Reggae Rhythm ... Down or Up?

Hi Richard , @Richard_close2u
With the great possibility that the others teach me wrong or maybe it is only in the beginning what you mean by this technique with reggea, … but I have also read (just minutes ago) that upstrums are also used,… …and the first time I learned a song before I ended up here I learned a song that also only used upstrums And the wiki about Skank also talks about up and down,…but I’m overlooking something apparently,…how about that? I`m lost a little :smiling_face:
Ps: now watching you tube vid about down and up strum ,…
Greetings,…and …help :grimacing:

Hi Rogier …

This guy tells it better than me:


I’m not Richard but I will chime in anyway. LOL

My way into raggae (for better or worse) is to feel and play to the pulse. Yeah, it has a pulse that sets the groove. Up, down or whatever. Just go with the pulse:
thursday reggae romp day
Don’t let the so called rules keep you from jumping right in. No one will care how you played to the groove, as long as you groove’d it. Play on playa!


As a big Reggae fan, I was going to post the same video!

@CT Also brings up a great point. I asked Justin about Reggae as well, and he advised me of this. He said a big part of it comes from playing along with genuine Reggae tracks. They have a unique time feel, that you really have to get from playing along with it. There is often a laid-back, relaxed feel, sometimes even small delays on parts/beats, and you just have to pick that up by feel.


Not that I’ve played much but from my mental image of how it sounds its an …

Down/Up close to the bridge with some muting so it doesnt ring out

D/U D/U D/U D kind a thing

Hi Richard,
Thank you for the video,…although I watched this yesterday before I started asking, the confusion was where reggea or skanking is spoken about by othetrs also(text and video) and that this happens with up and down strums and then probably without further explanation about when and how, I’m not going to watch it all again (… .in the topic where I originally asked my question, it was about music that started with an up strum, that has now become clear…now that I am not tired after a whole day, read most again that the 2nd and 4th (the rhythm of the song) being down , and that’s what I learned differently in the past and then also with for example I shot the Sheriff which Justin performed live and teaches us and then 2 years ago I got quite confused ". .but it has become clear to me this morning…But one thing ,when the beat on 2 and 4 are down and the “bounches” (forgot the name this man obove say) are up in between ,in some cases then… :roll_eyes:…?

But ,…The typical characteristic of Reggae is the afterbeat. This is the accent on the 2nd and 4th beat of the measure…! Edit For completeness,…With a DOWN strum,…: :smile:


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What they usually mean, in Ska and Reggae, by accenting on the “off-beat,” or “up-beat,” is the “and” of each beat. So, when we say, “One, and, Two, and, Three, and Four, and” we are usually playing on the “One, Two, Three, Four.” In Ska and Reggae, they may instead be accenting the “And, And, And, And” instead. This could be done with a down-strum (like Tuff Lion says) or an up-strum. So, the strumming pattern may be as simple as…

- D - D - D - D
1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &
- U - U - U - U
1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &


Ska VS Reggae

I have now heard and read several times that there is a clear difference between those 2 and that in Reggae the 2 and count 4 should be played down ,…As Justin also teaches us ,…that is the characteristic from Reggae ,…where I thought that it should (almost) always be upstrums on the 2nd and 4th ,…but I was wrong, and Richard points this out to me, in response to someone asking for music that starts with an up strum,…that is hardly ever Reggae (and according to the theory never even at all),…
I hope it’s clear now, if not I’d like to hear it :smiling_face:,…and maybe Richard would like to correct something? :face_with_peeking_eye:

I’d love to offer my expertise but I still clap on the 1 & 3 :rofl: