Beats & Rhythms

This section is screenshots of genre based stylistic rhythms, specific song grooves and historical dance beats that are relative to the drum machine. The online WAMBOX has limitations so not all grooves will feel authentic but I hope it becomes a useful resource for learning different rhythms and understanding where some grooves orginated so you can add to your own groove. I think its important to draw or play in the beats you see and like instead of having them as ready made presets.


Infectious dance beat found in a lot of latin flavored contemporary music. It originated in Puerto Rico in the late 90´s, the latin island´s answer to Jamaica´s Dancehall style. Both those rhythms are based on the Bomba.This is just the basic kick and snare pattern as it is essential with the hi hat pattern is usually sparse or missing. BPM is originally in in the 90´s but it is common now to have tempos from anywhere between 85-125.


This is the Trinidadian beat that was a modern take on the original english speaking Carribean pop beat, the Calypso. The name is a combination of Soul and Calypso. Modern Soca electronica is a happy, bounce-y beat that is played anywhere between 115-135bpms.


This is the French speaking Caribbean groove that originated in Haiti with Calypso and and the African beat Soukous has influences. The driving, trance-y beat  sounds a lot like Soca and is usually played anywhere between 115-125bpms.


The drive of this beat is the kick and the snare which is the Bomba beat with the kick playing the first two beats and the snare playing the 3rd beat in the rhythm, which is on the an of 2 and an of 4. With origins in Trinidad was THE party groove of the late 50´s and 60´s and translates well of modern drum machine/digital beats in contemporary music.

All Nite (Don´t Stop)

This a killer beat is based on the Janet Jackson song from 2005 and is very influenced by the Caribbean grooves Soca and Zouk. The song starts with a sample from Herbie Hancock and The Headhunters (Hang Up Your Hangups) and with this groove it must make you move.

Sister Cheryl

This beat is based on the Wynton Marsalis song with the great Tony Williams on drums. Light Afro-Jazz feel that is usable in a lot of different genres.

Reggae One Drop

Characterized by the rim and kick playing on beat 3, this Jamaican beat is part of the Reggae puzzle with the guitar “skanking” on 2 & 4, drums on beat 3 and nothing on one. Check out Toots & The Maytals with Leroy “Horseman” Wallace on drums or Sly Barret with Bob Marley.


Rock Steady/Ska preceded Reggae in Jamaican pop music with a faster tempo but still playing the main accent on 3. Byron Lee and The Dragonaires were early Ska recording artists  and later very popular with the English Two Tone sounds- Kick on all four beats with snare on 3 is also called a Reggae Rocker beat. 

Electric Africa

This track by Manu Dibango and produced by Bill Laswell was the first time I ever heard an Afrobeat track using a drum machine in the early 80´s. It is a Afrobeat style rhythm programmed on the DMX drum machine.

Belly Dance

This is the beatbox version of the Middle Eastern/North African beat, the Masquum or Sayidi rhythm played by the Dumbek/Darbuka traditionally. Lots of modern Egyptian and Turkish dance music use this rhythm.

Bossa Nova

The ultimate lounge rhythm from Brazil used in jazz, pop and club music. With it´s origin in the Samba, the Bossa has been popularized for the last 60 years by artists like Stan Getz, Astrid Gilberto, Sade or Aviici. A must have it beat for all the original pre-programmed rhythm boxes.


There is no definitive Trap beat but this example demonstrates how you can achieve a fast Hi Hat pattern with the 16th note limitations of WAMBOX. The tempo is set to 140 but the snare places on 3, not 2 & 4 with the track really being twice as slow (70bpm) so you have a half time feel on the kick and snare and the Hi Hats will feel like 32nd notes, so you can get that fast pulsed Hat thing going….basic math stuff. 

12/8 Ballad

This is a blues style ballad rhythm to demonstrate how to achieve a different time signature in WAMBOX. The grid is 16 boxes or steps, in the Step field hit the “-”   sign down to 12 and now you have a division of 3 for the grid.

Blues Rock Shuffle

The shuffle is a triplet feel and to achieve that in WAMBOX we need to use the swing setting to move up the 8th note to a triplet. In this example I got a good feel at 66%. Experiment with swing setting – you can get some interesting feels with this.  

Mersey Beat

Named after the river/area in Liverpool, England where groups like the Shadows, Gerry and The Pacemakers and some band that name begins with B but I forget….also big in surf music of the 60´s.


The characteristic behind the Motown beat is quarter notes on the snare so instead of on 2 & 4 it´s on 1,2,3,4. The Bpm is usually between 110-120. I had the honor of recording Funk Brother drummers Richard “Pistol” Allen and Uriel Jones for a sample CD and these guys and grooves have influenced some much music and drummers. This beat and these players played on tracks by the Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, the Supremes, the Jackson 5 Marvin Gaye and many more.


Impeach The President

This beat from the Honeydrippers recorded in 1973 has been used/sampled on over 100 Hip Hop records.


Here is a beat based on Chameleon by Herbie Hancock with the great Harvey Mason playing drums. Great groove that can be useful in any genre.

God Make Me Funky

Another cool beat from Herbie Hancock the Headhunters that works well with a rhythm box.

Neo Soul

A gener with no specific beat, but this is the type of downtempo groove that would work in this genre. Downtempo and smooth to support some soul/R&B..


Here is one example of a Afrobeat beatbox groove. Afrobeat was originated by Fela Kulti and drummer Tony Allen. Check out any of Tony Allen solo records to hear so wonderful playing and different Afrobeat rhythms and grooves.


