Bo Diddley beat

Bo Diddley beat takes its identify from Bo Diddley and his eponymous tune

The Bo Diddley beat is a syncopated musical rhythm that’s broadly utilized in rock and roll and pop music.[1][2][3] The beat is known as after rhythm and blues musician Bo Diddley, who launched and popularized the beat along with his self-titled debut single, “Bo Diddley”, in 1955. Music educator and writer Michael Campbell describes the Bo Diddley beat as:

a barely altered model of the clave rhythm … [The “Bo Diddley”] tune reveals the connection between Afro-Cuban music, Americanized Latin rhythms, and rock rhythm … [The beats] are extra lively and complex than a easy rock rhythm, however much less advanced than an actual Afro-Cuban rhythm.[4]

Historical past and composition

Bo Diddley beat[5] audio speaker iconPlay .

The Bo Diddley beat is a variation of the 3-2 clave, one of the vital frequent bell patterns present in Afro-Cuban music that has been traced to sub-Saharan African music traditions.[6] It is usually akin to the rhythmic sample often called “shave and a haircut, two bits”, that has been linked to Yoruba drumming from West Africa.[7] A folks custom known as “hambone”, a mode utilized by avenue performers who play out the beat by slapping and patting their arms, legs, chest, and cheeks whereas chanting rhymes has additionally been urged.[8]

In accordance with musician and writer Ned Sublette, “Within the context of the time, and particularly these maracas [heard on the record], ‘Bo Diddley’ must be understood as a Latin-tinged file. A rejected minimize recorded on the identical session was titled solely ‘Rhumba’ on the observe sheets.”[9] Bo Diddley employed maracas, a percussion instrument utilized in Caribbean and Latin music, as a fundamental part of the sound.[7] Jerome Inexperienced was the maraca participant on Diddley’s early data, initially utilizing the instrument as a extra transportable different to a drum set.[10] When requested how he started to make use of this rhythm, Bo Diddley gave many various accounts. In a 2005 interview with Rolling Stone journal, he mentioned that he got here up with the beat after listening to gospel music in church when he was twelve years previous.[10]

In its easiest type, the Bo Diddley beat could be counted out as both a one-bar or a two-bar phrase. The next consists of the depend in a one-bar phrase: One e and ah, two e and ah, three e and ah, 4 e and ah. The bolded counts are the clave rhythm. The 2-bar phrase is as follows: One and two and three and 4 and One and two and three and 4 and.

Use by different artists

Previous to Bo Diddley’s self-titled tune, the rhythm occurred in 13 rhythm and blues songs recorded between 1944 and 1955, together with two by Johnny Otis from 1948.[11] In 1944, “Rum and Coca Cola”, containing the beat, was recorded by the Andrews Sisters[5] and in 1952, a tune with related syncopation, “Hambone”, was recorded by Pink Saunders’ Orchestra with the Hambone Children.

Later, the beat was included in lots of songs by composed by artists apart from Bo Diddley:

  • “I Want You Would” by Billy Boy Arnold (1955)[7]
  • “Not Fade Away” by Buddy Holly (1957)[12][13][14]
  • “Cannonball” by Duane Eddy (1958)[7][14]
  • “Willie and the Hand Jive” by Johnny Otis (1958)[14][15]
  • “Hey Little Lady” by Dee Clark (1959)[16]
  • “(Marie’s the Identify) His Newest Flame” by Elvis Presley (1961)[13][14][15]
  • “Mickey’s Monkey” by the Miracles (1963)[15]
  • “When the Lovelight Begins Shining By means of His Eyes” by the Supremes (1963)[15]
  • “Do not Doubt Your self, Babe” by the Byrds (1965)[17][page needed]
  • “Mystic Eyes” by Them (1965)[5]
  • “I Need Sweet” by the Strangeloves (1965)[14][15]
  • “Please Go House” by The Rolling Stones (1966)[18]
  • “Bummer within the Summer season” by Love (1967)[19]
  • “Get Me to the World on Time” by the Electrical Prunes (1967)[15]
  • “She Has Humorous Automobiles” by Jefferson Airplane (1967)[20]
  • “Magic Bus” by the Who (1968)[13][14][15]
  • “1969” by the Stooges[14]
  • “Panic in Detroit” by David Bowie (1973)[14][15]
  • “Disgrace, Disgrace, Disgrace” by Shirley & Firm (1974)[15]
  • “New York Groove” by Whats up (1975)[21]
  • “Billy Bones and the White Fowl” by Elton John (1975)[22]
  • “She’s the One” by Bruce Springsteen (1975)[13][14][15]
  • “American Lady” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (1977)[13]
  • “Hateful” by the Conflict (1979)[15]
  • “Cuban Slide” by the Pretenders (1980)[7]
  • “Europa and the Pirate Twins” by Thomas Dolby (1981)[15]
  • “How Quickly Is Now?” by the Smiths (1985) (Diddley-style tremolo)[14][23]
  • “Mr. Brownstone” by Weapons N’ Roses (1987)[14]
  • “Religion” by George Michael (1987)[13][15]
  • “Need” by U2 (1988)[14][15]
  • “Movin’ On Up” by Primal Scream (1991)[24]
  • “Tribal Thunder” by Dick Dale and the Del-Tones (1993)[15]
  • “No One to Run With” by the Allman Brothers Band (1994)[25]
  • “Social gathering on the Leper Colony” by Bizarre Al Yankovic (2003)[26]
  • “That Massive 5-0” by Stan Ridgway (2004)[23]
  • “On the Backside of the Ocean” by Ezra Furman (2013)[27]
  • “Water Fountain” by Tune-Yards (2014)[28]
  • “Idiot For Love” by Lord Huron (2015)[29]


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