazz and R&B were readily embraced and incorporated into a new Jamaican sound known as Ska in the 1950s. The first successful Ska musicians were Jimmy Cliff, Lord Creator, and Don Drummond and the Skatalites.

Bands such as The Police, Men At Work, Madness, and currently No Doubt, 311, and The Mighty Mighty Boss Tones have all continued to popularize Ska. As with Reggae, a common characteristic in Ska drumming is a rim click on beat 3 of each measure. The outstanding differences between Ska and Reggae are a "straight" feel along with a "four on the floor" bass drum pattern in Ska. The tempo of Ska is quarter note = 116-192 beats per minute. The origin of the word Reggae is unclear.

Some claim that the word stems from "Regga," which refers to a group of natives from the Lake Tanganyika region in Africa. Bob Marley claimed it was a Spanish term for "The King's Music" (in Spanish, "la musica del rey"), which is unlikely enough that one suspects that Marley was pulling someone's leg-though it is possible that the word "Reggae" is a corruption of the word "rey" (king). Yet another, more likely, explanation is that of Jamaican studio musician Hux Brown: "It's a description of the beat itself. It's just a fun, joke kinda word that means ragged rhythm and the body feeling. If it's got a greater meaning, it doesn't matter." Reggae's development closely follows Ska, incorporating Rhythms and Blues, New Orleans Second Line "in the crack" feels, African rhythms, Jamaican folk traditions, and Rastafarian culture (a religion developed in Jamaica with allegiance to Ethiopia).

Though its roots extend back to the 1950s, the genre's success is partially in debt to the breakthrough of Calypso and Ska in the late '50s to early '60s. Reggae gained popularity in the 1960s through musicians such as Alton Ellis, Delroy Wilson, Toots and the Maytalls, Jimmy. Cliff, and, most importantly, Bob Marley and the Wailers (with Marley, even though he died in 1981, standing as the leading voice of Reggae for over the past three decades). The influence of Reggae extends into popular music through Johnny Nash, Stevie Wonder, Elvis Costello and the Attractions, and Paul Simon. Contemporary artists include Ziggy Marley (son of Bob Marley), Third World, and The Mighty Diamonds.

Reggae drumming resembles that of the New Orleans style. Just as in the Second Line genre, the feel of the music falls "in the crack," which requires playing between a swung and a straight feel. The most common distinguishing feature of a Reggae beat is the simultaneous rim click and bass drum played as one note on beat 3 of each measure (creating the name "One Drop"), mixed with the specified triplet shuffle figure written for the hi hat hand. The starting tempo for Reggae is around quarter note = 116 beats per minute.

By Eric Starg. Eric as many Drummers prefers to play Dw Drum Sets along with Dw Snare Drums. Eric is an active member of Drum Solo Artist where he is answering drum related questions, and helping drummers with tips and advices.



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