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Key Elements Of A Dancehall Beat – Main Features

As producer, It’s important to know the key elements of a dancehall beat.

When you know exactly what it takes to make a great sounding beat, you waste less time in the sound selection and beat arrangement stages.

The key elements of a dancehall beat are features such as drums, chords, melody and bass.

I will go on to explain these elements in more details to give you a better understanding.

elements of a dancehall beat

1. Drums 

  • Kick 
  • Snare / Clap 
  • Hi hat 

Apart from vocals, drums are the most important element in a beat. In dancehall, we mainly use drum samples such as a kicks, snares and hi hats to create drum patterns. 

2. Chords 

  • Strings  
    Great for hardcore / war type dancehall beats. 
  • Piano 
    Great for any type of chords in general 
  • Plucks 
    Great for happy, tropical sounding beats 

Another key feature in dancehall beats are chords.

Instruments such as strings, pianos and plucks are often used to play dancehall chord progressions.

The choice of instrument depends on the mood that you want the beat to create.

For a dark hardcore beat like this, you would use strings to play staccato chords, while you would use plucks for a more happy and tropical sounding beat like this one

3. Melody 

  • Piano 
  • Guitar 
  • Flute 
  • Vocals 

The melody is the element that usually sticks in the mind of the listeners. Because of this, it is regarded by some as the main element of a beat.  

Instruments such as pianos, guitars and flutes are great to create catchy melodies in dancehall.

Some beats however, don’t have an instrument playing melody, instead the main vocals are used as melodies. 

4. Bass 

  • 808 
  • Sub bass 

Dancehall beats have another key element, the bass line.

808 samples or sub bass patches in a synths normally works in this area.

That’s It

There you have it! I’ve just explained the key elements in a dancehall beat. I hope I’ve helped you somehow.

If any of the information is not clear or if you have further questions, feel free to leave a comment below and let me know, zeen.

Bless up!