R&B Drumming

R&B Drumming

R&B is a style of music that incorporates and includes soul, funk, hip-hop and rap music.  The past masters of the broad genre include Luis Jordan in 1940’s, Ruth Brown in early 1950’s, Sam Cooke in mid 1950’s, Ray Charles in early 1960’s, James Brown and Aretha Franklin in the mid 1960’s, to Stevie Wonder to Michael Jackson in the late 1970’s to 1980’s.

The characteristics of R’nB drumming are heavy dance grooves, often fast tempos.  The drum beat was of greater importance and drummers would play louder, recordings had drummers uncharacteristically higher in the mix (the drum track was loud) and therefore giving the groove greater prominence.  With the song Superstition (1972), by Stevie Wonder, the track starts with a great drum groove and fill.  Hip-Hop turned to the other extreme and was all drum groove or at least dominated by the groove.

Here are some examples of R’nB drumming by some of the past masters

Wonderful World (1960), Sam Cooke

Superstition (1972), Steve Wonder

Don’t Stop ‘Till You Get Enough (1979), Michael Jackson





Recommended Listening

Further Reading

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