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Back beat

From Academic Kids

In popular music the back beat drum beat is a percussion style or technique used in common time (4/4) where a strong rhythmic accent is sounded on the second and fourth beats of the bar, the backbeats, most often from striking a snare drum. This is a form of syncopation, and the tension between the normally much stronger first and third beats (downbeats) and the backbeats creates interest.

The style emerged in the late 1940s in rhythm and blues recordings, and is one of the defining characteristics of rock and roll and is used in virtually all contemporary popular music, bossa nova being a notable exception. Drummer Earl Palmer states the first record with nothing but back beat was "The Fat Man" by Fats Domino in 1949, which he played on. Palmer says he adopted it from the shout [last] chorus in Dixieland.

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