What does "2 step" mean?

Hello, I’ve been searching around Google trying to figure out by definition what a 2 step beat is. For example, Drum n Bass has “boom cha, boom-cha” while Dubstep is more “boom … cha… boom boom boom cha.” And 2 step garage is all over the place. Why does Dubstep seem slower and how does it sound different from dnb even though they both share a 2 step beat? So far people have said it is just beat skipping and swing? Why is it called 2 - step?

Explanation and a few examples of 2-step beats.

However, dubstep doesn’t have to be 2-step. The late snare in dubstep is what is used to give it a lot of it’s space.


But isn’t the literal reason Dubstep is called that is because it is “Dub 2 step?”

From an interview with Oris Jay and Kode9;

ORIS JAY: One day, I was sitting in the office with Sarah Lockhart, Martin Clark and Neil Joliffe, and we were talking about [the DJ and producer] Benny Ill, and a magazine feature that was due. “It’s like 2-step, but it’s got dub in it. It’s kind of like… dubstep.” At that point we were like, “Yeah, yeah: it’s bass-driven, the beats are steppier. Why don’t we just call it dubstep?”

KODE 9: I do remember there being a front cover of XLR8R with the word “dubstep”. I wrote a short article called “Yardcore” for that issue, too, as an attempt to talk about the Jamaican influence on garage, grime and dubstep; as a splicing of soundsystem culture and hardcore.


However, not all Dubstep has 2-step drums, and not all Dubstep has direct dub influences. It is (or at least, was) ultimately a formless genre built around some very sparse guidelines which have sadly become more rigid these days.

You have the dub stuff, you have the breakbeat stuff, you have the 2-step stuff, you have the really spacey vibe stuff, you have the electronica influenced tracks.

Compare these two tracks;

Both Dubstep (though Far East could arguably be called a more proto-Dubstep tune), but coming from different angles. Far East uses the 2-step dark garage side, Sine Of The Dub is coming from the dub side of things (as the name would suggest).


ok, thanks for the clarification!

This tune explains it best:

you mean besides the obvs difference in tempo, right?
other than that it’s just drum placement.
2step dnb: snares on the 2 and 4
2step garage: snares on the 2 and 4 with a bit of a swing which makes it sound all over the place
dubstep and halftime dnb: kick on the 1 and snare on the 3


yeah just snare on 2 and 4

I always thought it had to do with tempo,

Dubstep is around 140
Drum and Bass is above 160
Garage is whatever it feels like

boom boom cha boom boom cha boooom booooooooooom cha cha cha

Buddy you’re a boy make a big noise
Playin’ in the street gonna be a big man some day

Garage is normally around the 130 mark, no?

yeah, nicely said
& exemen’s track could also be considered breakstep
and kode9’s could be considered (simply) dub
which is why dubstep can be considered an amalgam
and originally an experiment using many forms.

when you mentioned 2 and 4; 1 and 3,

do the numbers have to do with the 4 beats in a measure?

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1 and 2 and 1 and 2 and :cornlol:

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trap is like step and then maybe a kick and then a ladder

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