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I have heard songs from many different genres from rock to rap to techno with this same kind of core slow stomping percussion beat. Example songs are:

What is it that they share, in terms of percussion? What is the identifying term?

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Johnny Cash keeps adding beats between verses ! –  Tim Jul 4 at 6:11

3 Answers 3

There is no common tempo (speed). Tempo varies between your examples.

There are differences among your examples, but I see where you are coming from. I'll try to dive into what the 4 patterns share.

4/4 or mainly 4/4 time. The snare drum on the beats 2 and 4 (which some call the weak beats) and the kick drum on every beat or beats 1 and 3 (Led Zeppelin's and Wu-Tang's examples have more complex kick drum patterns, but they are built around the same basic idea). Accentuating beats 2 and 4 with the snare drum has been a very common pattern in pop and rock music for many years now. I think all your examples are built around this idea, plus or minus few variations.

It's very simple, not distracting, keeps things moving and going, with a feel of constant flow; that's why it is so used as a base for everything else. Take whatever you want, put it on top of that rhythm, and bam! you have a dancy thing going on, just like that.

Emphasizing the beats 2 and 4 is called a "backbeat" (thanks Dave!) I don't know if the pattern as a whole has a specific name (if not it should), but that's what they share in terms of percussion.

It's also common to find that pattern with some other element added to the upbeat (the "ands" in "1 and 2 and 3 and 4"). Shakers and hi-hats are very popular elements to use there. This makes that rhythm pattern even more dancy.

That's the base of the drum pattern of a pretty big percentage of commercial music. It's so easy to like it and dance to it.

Let's build up the rhythm so you can hear what's going on, and how other rhythms can be built around it.

First, kick drum on every beat.

Then we add snare drum to beats 2 and 4.

Now add the hi-hat to the upbeats.

Finally, optionally, add whatever wherever. The first three elements added a very strong foundation, so you can go crazy.

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Emphasizing the 2 and 4 is a "backbeat" –  Dave Jul 4 at 3:18
    
Led Zep's kick drum is syncopated around beat 3, and maybe not there on 2 and 4. –  Tim Jul 4 at 6:18
    
@Tim "and the kick drum on every beat or beats 1 and 3 (Led Zeppelin's and Wu-Tang's examples have more complex kick drum patterns, but all the beats are still covered)." –  JCPedroza Jul 4 at 11:44
    
@JCPedroza - it's on beat one, and I think before 3 on Led Zep.Nothing on 3.I think. –  Tim Jul 4 at 14:59
    
@Tim I was replying to "and maybe not there on 2 and 4". If there are kicks only on beats 1 and 3, there are no kicks on beats 2 and 4!. The point is that the kick sometimes is only used in 1 and 3, leaving 2 and 4 for the snare. You can do a lot of things to that rhythmic base, like on Led Zep's 3rd beat. You can add and/or remove elements around that basic idea, which is why I specified that Wu-Tang's and Led Zeppelin's have more complex drum patterns. –  JCPedroza Jul 4 at 15:33

"When the Levee Breaks" and "God's gonnacut you down" share a similar tempo, and their' feel' is a little bit similar in that in both there's a kind of off-beat 'strike' whcih gives them a slight swing. I'll do my best to explain what I'm hearing :

Levee : If you ignore the bass drum riff itself for the moment, there's a slight echo on the bass drum and snare, the timing of which gives the rhythm a slight "bounce" : if it was exacly an equal time between the 8-beats, it would sound quite straightforward but it's delayed very slightly more than equi-distant, so that it gives a kind of 16-beat swing.

Also the hi-hat cuts through on (most) offbeats because the drums are hevily compressed, so where there's a bass drum strike as well as hi-hat, the hi-hat is diminished, but when it plays on its own during off-beats, it cuts through more, whcih means there's somethign 'adjacent' timing-wise to that echo on the whole thing. Stroke of genius. Something which has been copied many times since.

God's gonna cut you : The drum riff is much simpler. A similar effect to the above is gained from the guitar and the way the syllables on the vocals are emphasised: with a slight swing. This is harder to do in that it's not one thing you can to to get the effect; it's a combination of a straight drum riff and the way the guitar and vocals work. However I think this is quite a natural thing for a lot of people to do when playing a slower song like that.

Off the grid : Honestly, apart from the tempo and a straighforwart boom-tut drum riff, I couldn't hear much that shared with the others.

Think Differently : The double strike on the bass drum again has a swing feel - it's not a straight 16-beat strike, it's slightly more "bunched up" so there's that bounce again.

I hope this makes sense. I can hear this but I'm not sure I'm so good at putting it into words.

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I'm struggling to find any common things about these examples. The tempos vary between around 60 to 80 b.p.m., and the drum patterns are dissimilar. Yes, there's a bass drum and a snare, but the patterns are different from each other. Common factor is 4/4, apart from Johnny Cash, which is mainly 4/4 but with odd bars from time to time.

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This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post. –  MrTheBard Jul 4 at 20:34
    
"What is it that they share?" the OP asks. I could have stated not much, which is still true. –  Tim Jul 4 at 20:37

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