Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

Metronone - Latin type of stuff - General Latin thread


CEB

Recommended Posts

Any good resources or tips on using the metronome for Latin piano?

 

I had issues last night. Working on pieces I think I play pretty well. I play along with the recordings good enough.

 

Tried to play stuff with the metronone and just setting the metronone was killing me. I don't know if my brain is hearing the clave instead of the beat center or if I need to set the thing to click on the semi-quavers instead of the quarter notes. It sucked.

 

I had some specific drills in mind that Al Di Meola taught in seminars on playing against time. It didn't go well so I decided to eff it and worked on tunes.

 

I thought we could start a thread on Latin or Latin influenced styles and see where it goes .... if there is any interest.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 33
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Yes, use 8th notes if you are struggling with quarters.

 

I like to practice to the many Latin drum patterns in my ES8. I have programmed about a dozen or more of performances with piano/bass split and a different drum style - samba, calypso, salsa, etc.

 

I have some performances with songo-like patterns where the bass drum hits are those of a typical salsa bass rhythm pattern. Great for practicing helping keep the LH locked in while soloing.

"It is a danger to create something and risk rejection. It is a greater danger to create nothing and allow mediocrity to rule."

"You owe it to us all to get on with what you're good at." W.H. Auden

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks.

 

This contains guitar content but I find what he says about rhythm to be useful.

 

[video:youtube]

 

The foot lets you cheat without knowing it though. The Metronone is a cruel taskmaster. :DYou know what I mean.

 

[video:youtube]

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Make sure the metronome is on 1 & 3 for half notes or quarters if in 2/4 cut time on sambas and such. As opposed to 2 & 4 for jazz/swing feel.

 

Bossas & Cha-chas are pretty much straight eighth quarter feel.

 

Latin stuff encompasses, like jazz, a pretty broad area today. If you're looking to play latin/jazz-maybe learn a few Jobim tunes and practice blowing over the changes. If you want to play more a fusiony/funk type thing-it's best to have the accompaniment--live with bass & drums-or if you can't find guys to play with, Aerbersold type play-alongs maybe.

 

Drum machines are decent references for overall feel but you still have be able to feel the groove for sambas, and anything in 2, with the click/metronome on 1 & 3.

 

There are tons of books out there with montuno rhythms written out. Maybe the best is the Rebeca Mauleón-Santana book. It has 2 play-along CDs and everything written out.

http://www.shermusic.com/new/1883217075.shtml

 

Spending all these years in LA, playing Latin/jazz/fusion is pretty much ingrained in the musical landscape here. So while I don't consider myself a legit Latin player with a connection to the clave, I do pretty well in Latin jazz/funk styles, simply because I've just done it so long.

 

Like anything else, the more you can play with people that play the music well, the better you'll understand the feel and what to play that sounds best.

 

Parallel octave lines , two octaves apart, are a very common and effective device in all styles of Latin music. As are lines played in thirds , sixths or tenths. Straight triads or even double thirds played with both hands are another popular part of the latin language.

 

Playing against the time or phrasing over the bar are some pretty advanced rhythmic concepts. If it were me, I'd get solid on reading a lot of those 101 patterns at varying tempos and get some of the latin devices under my fingers solid, in the groove before I'd worry about phrasing quarter note triplets over the bar and stuff like that..

 

One more thought-if you are playing funk/fusiony latin stuff-you're gonna have to deal with the 16th note feel just like you do in funk and RnB. Some of the rhythms can get pretty complex. Just comping those rhythms with the metronome on 1 & 3 goes a long way in getting solid with the overall feel of the music

 

https://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

 

2005 NY Steinway D

Yamaha AvantGrand N3X, P-515

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having done some Latin playing over the past 25 years--both on vibes and piano--I'd add to Dave's tips the concept that for many Latin genres, your role as a harmony instrument is subsidiary to your role as a rhythm instrument, especially when working with a full-scale, adept, battery. Whereas in jazz comping, you'd be right to "mix it up" a lot, varying your rhythms, voicings, etc, in a lot of Latin playing, it is better to lock in a montuno pattern with the pattern of the bass, conga, claves, cowbell, and timbales. The entire rhythm section, done right, operates as a single instrument, with occasional eruptions of individuality. Harmony comes forth in the counterpoint between the montuno (which is partly derived from a broken chord), the bass line, and whatever is going on melodically. When a good Latin rhythm section locks in like this, it really is mind-expanding, and eye-opening for a jazz player accustomed to expressing creativity by generating constant variety. At the best of times, you become almost unaware of your own fingers and you hear yourself as one with the rest of the section. It is really a fun experience. Drugs without chemical intervention.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What kind of latin playing? Afro cuban = a different universe than Brazilian, and require a different metronomic approach.

