What is the Money Beat & Why is Called Like That?

November 8, 2023

Want to be the drummer that always gets the gig? 

Master the Money Beat. 

It’s the drumming groove that’s as reliable as it is infectious—your kick drum thumping out the backbone on the 1st and 3rd beats with the snare driving home the 2nd and 4th. 

This isn’t about flash; it’s about being the rhythmic rock every hit song relies on.

What is the Money Beat?

Think AC/DC’s back-to-basics beat—solid, straightforward, no fills. 

That’s the Money Beat. It’s called that for a reason: play it well, and you’ll be the in-demand drummer with the magnetic groove. It’s about laying down a beat that feels like cash in the bank.

The Beat That Pays: Here’s the deal: Keep it simple, keep it tight. The Money Beat isn’t about showcasing every chop you’ve got—it’s about serving the song and locking in with the band.

Find the Groove: Ready to get paid to play? Lock into the Money Beat. It’s your fast track to becoming the backbone of any band, the kind of drummer everyone wants to jam with. Let’s dive in and get that groove going.

Crafting the Money Beat: Drumming’s Go-To Groove

Solid Foundation with the Kick Drum: The kick drum is your groove’s anchor, delivering a firm and steady pulse. Lock it into the 1st and 3rd beats of your bar, and you’ve laid the groundwork for the classic Money Beat. It’s this unwavering bass that sets the stage for everything else.

Snare Strikes on the Backbeat: On top of the kick drum’s foundation, the snare drum cracks the 2nd and 4th beats, the backbeat. This is what people nod their heads and tap their feet to. The snare’s crisp snap gives the Money Beat its signature contrast and appeal.

Hi-Hat for Rhythmic Consistency: The hi-hat plays eighth notes, filling in the gaps and keeping the rhythm tight and moving. By hitting the hi-hat on every count and its subdivisions, you create a smooth, flowing line for the beat, gluing the kick and snare together.

Tempo and Feel: The Money Beat isn’t rushed; it sits comfortably within a wide range of tempos. It’s all about the feel—the beat should feel as good at a laid-back 70 BPM as it does at a brisk 120 BPM.

Versatility and Adaptation: What really makes the Money Beat the industry standard is its adaptability. It can be played straight, swung, halved, doubled, and embellished upon. It’s a chameleon, fitting seamlessly into various songs and styles.

Simplicity is Key: Above all, the Money Beat is simple. This simplicity is what makes it so reliable and why it’s often the first beat drummers learn. It’s easy to play, yet it fits a myriad of musical situations, proving that sometimes less really is more.

Here’s a list of 7 songs renowned for featuring the Money Beat:

  1. Michael Jackson – “Billie Jean”
  2. AC/DC – “Back in Black”
  3. Queen – “Another One Bites the Dust”
  4. The White Stripes – “Seven Nation Army”
  5. Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars – “Uptown Funk”
  6. Nirvana – “Smells Like Teen Spirit”
  7. Stevie Wonder – “Superstition”

Why the Money Beat? Because it’s the Drummer’s Golden Ticket

Here’s the scoop: The Money Beat is music’s best friend. It’s steady. It’s reliable. It’s the groove that won’t quit. Producers dig it, and listeners move to it. It’s the drumming equivalent of a classic black tee—it never goes out of style.

When you’re behind the kit, laying down this beat, you’re not just keeping time; you’re keeping the song on track. Overplaying? That’s like too many cooks in the kitchen. But the Money Beat? It’s the secret sauce that makes the whole dish sing.

Stick to it, and you’re not just a drummer—you’re a music maker, a crowd shaker, and yes, a money maker. So here’s to the beat that pays the bills and fills the dance floors. Here’s to playing it right, tight, and out of sight. Here’s to the Money Beat.

Denis Loncaric
Denis Loncaric

My name is Denis. I am a drummer, percussionist, music enthusiast, and blogger. Drums have been my passion for 15 years now. My idea is to write about the things I like and I am interested in. I want to share my drum passion with fellow musicians who walk, talk, and breathe drums.

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