Friday, May 24, 2013

Page o' coordination: Songo — 01

Here we'll develop some bass drum variations for playing Songo, a popular Afro-Cuban/salsa drumset style, in case you've never heard of it. The first exercise is the ostinato, played with the hands only— the parts there are very standard.

The exercises are written in the 2-3 clave position; also practice them with the measures reversed, to make 3-2 clave. The “bombo” note— the & of beat 2 on the '3' measure of the clave, the second measure of our pattern— is musically important; if you play nothing else on the bass drum, play that note:

Play the right hand on the closed hihat, ride cymbal, cymbal bell, or cowbell; play the left on the snare drum normally, or as rim clicks. You could also do the left hand tom moves, if you want. Play the hihat on 1 and 3, 2 and 4, all four beats, or just tacet the left foot.

Get the pdf

Example/play along audio after the break:

Here's a nice track to play along with. The drummer, Ignacio Berroa, doesn't play the pattern much, but you can hear where it goes.

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