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Live by the Beat, Die by the Beat.


First let me start by saying that Drum & Bass, Jungle , Breakbeat….whatever you want to call it….was not invented in the late 1980’s early 1990’s. More correctly it was focused on and given a name at that time.

Such rhythm patterns as the ones found in Drum & Bass where being played LIVE by drummers in Jazz Fusion bands in the 1970’s before many Drum & Bass producers where even born. And I am not talking about slow breakbeats, I am talking about real drummers playing at 170 to 180 BPM.

If any fool wishes to contest my words just check out Mahavishnu Orchestra’s Lost Trident Sessions.

The birth of the Breakbeat starts in the late 1960’s to early 1970’s with James Brown and his amazing drummers Jabo Starks and Clyde Stubblefield. The rest of the band drops out and the drummer keeps the funk going …getting the audience into a dancing frenzy.

DJ’s stole this simple idea from brother James in the late 1970’s, creating the multi-million dollar industry now known as Hip-Hop.

For those that would steal beats , life became easier in the 1980’s with the popularity of Phrase Samplers.

In the late 1980’s –early 1990’s, our brothers and sisters in Britain turned speeding up Hip-Hop beats and cutting and pasting them into the art form known to us now as Drum & Bass and/or Jungle. The terms Drum & Bass and Jungle originated through reggae dancehall.

Under the umbrella of Drum & Bass there are many sub-genres.
Some of which are

by Leon Lamont

People often ask me about producing Drum & Bass. My approach is uncommon for the genre. Instead of sampling music and beats, I program all of my own compositions and play the breakbeats live. Of course, this is not the approach for everyone.

More commonly Drum & Bass production is done almost entirely with Phrase Samplers and a few sound modules.

Your first step would be to invest in a good sampler and to find the sound module that would best be suited for the style of music or sound that you want.

A great thing about producing electronica ( if you don’t play your own breakbeats on a drum set) is that you can work in any room of your house or apartment. Giving birth to the term "Bedroom Producer".

There is much more to producing than the little bit of information that I put on this site page. A good starting point is to find the right beats for your project. Below I have made a list of 13 songs that have been sampled to death by both Drum & Bass and Hip-Hop producers. There is a good chance that you have heard every good break on this list. If you are aware of it or not is a different story.

An interesting fact that I would like to share with you:
James Brown’s “Funky Drummer” is the most sampled drum break in the world and has generated billions of dollars in royalties for artist that have sampled the live drumming of Clyde Stubblefield.

Mr. Stubblefield has not received one dime in royalties.

1) James Brown “Funky Drummer”
2) Incredible Bongo Band “Apache”
3) The Winstons “Amen Bros”
4) Bob James “Take Me to the Mardi Gras”
5) Bobby Byrd “Hot Pants I’m Coming”
6) Lynn Collins “Think”
7) James Brown “Give it Up Turn it Loose”
8) Herman Kelly “ Dance to the Drummer’s Beat”
9) The Commodores “ Assembly Line”
10) Kool & the Gang “Eight Ball Break”
11) Moog Indigo “EVA”
12) Ohio Players “ Funky Worm”
13) Marva Whitney “ Unwind Yourself”