Rebelution’s Roots Reggae Music Chords

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Find out how to play Rebelution’s Roots Reggae Music chords by following these best practices.


Rebelution is a California-based band that plays a blend of reggae, rock, and hip-hop. The band’s sound is influenced by musicians such as Bob Marley, the Wu-Tang Clan, and the Fugees. Rebelution’s music has a positive message and is often about love, peace, and social responsibility.

The Roots of Reggae Music

Reggae music has its roots in the ska and rocksteady genres of music that originated in Jamaica in the late 1950s and 1960s. Reggae is a style of music that is characterized by a slow, laid-back beat and a focus on the rhythm. The roots of reggae can be traced back to the African slave trade and the African musical traditions that were brought to Jamaica.

The African Connection

The African connection to reggae music is undeniable. The sound, the feel, the rhythms, and even the instruments trace their origins back to the mother continent. Africa is the wellspring from which reggae flows, and its influence can be felt in every corner of the genre.

The drums are perhaps the most obvious African element in reggae. The signature sound of reggae – the skanking beat – is largely indebted to African drumming traditions. The use of percussion instruments like the conga, bongo, and djembe add an Afro-centric flavor to reggae music, giving it a distinctly African flavor.

The other key element of reggae that has its roots in Africa is the Rastafarian religion. Rastafarianism is a religion that developed in Jamaica in the 1930s, and it draws heavily on African religious and cultural traditions. Rastafarians believe that Haile Selassie I, the last emperor of Ethiopia, is the incarnation of God, and they view Africa as a holy land that all blacks should eventually return to. This belief informs much of reggae’s lyricism, which often focuses on themes of repatriation and redemption.

So next time you’re jamming out to some reggae, take a moment to appreciate the African influences that make this music so unique and special.

The Jamaican Connection

Reggae music has its origins in Jamaica, and its original name was ska. Ska music emerged in the late 1950s, and it was a fusion of African rhythm and Caribbean mento. Ska was very popular in Jamaica in the 1960s, and it soon spread to other parts of the world.

The term reggae was first used in 1968, and it is believed to be a combination of the words “rebel” and “streggae.” Reggae is a very slow form of ska, and it often has a Rastafarian influence. Reggae music became very popular in the 1970s, and it continues to be popular today. Rebelution is a California-based reggae band that has been influenced by the Jamaican sound.

The Reggae Sound

The Ska Sound

Ska is a music genre that originated in Jamaica in the late 1950s and was the precursor to rocksteady and reggae. It combined elements of Caribbean mento and calypso with American jazz and rhythm and blues. Ska is characterized by a walking bass line accented with rhythms on the off beat. The tempo is fast and often Times played with electric guitar, saxophone, clarinet, and trombone. It was popularized in the 1960s by Jamaican sound systems such as Duke Reid’s Treasure Isle and King Tubby’s, as well as British groups such as The Specials, Madness, and The Beat (later to become Fine Young Cannibals).

The Rocksteady Sound

The Rocksteady sound emerged from Jamaica in 1966 and was the direct precursor to Reggae. It was named for a new dance that was being performed at the time and its popularity quickly spread throughout the island. The music is characterized by a slower, more soulful sound than Ska, with lower guitars and horns playing more melodic roles. The lyrics are also more reflective and personal, often dealing with love and relationships.

The Rocksteady sound was short-lived, as it quickly evolved into Reggae in the late 1960s. However, it left a lasting impression on Jamaican music and culture. Many of the most famous Reggae artists got their start in Rocksteady, including Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, and Toots & The Maytals. If you’re a fan of Reggae, then exploring the roots of the genre is a must!

The Reggae Sound

Reggae is a music genre that originated in Jamaica in the late 1960s. The term also denotes the modern popular music of Jamaica and its diaspora. A 1968 single by Toots and the Maytals, “Do the Reggay” was the first popular song to use the word “reggae”, effectively naming the genre and introducing it to a global audience. While sometimes used in a broader sense to refer to most types of popular Jamaican danceable music, the term reggae more properly denotes a particular music style that originated following on the development of ska and rocksteady.

The Reggae Chord Progression

Reggae developed from ska and rocksteady. Reggae is usually slower than ska, and usually has a 4/4 time signature rather than the 2/4 of ska. One of the most important parts of any reggae song is the chord progression.

The I-IV-V Progression

The I-IV-V chord progression is a common movement in reggae music. It is often used to create a sense of energy and movement in the song, and can be found in many popular reggae tunes.

The I-IV-V progression is made up of three chords: the I chord, the IV chord, and the V chord. In the key of C, these chords would be C, F, and G. The I chord is typically played on the downbeat of the first measure, the IV chord on the downbeat of the second measure, and the V chord on the downbeat of the third measure. This progression can be repeated for as long as desired.

There are many variations of this progression that can be used to create different sounds and feels. For example, instead of playing all three chords on every downbeat, you could play them on every other downbeat, or every third beat. You could also play them in any order you desire.

The I-IV-V progression is a versatile tool that can be used in many different ways. Experiment with it and see what you can come up with!

The I-VII-IV Progression

The I-VII-IV progression is a very common chord progression in reggae music. It is made up of the chords I, VII, and IV, which are all major chords. This progression is often used in Rebelution’s roots reggae music. The I chord is typically played on the root note of the guitar, the VII chord is played on the fifth fret of the guitar, and the IV chord is played on the eighth fret of the guitar.

The I-VI-VII-IV Progression

The I-VI-VII-IV chord progression is a common and widely used progression in reggae music. It is often used in songs that are looking to create a relaxed and chilled out vibe, as it has a very mellow sound. The I-VI-VII-IV progression can be played in any key, and is usually played with chords that are based on the 1st, 6th, 7th and 4th degrees of the major scale. For example, in the key of C, the I-VI-VII-IV progression would be C-Amin-G-F.


As you can see, Rebelution’s roots reggae music chords are not difficult to play. With a little practice, you’ll be able to play them like a pro!

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