“Top 10” Reggae “One Drop” songs


 sly dunbar

So this is my very first post for this blog, and it seems fitting to throw up a “top 10” list featuring amazing  reggae drummers….drummers who have inspired me through the years.  This post features a unique style of drumming known as the One Drop. The “One Drop”(for those who don’t know) is a style of drumming where the kick and sidestick land together on the 2 and 4 if you’re counting by whole notes or the 3 if counting by quarter notes.  Unlike rock or funk grooves, the One Drop  leaves a ton of space and finesse for the hihat to swing the groove. There is a TRUE ART to playing this style and the beauty in the groove sits equally in what ISN’T played as well as what IS played…well enough technical blah blah blah…If you decide to check these tracks out, you’ll hear what I’m saying….and for those who like to download for the ipod mix, this is an AWESOME collection to listen to….These performances are off the hook!!!

1. POSITIVE VIBRATION   by Bob Marley & The Wailers …Carlton Barrett is the drummer…The best of the best on the  hihat…This to me is the quintessential “One Drop” performance!!!

rastaman vibration






2. SOON FORWARD   by Gregory Isaacs… Sly Dunbar is the drummer… This track epitamizes Sly’s ability to lay down an unshakable beat while the other instruments vibe off his foundation. gregory isaacs


 3. DUBBING IS A MUST  by Pablo Moses…Mickey “Boo” Richards is the drummer…smooth smooth style with great reverb bombs accenting certain hits!!!!

pablo moses






4. CHECK IT  by Mutabaruka… Carlton Barrett is the drummer…awesome interplay between the drum kit and reptah hand drumming…thick and sparce!!!!






 5. YOUR HOUSE by Steel Pulse…Steve “Grizzly” Nesbitt is the drummer…Hailing from the U.K., this performance showcases a harder more aggressive “One drop Style” more typical of the british reggae scene…I LOVE the downbeat slams on the timbale!!!

steel pulse







6. RUNNING AWAY by Bob Marley…Carlton Barrett is the drummer…smooooooth!!!




7.  THE GHOST  by Burning Spear…Leroy “Horsemouth” Wallace is the drummer…typically one of the more busy drummers with  a ton of energy…this track bounces along kingston style…way upbeat!!

burning spear






 8. ENDURANCE by Black Uhuru…SlyDunbar is the drummer…this “One Drop” has an awesome twist with accents on the syndrums which really add a memorable hook to the track…my buddies and I used to listen to this track in highschool and sing the “bup bup beeew’s”…you’ll know it when you hear it…really creative track on one of Black Uhuru’s best albums!!!!


black uhuru 


 9. REGGAE SOUNDS by Linton Kwesi Johnson…Jah Bunny is the drummer…Check out the reptah drumming that goes along with this groove…very visual performance…like being in the jungle!!!







 10. ROCKERS by Bunny Wailer…Leroy “Hosemouth” Wallace is the drummer…great interplay off of the snare and floor tom.


2 thoughts on ““Top 10” Reggae “One Drop” songs

  1. Hello , yes it s true Squidly Cole have “this sound ” too , he can play everythings in reggae , it s a pro drummer !
    Style Scott play amazing groove too one onedrop , very tight precise and perfect for mixing and recording an hybrid sound beetween Drum machine and Real drum , amazing powerfull beat .


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *