Don’t worry ’bout a thing; Cause every little thing gonna be alright… once you watch this video:
Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds is now part of the Trinity Rock & Pop Initial Grade syllabus. This version of the song offers a nice introduction to playing reggae.
One of main styles of reggae is referred to as One-Drop or Three-Drop. I’ve heard both names to refer to the same style. The main feature of this style is playing the bass drum only on beat 3 of the bar, often together with a cross-stick or snare hit. The hi-hat can be played in quarters, eighths, or a swung eighth note style. The snare drum / cross stick will also play notes in addition to the main note on beat 3 to create variety in the pattern. The hi-hat pattern will often feature accents to bring it to life.
In this song we’re playing a very simple reggae groove which allows us to get used to the feel of the one-drop reggae style. Listening to the demo version of this song provided by Trinity; I could hear a clear accent on the hi-hat on beat one of the bar so I’ve tried to emulate that in my version. It’s not notated, but accented hi-hats are a common feature of reggae. You may also want to try accenting on beats 2 & 4 in time with the rhythm guitar. Here’s the two accented grooves you could try:
The drum fills in this song shouldn’t present much of a problem; your main focus should be on getting the groove feeling right and making sure you don’t flam between bass, snare.
The 2018 version of the Trinity Rock & Pop Initial Grade book is great to work through if you’re just starting your drumming journey. You don’t have to take the exam to benefit from the book. The songs are great to work on & fun to play and will help to improve your drumming. In Singapore you can find the book at Robert Piano – Paragon Shopping Centre (and probably their other outlets). It’s also available from Amazon if you’re happy to pay the shipping!
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