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Industry Standards (Reggae)

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by cassanova, May 14, 2002.

  1. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    I've got this wild hair up my bum to join an existing or preferably create a reggae band here in my area. There are'nt too many around so I think it'll be a good idea especially since there are an abundance of clubs on the beaches.

    I'm in the process of trying to compile a song list. Ive got a few artists now, about 5 or 6. But what I need to know is, What are the industry standards in the genre. Every genre's got them, I just dont know what this one's is. So any and all help is greatly apriciated. Especially from those of you who have played or currently play in working reggae bands.

    I sincerely appriciate the help.

    Mama Cass

    The artists I have now are: Bob Marley, Ziggy Marley, Black Uhuru, Peter Tosh, Steel Pulse, and a couple of tunes by Reggae Cowboys.
  2. I have no idea about reggae - and don't mean to offend anyone. But I'm sure if you covered a Bob Marley's greatest hits album you'd have a decent set!!!!

    Again I'm quite ignorant about reggae music.

    Hmmm - wasn't UB40 a mainly reggae band, or are they more Ska???
  3. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    You can also consider Reggae-fying some tunes...

    I dunno-
    It's probably me(again). I don't mind playing a couple "Reggae-like" tunes here & there...a whole night, TO ME, gets a little boring. I have never stayed the entire set whenever I hear a Reggae band(except that night I was on a boat)... ;)
    Good luck.
  4. APouncer


    Nov 3, 2000
    Lancashire, UK
    Try some space jams with some Augustus Pablo tunes, bit self-indulgent, but might break up the set a bit. How about some jungle or Drum n' bass beats as well, these are essentially double time funk and reggae breaks but over the normal speed groove of some dub chillin reggae, it'll sound excellent, and be very danceable (sorta 80 bpm, dbled with the drums to 160bpm).

    Good luck!

  5. Good point - I remember a few years ago we did a reggae version of Paranoid by Black Sabbath. It worked a treat!!!!
  6. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Ohio, USA
    You can't go wrong with Bob Marley tunes, of course. One thing that my band does a lot is to use one groove and sing a whole medley of tunes over the top of it. Often we will get in a groove, and the singer will do parts of five or six Marley songs on top. We also do reggae-fied covers, such as "All Along the Watchtower", and "Crazy Love" by Van Morrison. We also have some tunes that have American-style rapping as well as tunes with Jamaican toasting.

    It helps a lot to keep things interesting if you play around with dynamics, and drop out instruments at different times. It's good to vary the tempo, as well, so we play some ska, soca, dancehall, dub. You can really do some nice stuff with dub if you have a knowledgeable soundman.
  7. monkeyfinger

    monkeyfinger Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Learn to Dub!!!
  8. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Get a Dred Zepplin album. :D
  9. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    Im not looking for artists names here guys...thats the easy part to find...What I need to know are the actual names of some songs that are must do's in the reggae genre..

    originally posted by Jim K
    You can also consider Reggae-fying some tunes...

    I dunno-
    It's probably me(again). I don't mind playing a couple "Reggae-like" tunes here & there...a whole night, TO ME, gets a little boring. I have never stayed the entire set whenever I hear a Reggae band(except that night I was on a boat)...
    Good luck.

    Im one step ahead of you on that one Jim. Ive got a few pop (top-40) tunes that I plan on reggaefying. A couple of older ones too. Our esteemd colleague Gard turned me on to that idea just the other day....but thats for the reminder
  10. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    that brings up another question. What the is Dub?
  11. monkeyfinger

    monkeyfinger Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Ah Dub, the heart and soul of reggae. Dub is a form of group improvisation focusing on rythm changes rather than solos. In traditional improvisation, like in jazz, each member takes a turn soloing over the chord changes. (Often called trading 4's or trading 8's, etc.) In dub, the improvisation is over a groove or series of grooves. The dub is usually led by the drummer. The chord changes are generally simple, one or two chords, to allow emphasis on the rhythm changes. At some point, usually at a break in a song, the drummer plays a completely new pattern. The bass and other rythm instruments create a new ostinato melody to compliment the pattern. The drummer, or other player then changes the pattern as part of the creative development. The others follow. If the drummer goes back to a previous pattern, the bass and others should go back too. (Not required, but effective.) It requires good listening skills, and a good imagination. The changes should be slow enough to allow others to develop into the new pattern. Bringing dynamics and new sounds, (delay is often a big feature), are tools you can use to keep the dub fresh. Remember, this is NOT the time to take an extended solo, although reharmonizing is a good tool to use.