 

For practicing Afro cuban montunos I have been using the 2/3 and 3/2 styles in iRealB and it's been fantastic. I don't think a straight metronome is necessarily the best approach for that stuff.

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi CEB, don't be too critical of yourself after one session!!!

 

Use the metronome, and tap your foot. In a few months you will have absolute faith in your foot to keep time.

 

Set up a 20 minute routine on a few limited rhythmic challenges, use the metronome, tap your foot, and give yourself 21 days of uninterrupted 20 minute sessions. After a few days you will feel and know you are making progress, and you can speed up, slow down, change dynamics, until you have considerable control at the end of the three weeks.

 

Count aloud. When you add comping, count the subdivisions, but keep your ears on your music's heartbeat. (All the usual keyboard stuff: one hand at a time, at first; slow, at first; count aloud, always; strive for a "nice feel" (articulate), always ... you know the stuff to do.)

 

Then build in more challenges, revise the rhythms you have under control, and consolidate and expand your control of latin rhythms. More 21 day routines.

 

Exploring Latin Piano by John Crawford de Cominges and Tim Richards (Schott) is a good investment. It is a 12 month job, with lots of repetition that you must decide upon. And then we "non-Latins" may never quite get it. But we might, so go to it.

 

Some really good advice has been already offered in this thread.

 

Getting really good control in a genre that doesn't come easily to you (and works in the company of really skilled players) is a long term job (several years, at least, for "some sort of excellence").

 

Good idea for a thread: Thank you.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone for all the responses.

 

I would say mostly Afro Cuban for starters. I am listening to a lot of fusion material again. Mostly Al and Chick and various coop works with Paco. Listening to Jobim also. I don't even have a good listening list. I'm pretty much a Latin noob unless you count the first 3 Santana albums I wore out as a kid. LOL

 

Looking for some drills also.

 

I was told last week the rock band I am in will be covering a Brazilian Bossa Nova classic 'The Girl from Ipanema'. Which is a standard I never done. I am waiting to find out from the horn section leader what kind of arrangement it is.

 

What has kicked this whole thing off is I joined a latin rock band a couple of weeks ago and I am working on getting in tune with Latin feels. 10 piece band, 3 horns, timbales, congas, trap set, bass, guitar, keys, vocalist/additional percussion doo-dads. A ton of Santana, some War, a few things I haven't heard of plus some Billy Preston of all things and horn stuff from the 70s and 80s. I know about 20 tunes from this summer's show.

 

I am just wanting to delv into things deeper. Things that will help me when I go to improv. Plus I just like doing new stuff. I'm 50 years old but I still like to learn. I am really starting to dig the new gig. Most fun I have had playing with bands in quite a while.

 

Thanks again.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I say you need to go deep then. Most everything you listed is diluted Afro Cuban meets American Rock. Not casting aspersions on any of that great music. I'm just saying it's more useful to get a feel for the pure Afro Cuban Montuno and Clave, because then you'll be able to play everything else with ease.

 

That's a long term solution. The short term solution would be to listen to versions of each song you are trying to learn in particular and learn those parts.

 

Again, mentioning Jobim in the same breath as anything afro cuban, you may as well be talking about spaghetti and popsicles as if they were the same food. They sho ain't.

 

I think getting the Afro Cuban thing to be legit takes more work than getting the Brazilian jazz pseudo samba / bossa to be passable, not that the latter is easy.

 

Excellent resources for learning Afro Cuban:

 

101 Montunos

 

Salsa Piano HL Keyboard Styles

 

The second of these isn't as well known as the first as it hasn't been out as long, but I have found tons of information even more useful than the Mauleon book (they are both useful don't get me wrong).

