Writing a reggae song, even if you have listened to popular music from popular bands, may prove to be difficult if you are not a songwriter. However, it can be learned if that is your goal. Prior to attempting to write your own reggae song, try listening to Jamaican music and become a fan of Bob Marley's music.
Much of the accent of reggae songs are their drums, which have simple beats. Although there are some more complicated beats, just try starting with a simple one. Guitars should be muted through the use of barre chords. For reggae, the bass plays more than the other instrument. The guitar waits for empty spaces left by the bass player.
Reggae is very different from the usual pop music in which all the instruments are continually playing. In reggae, spaces are there. Each instrument is allowed a space to play while the other instruments take a break. There is simple chord sequence, but can be mixed up in different order.
With the death of Marley in 1981, the music seemed to move with no direction. The dance halls seemed to change the tempo to a faster mode than reggae. Now is your turn to recover and revive the reggae music. You only have to do the following:
- Dampen your chords; don't let them ring out. Mute the strings until you only hear the "chk" sound in reggaes. For bar chord players, the pressure is let off the strings using the left hand, for right-handed people. Guitar players can make the sound cool by just feeling the strings but not pushing them down.
- Strum on the beats, 2 and 4. Knock your foot 1, 2, 3, 4 and plunk on beats 2 and 4. For a start, your strumming strokes will only be on beats 2 and 4 in your sample song.
Use this information to write a good reggae song and your music will compete with a number of ska revivals.