What Are Beats and Instrumentals?

Every song, regardless of what musical genre it belongs to, incorporates the use of beats and instrumentals to give it its distinct sound. Without the both of them, there would probably be no such thing as music and the world as we know it will come to an end. Okay, so maybe that last line was stretching it a bit too far but I think you know what I mean. What exactly are beats and instrumentals though and what importance do they have in the field of music? This is one question that we are going to be answering in this article, so read on if you wish to know more about it.

What is an Instrumental?

By definition, an instrumental is basically just a recording or a musical composition that does not have any vocals or singing involved. However, there are times when some inarticulate vocals might be involved in the recording of an instrumental. Pretty much living up to its name, instrumentals are produced with the use of musical instruments.

In several cases, instrumentals are being used for advertising and replace vocals because it leaves plenty of room for the product’s info. A notable example of this is Led Zeppelin’s song “Moby Dick” which was used in the 1970’s for a recycling advertisement. In pop music, instrumentals are sometimes just simple renderings of corresponding vocals, but they can also be compositions that originally did not have any vocals as well.

A song’s instrumental version that otherwise features some vocals, is known as a -1 (minus one) track.

What Are Beats?

Not to be confused with the famous brand of headphones of the same name, beats are the basic unit of time in both music and music theory. Whenever you listen to rap song, the catchy tune that you hear in the background is called a beat. In essence, a beat is what gives a rap song its very soul so to speak because without it, the rap track would feel really empty like a hollow shell. Listening to a rap song without a beat is like trying to play basketball without a ring meaning that there would be no point in it.

Beats are most notable because of their drum patterns, which also happen to be known as “loops.” They also feature some pretty distinct bass lines. These bass lines help support the drum beat in the background with their low and thick pulse. The bass lines that you hear in beats are also quite simple and are not as complicated as they usually are in other musical compositions.


Suffice to say that music would not be what it is today if beats and instrumentals had never existed. As a matter of fact, I would go as far as to say that music might not even exist at all if beats and instrumentals had never been introduced. We as music fans should be thankful for these two things because they are the ones that help provide us with the music that we all enjoy listening to.



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