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks a lot. I haven't done a good ole independant study since getting big time back into Bach a year or two ago. I have no life. LOL.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi CEB,

 

Joe Muscara pinged me at Facebook and mentioned this thread to see if I have anything to add, so I will take a shot. I think a lot of good stuff has been said here already, so I guess I am just weighing in on what I'd emphasize.

 

1. Dave Ferris is bang-on with the notion of feeling this stuff in 1/2-note pulse; 1 and 3 for Afro-Cuban (I always have to bite my tongue when anyone asks derisively "who counts on 1 and 3?" Well, Latin players, for one, LOL), 2 and 4 for Brazilian. I would not attempt to feel this with a metronome on quarters or eighths.

 

2. Brazilian is easier to "get" for those new to this feel than Afro-Cuban. There tends to be more syncopation in Cuban. There are similarities in comping patterns, say of basic bossa/samba and cha-cha-cha ... and you can feel this more easily with Brazilian to start, it seems. I've observed this not only as a piano teacher, but as a student of Latin music on both piano and percussion, studying those disciplines privately and in class settings. So you can start with this first; your progression sounds pretty typical, actually. Coming from latin rock or Brazilian bossas, then bouncing to the other one of those two, THEN from there inquiring about Cuban.

 

3. Find a good resource. I do recommend Rebeca Mauleon's 101 Montunos, and that's not just because she's my friend and co-produced my CD! :) She became those things along a journey that first started with my buying this book myself, then I contacted her and took quite a few private master-class lessons, and we developed a rapport from there. I suppose it goes without saying that I really respect her. I feel the book alone can get you pretty far. For Brazilian comping, I derived from a few sources. If you want I can dig some titles up for you if I can find them.

 

4. I like Zephonic's idea of learning to kick LH tumbao bass line while comping a montuno in the RH. It's a drill I do to this day.

 

5. At some point, focus on playing to clave instead of 1/2-note pulse. I had a metronome that did clave and it was kinda helpful, until it died. At this point I can feel it pretty well so even with half-note pulse I am actually hearing the clave. I believe the metronome I had was a Boss, and it had clave among the selection options. I believe they still sell this, but mine didn't last long at all.

 

6. If you really wanna get into it, find a teacher! There is no substitute for a great instructor addressing your specific goals and challenges.

 

So much has been said already, I hope this is helpful.

 

Original Latin Jazz

CD Baby

 

"I am not certain how original my contribution to music is as I am obviously an amateur." Patti Smith

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5. At some point, focus on playing to clave instead of 1/2-note pulse. I had a metronome that did clave and it was kinda helpful, until it died. At this point I can feel it pretty well so even with half-note pulse I am actually hearing the clave. I believe the metronome I had was a Boss, and it had clave among the selection options. I believe they still sell this, but mine didn't last long at all.

Thanks for the post, Michelle.

 

There's an iOS app called Subdivide that is a metronome, and it includes clave patterns. It was designed to copy the Roland/Boss Dr. Beat metronomes. The list of patterns it has are

 

3-2 Son Clave

2-3 Son Clave

3-2 Rumba Clave

2-3 Rumba Clave

Bossa Nova

6/8 Bell Pattern

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd add to Dave's tips the concept that for many Latin genres, your role as a harmony instrument is subsidiary to your role as a rhythm instrument, especially when working with a full-scale, adept, battery. Whereas in jazz comping, you'd be right to "mix it up" a lot, varying your rhythms, voicings, etc, in a lot of Latin playing, it is better to lock in a montuno pattern with the pattern of the bass, conga, claves, cowbell, and timbales. The entire rhythm section, done right, operates as a single instrument, with occasional eruptions of individuality. Harmony comes forth in the counterpoint between the montuno (which is partly derived from a broken chord), the bass line, and whatever is going on melodically. When a good Latin rhythm section locks in like this, it really is mind-expanding, and eye-opening for a jazz player accustomed to expressing creativity by generating constant variety.

 

This is very true and probably the main reason I've never truly and seriously embraced being a *legit* Latin player. I simply get bored with playing the montuno pattern over and over. I've played with legit Latin groups where that's what they wanted and by the 3rd song I was ready to pack up and go home.

