In this lesson I want to introduce a cool two-bar reggae pattern that you can hear on the song “Guide Over Us” by Sizzla, from the 1997 album Black Woman & Child. Even though the beat is programmed you can still cop the feel and movement of the pattern. It’s inspired by the early rocksteady version of the song (Cornell Campbell’s “Queen Of The Minstrel”), as well as reggae patterns by Sly Dunbar.

I didn’t add the extra hi-hat movement in the transcriptions so you can get used to playing the straight sixteenth-notes first. Once that feels comfortable you can add the extra thirty-second-notes in the hi-hat pattern leading in to beat 1. It might help to play along with the track and lock in with it.


This is a great pattern to help develop some basic independence and improve your feel. It shouldn’t sound or feel stiff; it should be danceable.

Reggae Variation Drum Practice Pad Lesson May

Gil Sharone is the current drummer for Marilyn Manson and Stolen Babies, and the former drummer of Dillinger Escape Plan and Pucifer. He has had a lifelong love of Jamaican styles and has played with Fishbone, Dave Wakeling, and reggae Grammy winners Morgan Heritage and Slightly Stoopid. His DVD/book Wicked Beats covers Jamaican ska, rocksteady, and reggae drumming.