The Beguine Rhythm
What is a Beguine?
Basically a beguine is a popular ballroom dance. But, as with other dances, it’s roots have a rhythmic foundation. Most know the word, “Beguine” through Cole Porter’s popular big band song, “Begin the Beguine”. As drummers, we should know how to approach a beguine rhythm in case we’re called to play one.
Like a Rumba
Cole Porter was said to have written “Begin the Beguine” after a layover on the island of Martinique (near St. Lucia) during a world cruise in the 1930’s. He was influenced by the beguine rhythm and it’s dance. It was similar to a rumba but yet subtlely different enough that it could retain its originality. Here’s a version of another beguine song, “Beguine for Band”. Notice the emphasis on quarter note beats, “1, 3 and 4” by the tuba. And the sand blocks are playing what would normally be played on snare (or HH) and toms when playing on the drumset.
Need Drum Lessons? Check out over a hundred drum videos on all types of drumming! Pad your drumming resources with these other helpful sites with quality ‘free’ information on learning drums. Visit DrumTips.com for over 2000 tips for drummers relating to everything drums and drumming! Then hop on over to DrumRudiments.com for all 40 of the major drum rudiments and video examples. Then, cruse on over to DrumLinks.com for hundreds of links to the drumming industry. There you’ll find everything from drum lessons to drum-related schools and everything else. Don’t miss DrumChat.com, one of the largest drum forums on the web with tens of thousands of pages filled with valuable drum information.