    Dub does not have to be limited to reggae, you can use it in almost any style from funk to ska to country. It is also a great way to shut up an overplaying guitarist. (Ask him to play an repetative rythm pattern that is interesting and supportive and watch him shrink into the corner.) One more thing, dub is an excellent way for a group to create a sense of musical unity. Dub during rehearsal for at least 1/2 hour and you will see huge improvements in your group performance.
  12. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    That's cool...how 'bout some "Jazz" Classics, too?
    For example, maybe "Footprints"(your guitarist can play 'the 'head')?
    "Footprints" is already in 6 & there's some nice Reggae feels in a "6 over 4" vibe...

    Just a hint or suggestion-
    If you do Reggae-fy something, you don't have to try & cram all the original notes of the bass line in...think "Space", "Time", "Feel",...blahblah.
    Maybe laying off the "1" is a start. ;)

    BTW, have you read the latest issue of Bass Player with Bill Laswell? He's into Dub.

    "Paranoid" in a Reggae? WOW! ;)
  13. monkeyfinger

    monkeyfinger Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Laswell is the king of Dub. Check out Robbie Shakespeare of Black Uhuru. (They have an album called "In Dub".) Also Jah Wobble.
  14. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Now, I haven't played that tune for a while, but I always thought it was in 3/4? Of course, no Leo Fender and you're a drummer, so you'd probably know better than I would.
  15. I've always seen it written in 3/4, but in all honesty I "feel" it in 6/4 myself...just seems right to me that way.
  16. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Reggae bands are very popular in South Florida. It seems like every one I've ever heard have some original regage, but play what I call "standards" too. "I Shot the Sherrif", "No Woman No Cry", "Stand Up; Get Up. Stand Up For Your Rights", "Stir it Up'. Seems like all of those are Marley songs, but I guess they are so timelessly popular with reggae fans that any serious reggae bar band just has to know them.

    Another standard you might give a reggae flair to are the ubiquitous Margaritaville and "Cheeseburger in Paradise", both by Jimmy Buffet. Here's my reasoning...the bands that play reggae in South Florida are all about atmosphere and relaxing. Therefore, any music that gives that laid back, lazy afternoon, island kind of vibe are entirely appropriate music for a reggae band. More ideas would be "Island in the Sun", Kokomo (Beach Boys), Hawaiian Wedding Song, Blue Hawaii, Pearly Shells, Brazil, etc.

    You can update your inventory, too, with some Shaggy.

    There's a new twist to reggae you might try also. Hawaiian music very much has a sound of its own, but recently some Island groups have been combining Hawaiian music and reggae. I'm more of a reggae purist myself, but maybe adding at least one of these hybrid songs to your set list might go over well.
  17. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    thanks for clearing that up for me Lo-Z

    Ive got about 14 tunes by Black Uhuru. Two tunes by them are dub. Dub in the mountain *which is dread in the moutain but done totally different. and the other is off Now Dub, Reggae Rock, but im not sure if its Dub or if Now Dubs the name of the cd. You know how downloads can be.

    No Jim I havent read it yet. Im still waiting for my copy to get here in the mail. I wouldnt think to play a bassline remotly close to the original, Id think Id have to leave out notes or even add a few to reggaefy it a bit.

    Bop, TY for the list of tunes. Id never have thought to do any Jimmy Buffet, or even Shaggy. I never though shaggy was reggae, but more rap. Very interesting Ideas you just gave me. thank you.
  18. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    You guys...
    'Sfunny, I've "always" seen it written in 6.
    Recently, though, I did see it charted out in 3/8.
    In any event, I'm like Gard..."feels" like 6 to me(blatantly in 6).

    BTW, flip to Sher's Real Book, Volume 1(Legal), pg. 100-
    Looks like 6/4 to me. ;)
  19. ...well, the only version I actually have is a "Real Book" version from the '70's (probably NOT legal ;) ).

    I need to get that Sher Real Book, I keep hearin' good stuff about it! :D

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