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Reggae wannabe

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Gunnar Þór, Dec 24, 2001.

  1. I'm trying to add to my technique and the thing I'm looking at now is reggae. Does anyone know good songs that I should look at? If there are specific techniques involved, it would help if someone told me about them.
  2. all i know is emphasize beats 1 and 3.....

    Look up some Jimmy Cliff, Bob Marley (look farther than just his "legend" album), Mountain, and don't forget to learn some early ska (60's stuff like the selecter) so you can handle the more jazzy and upbeat tunes which aren't too common in reggae.

    Also, check into dub, because its closely related to reggae. More modern dub artists include the likes of Sublime(which also do some reggae, ska and punk) and Long Beach Dub All Stars. If you don't know, dub is like reggae mixed with hip hop....pretty groovin' if ya ask me...

    I hope my limited knowledge helps. I'll ask my dread-headed buddy about some more bands and artists for you to check out.
  3. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    For a thorough introduction to the history of and major artists in reggae check the following web site. Click on "Reggae".


    This site not only discusses the most well known stars of reggae decade by decade, it also describes the six or seven major styles of reggae, including rock steady and dancehall. It also tells you the names of the major albums these artists have recorded.

    There is enough information there to give you a thorough foundation in reggae and all its permutations. Have fun.
  4. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    While I'm thinking about reggae, I might add that there is a book/CD set that describes how to play basic reggae bass.

    In addition, there are magazines that deal with only reggae, its stars, concerts, tours and new albums.

    Check for the reggae bass book at:

  5. I would have to say check out Bob Marley for a relatively traditional feel, and Steel Pulse has a great contemp. sound (Rastafari Centennial is one of my favorites).
  6. Well, thanks everyone.
  7. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    Take any books on "How To Play Reggae" with a grain of salt. Not that they won't have some valuable stuff but keep in mind that Robbie Shakespear and Family Man didn't learn it from a book.

    For me it was a matter of going back to the '60s pop coming out of Jamaica (early Toots, Slickers etc.) that had come mostly from a mix of calypso and R&B heard on Miami radio stations. Then following its changes through Marley and Tosh, Steel Pulse onto Sly and Robbie doing sessions with Bob Dylan among many others.

    If you wanna really play any genre of music, jazz, rock, bluegrass or whatever you have to know where the music came from. The best way to get that sense of history is intutively through growing up in the culture but the second best way is to study the recordings in chronological order. Thirdly books may have some interesting items but are a long way behind the first two and I'd spend my money on recordings instead.
  8. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Adding to what JeffBonney says about listening to a genre from its earliest roots to the present, a good place to do that w/o paying for CDs is at this web site. It has a radio station that plays roots reggae. The DJ has a cool Jamaican way of talking, too.


    If you would like to have an intro to reggae, one I bought about five years ago is excellent. It is a box set and has a well written book included that outlines the roots of reggae up to the current scene (up to 1995.) The CD has a song representing each facet of history and each reggae style.

    Unfortunately, I'm not at home, so I can't tell you the name of this excellent box set. One thing very special about it, is that each song is by the original artist or artists.

    When I first began to get interested in knowing more about reggae, this box set helped me a lot.

    Oh, I really like Steel Pulse, too.

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