Anonymous asked in Entertainment & MusicMusicR&B & Soul · 8 months ago

RnB music? ?

So basically I’m going to try to start making music... the genre is RnB. Mainly 90s like Aaliyah, Janet, Sade, Jodeci, 702 and etc. I’m a new learner to everything and I want to produce and write my own stuff. I just need to know, what’s the actual main instruments used? Guitars, pianos or what ? 

3 Answers

  • 8 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    R&B has two main instruments: the drum-kit/Percussion and the vocal element/Singer.

    There is a secondary instrumentation of Bass Guitar for a rhythm melody, although a Rhythm Guitar or Piano/Keyboard may be used instead.

    Tertiary instrumentation can be a bunch of other things. Any secondary instrument can be tertiary, though Brass-family instrumentation (Saxophone, Trumpet, etc) is often used to give a boost/oomph. And for a lighter approach, either a Synth-voiced keyboard or a String section may be present.


    As examples, En Vogue's 1990 hit "Hold On" has a minute A Capella intro, after which a notable tom-snare/tom-tom-snare beat drives the song. In the background is a Funk-genre guitar riff sampled from a James Brown song and there are sporadic trumpet blares.


    That same year saw Mariah Carey's "Vision of Love". Recorded with a Keyboardist, Bassist, Drummer, and Drum Programmer, each person is notable after the intro. What really drives curiosity, however, is the opening consists of three voices: Sweep, Crystal, and Strings. Two are done by a dual-voice keyboard, but pinpointing where the last one comes from is...tricky, to say the least.


    Janet Jackson's "Come Back to Me", meanwhile, has a professional Strings arrangement alongside the Crystal melody being plucked out on the piano. The drum kicks in, and this remains the bulk of the song. One might argue for some guitar melodies at certain spots, but these could be sampled or could be part of the Strings section.


    After the Singer and the Percussion we have everything from sampled Guitar Riff to professional Strings section to a simple-enough "studio band"...just among three random R&B songs that charted in the same year. Some skip the bass, some skip the guitar, some skip the strings, some skip the brass. Some have some, some have all.

  • John
    Lv 7
    8 months ago

    Pick an instrument that you are attracted to while think about the realities. Pianos are large, room filling things, even the electrics. You can't play drums or trumpet while the neighbors are home, things like that.  And then learn how to play it. Sade will be next year's work.

  • 8 months ago

    A lot of it uses the same basic instruments as many other genres - drums, lead guitar, bass guitar.

    Depending on the composer and the particular piece, it may also have keyboard (organ / synth / piano), saxophone / trumpet, alternate or extra percussion like tambourine or conga drums - just about anything is possible.

    Look at a good selection of live performances of pieces you like, that use real musicians rather than recorded backing, and see what instruments are used and sound good to you!

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