 

I pretty much pride myself on my comping and accompanying ability. I feel I've been doing it a very long time and have somewhat of a original approach to it and basically feel I'm better served in a more Latin Jazz or Afro Jazz-whatever you wanna call it style of playing. More in common with guys Chick, Kenny Barron, Herbie, and many more guys you hear playing more jazz in a latin groove-samba, bossa, afro cuban--as opposed to an Eddie Palmieri, chu chu Valdez or even the mind blowing Gonzalo Rubalcaba (to name a very few). Of course Gonzalo can play anything he wants at any time.

 

But yes I like to move around, constantly, both harmonically and rhythmically while comping. I also like to lay out or do sparse comping. So I definitely understand how this approach doesn't work with the clave and legit Latin music. To add to that, I respect the music, their tradition, so I don't want to impose my stuff on their grooves ..so basically I don't do legit Latin gigs.. :)

 

Still, I do practice those Mauleon patterns from time to time. Often for sightreading or technical & harmonic purposes. Transposing them to a few different keys will get your brain working overtime.. ;)

 

Basically I love the genre and really anything in a straight 8th feel, be it ECM style or Latin. As long as its loose, free, open and based around an improvisatory mode. When I can't hang is when you have to be locked into-*doing this*.

 

Just to add--I've heard some monster Latin players here in LA who do the clave thing perfectly, never deviate from the pattern, and play totally ripping solos. .

 

Last year at Griffith Park, outside the Gene Autry museum, a tenor player friend was playing with a popular Latin jazz group, with emphasis on "Latin" not jazz. This guy had an older Korg SP-250 DP, was coming through the kinda funky sounding house PA, and was playing some amazing things, technically , with triads and double parallel octaves. Just ridiculous!

https://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

 

2005 NY Steinway D

Yamaha AvantGrand N3X, P-515

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it takes a very different mindset, and kudos to the amazing Dave Ferris for seeing it and noting that the repetition is not to his taste. I just have to add that when everything REALLY locks in there is nothing like it. You kind of lose track of who you are and you hear everything with great clarity--a mere cog that nevertheless knows the mind of the machine. Not that I've had that happen a lot, and not that I can keep the whole thing going like those really good Latin players. But when it has happened, it's been among my top mind-expanding musical experiences.

 

And you can always use the forms, montunos, everything else to enrich whatever other genres you're playing, so there's everything to be gained in learning it, even if the traditional performance role doesn't appeal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am with DF on this one. The short repetitious montuno is the most boring part of trad salsa to me. It is often just over and over at the same dynamic level making it very mechanical.

...Now if the accents were constantly changing ala Steve Reich that might be more interesting. :smile:

 

I too prefer Latin jazz. For example, I would much rather listen to Ray Barretto's classic latin jazz recordings (like Taboo - great recording!) than some of his straight salsa recordings as great as some of those are. His latin jazz recording are just much more hip imo. (anyone with some more recommendations in that vein would be appreciated)

 

Montuno patterns in modern merengue can be horrible too. Some traditions just need to be bucked :grin: Otherwise there is a lot to love in that style especially the horns and overall energy level.

 

...I am perhaps somewhat of a contradiction in disliking the short repetitious montuno because it seems I am often coming up with repetitious LH ostinato patterns to play against, but it is just that - a LH pattern to improvise against with my RH, not to be played in octaves by both hands, though I might start it that way.

"It is a danger to create something and risk rejection. It is a greater danger to create nothing and allow mediocrity to rule."

"You owe it to us all to get on with what you're good at." W.H. Auden

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of the band tunes I need to have for next week is a repetitive Latin pattern, Corazon Espinado.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gents, one thing I will say regarding "repetition" of the montuno is, there is no set law that says you have to play the same thing, measure for measure! Rebeca's approach, which is something I've adopted, is to mix it up a bit. Within the direction of clave, you have a lot of options. That's where something like "101 Montunos" can get ya started. I may start out single-note, one-octave apart, traditional son: 6-1-3-5, 6-1-3-5 (or 1-3-5-6 etc) ... Then haromonize that ... Then go in contrary motion ... A couple of chordal stabs in son pattern ... Maybe a cha cha accent ... Don't forget, there's lots of breaks in salsa, so you're gonna be hitting those too ...

