Afrobeats is becoming more and more popular.
The founder/CEO of Spotify Daniel Ek recently tweeted about the global rise of music out of Africa, in particular Afrobeats.
So, I thought I should do a post on afrobeat drum patterns. Let's get into it.
Speaking of stats. African music is on the rise globally 📈. For instance, since 2017 streams of Afrobeats music have grown in Mexico by close to 900%. 🚀— Daniel Ek (@eldsjal) June 22, 2023
More info here:https://t.co/4RvWQ42g2Q pic.twitter.com/q9w1MDwgLi
Afrobeats drum patterns.
I'll go through a base afrobeats drum pattern.
It will be a building block for you to create your own afrobeats.
I'll break down this core afrobeats drum pattern and build some basic afrobeats drum patterns off of that.
These will be core afrobeats drum patterns that will get you started making afrobeats music.
They're not intended to be exhaustive or complete.
Just a nice framework for you to build your own afrobeats drum patterns.
Afrobeats Core Drum Pattern
Let's start with a core pattern you'll hear in Afrobeats music. This is the pattern:
Let's take a listen with snares:
Let's take another listen, this time with just kicks:
You can already tell it has that afrobeats feel. But above, it's just with kicks, or snares. Let's put it together with kicks AND snares in a few variations:
Afrobeats Drum Pattern Variations
Now that we have our core afrobeats pattern, let's hear a number of variations of this.
We'll take the same pattern and just change whether each note is a kick or snare. Let's start with three different variations
Kick x Snare x Percussion
Let's again take the core afrobeats pattern and space the notes over kicks, snares, and this time we'll add in percussion. Spacing the core pattern out over kicks, snares, and percussion is a great way to create more chill and relaxed afrobeats.
With a Four On The Floor Pattern
Now we'll take the afrobeats drum pattern for the snare, and use it with a Four On The Floor kick drum pattern. This is good if you want afrobeats with more energy to them.
Kicks and Snares Layered
Now let's listen when we layer in kicks and snares.
More Than The Core
The above are several variations based off the core afrobeats drum pattern. It's a nice building block for you to build your own afrobeats drum patterns
Not all afrobeats drum patterns use the above formula. Many deviate from it or uses pieces of it.
This is just one way to go about making afrobeats.
Here's a few examples of other afrobeats drum patterns:
Afrobeats Pattern A
Afrobeats Pattern B
Afrobeats Pattern C
Afrobeats Pattern D
In this one I added drum fills in place of the two snares at the end of each bar.
Afrobeats Pattern E
What About Reggaeton Drum Beats
Sometimes you'll hear more of a reggaeton drum pattern in Afrobeats. Given the nature of music and how and where it evolves from, this isn't too surprising. I won't get into what is technically right or wrong, do what you like.
If you're looking for reggaeton, check out the reggaeton drum guide. It breaks it down just like this post but with much much more detail.
You get core patterns, advanced patterns, and enough knowledge to understand how to build your own reggaeton drum beat.
Midi files included!
Oh and of 99 percussion sounds for free.
Afrobeats MIDI Files
If you want the MIDI files for this post, check out the free MINI Bundle. It includes drum guides and MIDI stems for all the subgenres we offer and includes the MIDI stems for this post.
Sum It Up
Afrobeats is exploding and for good reason. The music is great to listen to.
If you're getting started making afrobeats, start with the core drum pattern above.
Build from there.
Experiment with different placements and have fun!