Instruments used in Reggae Music

By | April 9, 2021


According to, reggae has its origins in ska music, Jamaica’s Caribbean / African interpretation of American R u0026 B, characterized by ‘glittering guitar and syncopated rhythms’. Reggae slowed down, but kept its instrumentation, which includes guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and horns.


Guitar rhythm prominent in reggae. Guitar players usually play on steps, on strokes two and four. The genre’s name actually comes from producer Bunny Lee’s description of his scratchy guitar that sounds like ‘reggae, reggae’.


The reggae music is strongly dependent on its clear syncopated rhythm, where the drums play a reggae drums tune loudly to give them a loud timbal type sound. Drummers often add other percussion instruments to their traditional kit.


Reggae groups use the bass guitar as a rhythmic instrument. Bassists usually set the bass low to give it their heavy, thick sound.

Other instruments

Reggae groups often use keyboards and horns. Keyboardists use pianos, organs and synthesizers to double the guitar’s scan rhythm and to give the music a hooked, mixed feeling. Reggae groups use trumpets, trombones and saxophones in introductions and to add counter-melodies to songs. Reggae, a genre of music developed in Jamaica in the 1960s, draws its influences from Caribbean and African music, as well as American R u0026 B. It borrows instrumentation from these styles and modifies them to produce sounds that are unique to the genre.