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Intro To Disco Beats

Disco is a type of dance music that became popular in the United States during the 1970s. It features hard-hitting four-on-the-floor beats with syncopated bass lines and elegant string arrangements.

Disco drum beats were carefully crafted to keep an audience dancing all night long so they feature repetitive grooves and a simple yet solid bass drum pattern.

The key ingredient to a disco drum beat is a four-on-the-floor bass drum pattern. Four-on-the-floor means to play 4 crotchet bass drum notes in each bar. This rock-solid foundation mean that the grooves drive the music forward and keep a steady pulse for an audience to dance along to.

Below are some examples of disco beats. Start by playing the standard pop/rock groove and then the four-on-the-floor groove and see how the extra bass drum notes change the feeling of the beat. After that, you can try putting the other hi-hat variations on top of the four-on-the-floor pattern.

Listen to the following tunes for some inspiration:

  • I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor

  • Le Freak - Chic

  • Stayin’ Alive - Bee Gees

  • Disco Inferno - Trammps


  • Remember that the steady bass drum is the most important part of the groove!

  • Take your time with the hi-hat variations. Each one will take some time to get used to.

  • Make sure it sounds like a dance groove! Try keeping the hit volume low and emphasising the bass drum and snare notes for extra groove.

Disco Beats-Backbone Drum School
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