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Types of Reggae

In this article we will take a brief look at the different type’s reggae. This include roots reggae, dub reggae, reggae rock, American reggae and Spanish reggae. Enjoy!Types of Reggae

Roots Reggae

Roots reggae is very peculiar and the drum beat is generally between 70-80 bpm, the heart beat as they call it. It’s normally done using mostly minor chords. The instruments used are bass, guitar, drums, piano, organs, horns and percussion which includes bongo drums, shakers, triangles and other percussive paraphernalia.

The message is generally based on social commentary, God, politics, ‘upliftment’ and betterment. If you listen to Bob Marley, Burning Spear, Garnet Silk, Luciano and others you get an idea of what roots reggae music really is in terms of its content and instrumentation.

Dub Reggae

Dub in music is a big thing these days. Believe it or not there are schools devoted to teaching dub. Dub and dub reggae developed in Jamaica. Studio engineers such Lee Perry, Scientist and Mad Professor, King Jammy and King Tubby’s were all instrumental in the development of dub reggae or reggae dub as it’s sometimes referred to in Jamaica.

The foundation of dub reggae is the bass and the drum. The snare is used with reverb and delay, which can be taken in and out. The other instruments such as guitar, piano, organs etc can be treated with effects and taken in and out of the mix to add taste. Dub reggae can be as complicated and as simple as you want it. It is normally done using roots reggae beats. For more on dub reggae

Reggae Rock

Reggae rock is as its name sounds, a reggae beat that incorporates a rock guitar element. The rock guitar can either be a rhythm section, lead or both together. Interestingly, the screaming that many rock singers do has not transferred into reggae music. I think that is one area that needs to be explored. For more on reggae rock

American Reggae

American reggae does not use many instruments. It mainly consists of drums, bass and guitars, loads of them. The beats can be very lazy but sometimes it is fast. Note also that the guitar is played similar to how it’s done in Ska although it is slowed down. American reggae also heavily involves rock guitar elements which is its most peculiar element. For more on American reggae

Spanish Reggae

The main feature of Spanish reggae is that it incorporates a Latin American feel to it. This is done by swinging the beat excessively and using Latin American type instrumental phrasing. The artists mainly sing in Spanish obviously but they do sing about similar topic as is found in other forms of reggae. For more on Spanish reggae

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