 

Or, typical 3-octave montuno, single-note in LH, hitting those octaves in the RH with arpeggio in the middle as typical ... Hey, now I'm going to use 10ths ... Now I'm walking the somabeech up and down with the chord progression ... How about some contrary motion ... Again, lots of breaks in salsa, which tends to have (in comparison to Latin Jazz) shorter heads or harmonic progressions or other element, which means cadences come around quicker, so there are more breaks and you're hitting those ... There are about about 8 or so rhythmic variations within a standard son montuno that I can think right now, and you can build off each of those ... That's not even me trying real hard to mentally list things. And harmonically, often there is a lot of leeway -- moreso with salsa dura (Fania style), perhaps less so with songo because it's really its own thing, and its roots from what I am recalling right now are more harmonically simple, but more rhythmically complex. The later development of timba is a completely different animal and its own thing as well.

 

So you don't have to see any of this as limiting. You can see it as an invitation to go deeper into your possibilities. :-) I don't consider myself a salsa specialist, but I've certainly played salsa gigs, and no one's ever complained that I move around too much. Depends on context and I stay in clave (or always strive to ... It's mostly automatic but I've had weird things happen and I have to figure out what the prevailing direction is, ha. I try to avoid playing in situations where that's rampant). In my Latin Jazz band, I play melody since it's only trio or quartet most the time, but there will be sections, usually percussion or drum solos, where a montuno vamp is called for. I will happily vamp that montuno, and change it up as it sounds good, not getting in the way of the focal point.

 

One thing i will agree with is that merengue seems crushingly dull to me, and the breakneck speed doesn't even help to add interest. Bombas and plenas seems to have a bit more leeway. I just conclude that my knowledge of merengue is pretty basic, and it's just not my thang. Usually I don't have to play more than 2 of those a night in a salsa dura situation.

 

Just a few more thoughts FWIW.

Original Latin Jazz

CD Baby

 

"I am not certain how original my contribution to music is as I am obviously an amateur." Patti Smith

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The timings combined with the stereo separation through earbuds are kind of freaky on this.

 

[video:youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftQDhQ2UXo8

 

PS Thanks everyone, There is a lot of information to try to absorb and process in this thread.

 

 

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gents, one thing I will say regarding "repetition" of the montuno is, there is no set law that says you have to play the same thing, measure for measure!

 

Agreed. For me it's one of the most fun and demanding types of music I play. I love striking that tasteful balance of playing the same thing and mixing it up, and I love locking into an ensemble with my part. I am not saying anyone is wrong to not like playing this music, but it's a real thrill for me and really the opposite of boring.

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gents, one thing I will say regarding "repetition" of the montuno is, there is no set law that says you have to play the same thing, measure for measure!

 

Agreed. For me it's one of the most fun and demanding types of music I play. I love striking that tasteful balance of playing the same thing and mixing it up, and I love locking into an ensemble with my part. I am not saying anyone is wrong to not like playing this music, but it's a real thrill for me and really the opposite of boring.

 

:thu: Exactly. And of course it's fine if some people don't like it or find it boring. I'm not a fan of every genre I hear either, and some stuff I like listening to more than playing a vice versa. :)

Original Latin Jazz

CD Baby

 

"I am not certain how original my contribution to music is as I am obviously an amateur." Patti Smith

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Michelle,

 

This was posted on the Manzarek/Riders thread. Hope you don't mind that I took the liberty of re-posting it here.

 

Gents, one thing I will say regarding "repetition" of the montuno is, there is no set law that says you have to play the same thing, measure for measure! Rebeca's approach, which is something I've adopted, is to mix it up a bit. Within the direction of clave, you have a lot of options. That's where something like "101 Montunos" can get ya started. I may start out single-note, one-octave apart, traditional son: 6-1-3-5, 6-1-3-5 ... Then haromonize that ... Then go in contrary motion ... A couple of chordal stabs in son pattern ... Maybe a cha cha accent ... Don't forget, there's lots of breaks in salsa, so you're gonna be hitting those too ...

