The Bo Diddley Beat came from the artist himself,
blues legend Bo Diddley (Ellas McDaniel).
A good number of his songs incorporated this jungle-like rhythm and
helped distinguish his sound
through the years. Numerous artists crossing many genres have since
patterned their songs
after this man and his beat. Though some credit Bo for originating
the rhythm, it actually stems from
early forms of latin and afro-cuban rhythms (clave) derived from their
It's important to note that this rhythm was also used for years as
the playful music knock,
"Shave and a Haircut",..."Two Bits".
How To Play it on Drums
Another simple beat to learn but important to make
it swing! Play singles from hand to hand on
the floor tom accentuating the clave (top line) below. Bass drum can
match the clave or play
"4 on the floor" (bottom line). Guitarist and/or bass player
will play simultaneous
lines so it is important to keep a steady tempo to be in sync with
Use the afro-cuban son clave below as your foundation. For
those that don't read, it is:
1 (2) and (3) 4 - (1) 2 3 (4)
The 3/2 Son Clave
For more information on clave, see http://www.drumsdatabase.com/index.htm#Clave
Many drummers play this beat on the floor tom as mentioned
Others play it as a rudimental snare groove (New Orleans style) and
still others play
the Bo Diddley Beat within a standard, syncopated rock groove
Not Fade Away Buddy Holly, Rolling Stones
Willie & the Hand Jive Johnny Otis Show, Eric Clapton,
I Want Candy Bow Wow Wow, Strangeloves
Women are Smarter Grateful Dead
Magic Carpet Ride - Steppenwolf
Magic Bus - The Who
She's the One - Bruce Springsteen
Faith George Michael
Desire - U2
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