Reggaeton Riddims

The standard rhythm of the reggaeton – Dembow rhythm played by a drum computer, called after the song of the very same name by Shabba Ranks from 1991, is kept in four-quarter beat and is basically among the many variations of conventional dancehall; however, it tends to be arranged more just and to sound more artificial in regards to the sounds used. The tempo of the Puerto Rican reggaetón songs is normally around 95 bpm. Some tunes, especially by El Chombo or El General from Panama, have a higher tempo (up to around 110 bpm).

The bass drum is in some cases excluded on the 2nd and fourth beat, and a snare is sometimes discovered on the first sixteenth after the third beat. Usually, however, these are the only versions that are used in reggaetón, in contrast to the more complicated rhythm versions of standard dancehall. On the other hand, routine modifications in the timbre of the snare drum are normal.

The fill-ins (about every 4 bars) are more based upon those of techno than those of dancehall. Fast repeatings of the bass drum and the snare drum as well as the quick interruption of the rhythm are common. Noise and sample collages as in standard dancehall were likewise to be discovered in the early days of reggaetón, however today they are mainly withdrawn in favor of a “smoother” sound.

In some cases other percussion instruments are used to embellish this rhythm, e.g. B. Congas and Bongos, which, however, just play a bit part compared to the concise standard rhythm.

Periodically, you can likewise find African components in reggaetón, which have actually conserved themselves into various Latin American styles such as bomba and plena through the music of the slaves and which can be discovered in reggaetón.

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