 

Or, typical 3-octave montuno, single-note in LH, hitting those octaves in the RH with arpeggio in the middle as typical ... Hey, now I'm going to use 10ths ... Now I'm walking the somabeech up and down with the chord progression ... How about some contrary motion ... Again, lots of breaks in salsa, which tends to have (in comparison to Latin Jazz) shorter heads or harmonic progressions or other element, which means cadences come around quicker, so there are more breaks and you're hitting those ... :)

 

So you don't have to see this as limiting. You can see it as an invitation to go deeper into your possibilities. :-) I don't consider myself a salsa specialist, but I've certainly played salsa gigs, and no one's ever complained that I move around too much. Depends on context and I stay in clave (or always strive to ... It's mostly automatic but I've had weird things happen and I have to figure out what the prevailing direction is, ha. I try to avoid playing in situations where that's rampant). In my Latin Jazz band, I play melody since it's only trio or quartet most the time, but there will be sections, usually percussion or drum solos, where a montuno vamp is called for. I will happily vamp that montuno, and change it up as it sounds good, not getting in the way of the focal point.

 

One thing i will agree with is that merengue seems crushingly dull to me, and the breakneck speed doesn't even help to add interest. Bombas and plenas seems to have a bit more leeway. I just conclude that my knowledge of merengue is pretty basic, and it's just not my thang. Usually I don't have to play more than 2 of those a night in a salsa dura situation.

 

Just as few more thoughts FWIW.

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

- George Bernard Shaw

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In comping any style variety is important. With few exceptions, you cannot simply plonk out the same "pattern" and remain interesting (or interested).

 

Personally, I don't get particularly excited about Salsa: I prefer more traditional Latin, which I tweak into "jazz" more to my satisfaction. I blame Stan Getz and Laurindo Almeida for this. Today I listen to as much Chu Chu Valdes as I can. Now, he can play. But the Salsa patterns make good exercises for the hands.

 

In a thousand years of working with a million musicians, I have never heard a musician ask, "Where's two?", or "I can't follow his beat ... can never find his four." As a player, when you are trying to follow some wanky-doo conductor, you look for "one", the downbeat. When you ask for help, your mates give you "one". As a listener, you can click, snap or clap on any count you like: as a player who needs a callback tomorrow, you need "one". All styles.

 

Another latin training source I have spent many hours with is "The Latin Bass Book A Practical Guide" by Oscar Stagnaro, Sher Music. My interests in small ensemble and solo playing has led me to work a lot on the left hand and hand independence. Play the bass parts, comp the chords (3 CDs with the book, rhythm sections at work).

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One thing that worked for me with funny rhythms I could hear in my head ok but couldn't play, was to hand drum them out until my muscles could match what I could hear in my head. Only then could I move on to using my fingers and melodies using the rhythm I could by then hand-drum.

 

Don't like metronomes for anything other than checking a tempo. Much rather use a drum machine or the button sequencer on the Casio XW-P1.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Octave become powerful when harmony structures get simple :D

 

This is starting to click a little. I might get a little more done if my laptop was on top my piano. LOL

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

...no set law that says you have to play the same thing, measure for measure! Rebeca's approach...

Good stuff, Michelle- the whole post!

 

I love locking in the montuno with all the parts. Embellishments, changes, fills, breaks are all exciting! A lot of classic tunes are very sophisticated.

 

Salsa is my main groove these days. I'm MD and arranger for a 14-piece salsa band, Afinque. Yeah, it grew :) 6 horns, 4 singers, 4 percussionists, bass, piano.

 

This tune makes me so happy:

[video:youtube]b73lnJ1i0dw

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I spent a few years in a salsa band and miss it. When a everything locks together it grooves like nothing else! Michelle's advice is right on point. I find doing montunos the opposite of boring. In my experience any player that does an unwavering mechanical montuno won't be working long or often. Definitely practice doing tumbao with the left hand and montuno with the right. After a while you'll hear exactly where the rhythms need to fall. Also don't be shy about working on some of this with your percussionists. They know these rhythms (theirs and yours) cold and can be a great help internalizing the grooves.
Instrumentation is meaningless - a song either stands on its own merit, or it requires bells and whistles to cover its lack of adequacy, much less quality. - kanker
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...