Ska stroke

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Reggae downstroke pattern[1]About this sound Play .
Though notated with quarter notes, the Ska stroke sounds like sixteenth notes due to muting or dampening.[1]
Reggae upstroke pattern[2]About this sound Play .

The ska stroke, or ska upstroke, is a guitar strumming technique that is used mostly in the performance of ska, rocksteady, and reggae music. Ska strokes serve as a rhythmic base to a song, and may be doubled by the drums. This style of playing has a dance associated with it, the skank.

Ska strokes are considered a bouncing sound, going up then down in pitch. If a musician is using a general 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and... on the downbeat, the sound is on the selected guitar chord, and then a ghost note is played on the string on the upbeat. The ghost note is achieved by lifting the fret hand off the fret a few millimeters. In reggae, ska strokes are played much slower than in ska.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Snyder, Jerry (1999). Jerry Snyder's Guitar School, p.28. ISBN 0-7390-0260-0.
  2. ^ Snyder (1999), p.29.

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