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Learn the secrets of the reggae bubble





The reggae bubble technique is a unique way of playing that uses a reggae organ sound to give a choppy kind of feel to the reggae beat which makes the rhythm more dynamic.       Reggae Bubble



If you think the reggae bubble technique is hard to master, then you are just like me not so long ago. Contrary to what many believe, the reggae bubble technique is not that hard to master once you get the timing right.   



Yes, it’s all about timing, and before you start scratching your head thinking this is going to be too difficult and I will never master the reggae bubble technique!   



Please take the time to read the article and watch the reggae bubble video. You will be amazed at how simple the reggae shuffle (it’s called that sometimes) is to master.   



You must first know where in the count from one to four the reggae rhythm is played, to master the reggae bubble. Let’s say the count goes like this: 1 and 2 and 3 and 4, then start over; the reggae rhythm actually falls on the “and” part of the count!   



This is what gives reggae its offbeat sound. It’s important you keep this in mind because it is essential in mastering the reggae bubble technique. Again, the rhythm is not played on the actual numbers but in the gaps between the numbers. Try it for yourself.   



Now, the reggae bubble is played using 8th note.   That is, you shuffle the reggae organ or keyboard on the counts from 1-4 and on the “ ands ” or gaps between the numbers.   If you can do this successfully, you have mastered the reggae bubble technique in part!   



The technique above is mainly for doing the one hand reggae bubble or reggae shuffle with the bang (the keyboard reggae playing technique) in the other hand – see the middle part of the video for more (chords: G minor and C minor). This works well in almost all situations where a reggae shuffle is required.



If you are playing in a band which has the luxury of two keyboard players, its counter intuitive to have both playing the bang. One should concentrate on the bubble. This is where the second reggae bubble technique comes in.   



This second technique involves 16th note. This is simply both hands doing 8th note but alternately. This by the way is how the reggae bubble was traditionally played.   



A third technique is simply using one hand to play the reggae bubble (watch the very beginning of the video). It’s very effective and I use it all the time when composing reggae beats.   



The video shows the reggae bubble technique first being done with one hand and then with both hands – the right hand doing the bubble and the left hand doing the bang.   



The technique using both hands was not shown but I will try to load that one soon. Let us know what you think and how you play the reggae bubble by leaving comments below!   

Take it easy! For more on the reggae organ and reggae bubble  


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