a friend asked me today what it takes to "make that reggae sound" .. i know jammin by marley, and april 29 by sublime, but all i could really tell him was that they used weird chord shapes and that it was mainly the work of upstrokes.

but can that be it?

could anyone here give me a bit of advice? what chords(chord types) should i learn, and what scales are good with reggae?

Im no expert, but id say that u have to have th right settings on ur amp. I mean, reggae isnt heavily distorted, or id say that the reggae feeling will come best from a band, there has to be drums, since the reggae beat is on the 2nd and 4th beat. Other then that, i dunno.
Member 15 of the IRON MAIDEN ARE GODS club. PM Revelations to join.

Founder of the I love nickelodeon club. PM me to join.
Well the scales for solos are generally just simple pentatonics, the chords simple major and minors.

The main 'reggae sound' comes from the rhythm of the playing; play the chord muted on the downstroke and open on the upstroke.
I've been trying to get a reggae sound lately, using the bridge pup on my strat and also a graphic eq to cut some of the bass out and boost the treble, apparently reggae guitarists use phasers a lot too, and there is often a piano playing the same chord as the guitar to get that 'skank' sound.
It's not really a guitar based style of music, anyone agree? You need the full band to get that reggae groove. Like SomeEvilDude says you mute on the downstroke and play on the upstroke, like 'ska strokes' but generally much slower.
^ this isn't completely true, but there is a way that the bass guitar and drums meld together to get the sound, the guitar is yes generally upstrokes, also the "weird" chord shapes you refer to are generally just the altered upper registered chord shapings for example
Something I posted in a "Reggae Chords" thread recently.

Reggae uses major and minor seventh barre chords often, upstroked and played on the offbeat. Play clean and stacatto, with a fair bit of treble and less bass on your EQ. Leave plenty of room for a real fat bass thumping along beneath you.

Reggae is all about the riddim section. Offbeats, very melodic and syncopated basslines and a sit-back feel. Lay off the one, hit the and or the two.
And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me: no, nor woman neither... nor women neither.
i think what z4twenny meant is that the drummer hits the bass drum in certain parts of the bassline to emphasis and accent important parts and hits the snare or some other piece of the drum set on the weaker notes in that bassline.
Quote by jazkel24

Any bands you're trying to copy/sound like?
In regards to reggae drumming, I believe it's common to skip the bass drum on the one beat, and only hit it on the three. It gives the music a relaxed, slower feel.
And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me: no, nor woman neither... nor women neither.