Motown mystery instrument question


Active Member
Me and my wife and daughter. Were Listening and enjoying some Motown today. Have a couple of real nerdy questions for you. if you like to ponder or even know the answer. Your input be gratefully read.


Jimmy mack. Martha and the Vandellas, 'How do they that make the drum clapping sound' That so prominent right the way through for three minutes.

2/ Dancing in the street: Martha and the vandellas

On the left hand speaker what is that instrument thats keeping time. Sounds reminiscent of a jews harp But im sure its not. You got to really listen. This has really intruiged us no end. Some of you may not even have been even aware of it till we mentioned here.


Happy new year


Active Member
The clapping sound on Jimmy Mack could even be made by feet instead of hands - I'm think marching feet on a board of some type - but maybe not - not sure.

There is what sounds like a comb and tissue on Dancing in the street but is probably a Baritone sax. I can also here something playing the off beats which may be a muted guitar but not certain.

Sorry - not much use but at least this post will save me from getting the "You haven't posted lately" message.

Happy New Year



Active Member
Thanks garry

Re/ jimmy mack

We thought about the planks of wood then we wondered whether there are wooden blocks as a percussion instrument the drummer hits with sticks. Any drummers out there. Their are countless song with this effect on them it drives me mad not quite knowing what instrument playing it.

what we are asking in music terms is how do they produce hand clap patterns

i notice to you get this effect two as early as where did our love go/ come see about me by the supremes.

Dancing in the street/ cant stipulate enough what we are hearing or listening to is in the left hand speaker. Like you say it could well be a baritone sax. That banjo effect I have tried keeping time with that on my guitar its very difficult

I think there was some amazing baritone sax solo's on early /Motown discs sadly not credited.


Active Member
1 - is clapping with heavy reverb

2 - is a baritone sax

1 - is clapping with heavy reverb

2 - is a baritone sax

Think your part right :) with the Barritone sax. I keep playing it to try and work it out I see On Joe messina site he is credited with a prominant guitar part on The Disc i am wondering whether that is it.

Joe is the ic1 with Glasses The other IC1 is the legendary Bob Babbett Famous for some fantastic Bass line with the Temptations in the seventies Papa was a rolling stone law of the land. Balls of confusion. War Signed sealed Delivered im yours. I read to Bob did Band of Gold Frida Payne and Chairman of the board work For invictus.

Also noteworthy was all Motown sessions in Detroit were done as instrumentals and the the band only new what the song was when they heard it on the radio. The artist come in much later to record the Vocals.

Its funny when you have your headphones on listening away in your own fantasy world. You imagine how wonderful the session must have been the atmosphere if you like. Low and behold it was not like that at all. If my interests interest you here you might like to check this out

Open the section About Bob

The drum claps Fascinate me why. Well If for instance it was shoes on floor in rather a special studio. Imagine you had to do 10 or more cuts before the producer was satisfied it was right. It would knock the wind out of you. So thats what makes me ask is it someone knocking to bits of wood together.

The effect really nice in come see about me by the supremes sounds like shoes. but again i ask how is that done. Im intruiged no end. You never see this effect live. Unless you see river dance or tap dancing.

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