This is a drum set variation Ju Ju beat, a style of music originated in Nigeria. King Sunny Ade was a popular artist who had global success in the 80´s and 90´s.

Afrobeat 2

Here is another beat plucked from a Fele Kulti/Tony Allen record. Afrobeat is of West African origin beginning in the late 60´s early 70´s.

Afro Beat 3

These Afrobeat grooves work great on the drum machine for  virtually any style. A great resource to check out for new beatbox rhythms.


This beat was popular in the early 1960´s with Soul/R&B bands and artists catering to the dance of the same name. Not sure which came first the dance or the beat.

Killer Joe

Here is a straight jazz beat from the Quincy Jones record Walking In Space. The beat uses some swing settings to get more of a triplet feel from the 8th notes. Deep swing from drummer Grady Tate on Killer Joe. Experiment with the swing %´s on both 8ths and 16ths to get the feel you want.

Cissy Strut

This is the verse or first part of one of the funkiest beats of all time from the New Orleans band The Meters and drummer Zigaboo Modeliste. This beat on a an un-dynamic beatbox sounds different but is still very cool.

Use Me

This is one of the 1 bar grooves played by James Gadson on the Bill Withers song. Super funky with a 16th note hi hat pattern with really nice interplay between the rim and kick.


Here is the intro beat by Stevie Wonder who also played the drums. It has a níce hi hat pattern. Slight swing feel but the four on the floor kick will lend itself to lots of contemporary beatbox or EDM grooves.

Night Fever

From the Disco era, this beat has a nice hi hat pattern based on the Bee Gees hit. This groove could be used on lots of settings and dance styles.

Back To Life

This groove from Soul II Soul has a nice hi hat pattern that that is a straight 8th notes by omits the first beat and the an of 4 so the the beginning and the end has no hi hat.

Wanna Be Startin Something

This is the basic groove for the Micheal Jackson hit produced by Quincy Jones. The quick and busy kick drum pattern is very nice.

Bronx 1

There is no definative Bronx beat but here is a beat used on a few Hip Hop Tracks for the birth place of Hip Hop.

Bronx 2

Here is another Afrika Bambaataa style box beat used on some early Hip Hop tracks. Lots of early beatbox beats did not use Hi Hat.

Die Roboter

One of the originators, Kraftwerk. Not much to the beat but it is here for historical reasons as it was released in 1978!

When Doves Cry

This Prince song is classic use of the Linn Drum. Prince used to open the Linn Drum cover and manually detune the clap so he had a different sound from all the artists and tracks using Linn during that period. With WAMBOX it´s a liitle easier just do that with the Pitch Slider and you are in Princeland.

Walk This Way

The Aerosmith tune played by Joey Kramer and rebranded by Run-DMC, is a cool beat characterized by the open hi hat on beat 1.

The Big Beat

This was just a simple drum intro from a bass player´s solo album in the 80´s that was sampled by lots of artists/producers.

Buck Jump Time

An early Hip Hop beat from New Orleans with a double time vibe with a “Big Four”, a term old NOLA jazz musicians used with an anticipation just before beat 4. A very cool beat that has a regional and historical vibe. The start of Bounce music.


Here is the basic New Orleans Bounce beat which was also used in lots of other Hip Hop styles later on.

Bounce For the Juvenile

Another example of something similar to the song with the same name that was popular in New Orleans Bounce music.

Yea Jump Bounce

There are lots of grooves can be made around the Bounce groove so here is another.


The groove is from Naughty by Nature, a song that sampled the ABC from the Jackson 5. Nice groove with a strong open Hat that pushes everything into the next beat.

Single Ladies

This Beyonce track has a syncopated New Orleans style groove with upbeat claps and snare on the up beat of 4.

Miami Bass

Popularized by 2 Live Crew this is an example of the basic kick and snare pattern with the 808 kit.


Here is a beat from a section of the song from The Prodigy (Alley Cat Remix). Has a nice snare rhythm against 16th note tambourine part.

Chicago Shuffle

This is a 2 handed shuffle played with both hands playing the same pattern. Notice the swing setting to acheive a  tripet fell on the 8th notes. The added hi hat on 2 & 4 is for the accent as this drum box has no individual note velocity setting.

Flat Tire Shuffle

Alternate Cymbal and snare shuffle feel to sound like a flat tire going round and round. Also called a Backdoor Shuffle.

Half Time Shuffle

Made popular by Bernard Purdie, here is an example of a unembellished WAMBOX version.  “Half Time”feels are usually are acheived by playing the snare on beat 3 instead of 2 & 4.

American Waltz

Here is the very straight 3/4 patten that is  the most basic rhythm in folk music from from all over. The Celts, Germans, French, Scandinavians all took this to the USA.

Viennese Waltz

This ancient groove from the 19th century has a little more syncopation from the Americam Waltz. Bad ass Johan Strauss funking it up!


Louisiana funky folk music played by artists like Rockin Dopsie, the Zydeco two step with double kick and double snare patten. Can be swung as well.

Zydeco Waltz

Here is the 3/4 version of this genre where the lead instrument is an Accordion.


All the vintage drum machine and rhythm boxes with pre-programmed beats included the Fox Trot. A dance from the 30´s named after Harry Fox a bandleader who I think is also the namesake for music´s largest collection agency. This simple beat is also a Polka, a Two-Step and called lots of other names in other cultures and genres.

Arena Stomp

Being a hockey fan I have heard this a bit but it´s usually the Queen anthem We Will Rock You.