Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Cascara coordination — 01

OK, I am seriously in need of a break from working on the book— finishing the damn thing is always the hardest. So here's a page of exercises for developing coordination with the cascara, a common Afro-Cuban/salsa feel, with clave in the left foot. The method of the Elvin Jones Afro waltz series is working well for me in my own practice, so we'll use it again here. The left hand parts are  written purely based on a logic of physical coordination, and are not “correct” to the style at all. Working on Dahlgren & Fine and Ralph Humphrey's materials I've found that drilling wrong things actually helps the right things sit better.

The patterns are based on basic coordination with the singles and doubles in the right hand part, and filling the gaps in the right hand part. It should be easier to get these when you understand what's going on, but the logic can be a little obscure just looking at the page, so I've given a summary of each exercise. The right hand is normally played on the shell or rim of the floor tom, and the left hand on the snare drum as a rim click, but you can also play the right on a cymbal or cowbell— or anything else that works for you— and we'll be doing the tom moves I've outlined previously with the left.

I've written the patterns using 2:3 son clave; you should also play them with the measures reversed to make 3:2 clave. You may find some of the patterns easier at first if you start them on beat 2, or on the & of 4 of the second bar. It's certainly worth doing these patterns with hands alone, too.

Get the pdf

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