Monday, December 09, 2013

Afro 6 basics

Man, it's tougher to get back in the swing of this than you would think. Like anything else, it's a fairly minor daily effort, but you do have to do it! I do have some passable excuses though, if that made any difference...

Today what we've got are some basic exercises, which I've been running with some students, for understanding the Afro 6/8 a little better:

There are four things we're working on here:

1 and 2: Part of what makes this style interesting and fun to play is that it seems to exist in 3/4 and 6/8 simultaneously. So we'll get the hang of counting the bell pattern, and playing it along with a quarter note/dotted-quarter note ostinato in each of those meters.

Also we'll begin to get a feel for the accents, first by playing a funk-style pattern, giving it a strong pull towards the 1 of each measure— the 'a-1' should be played strongly on both measures, with the right accenting on the second note of each double. Then, taking the right hand in isolation, we'll make those same accents, plus accents on all of the single notes. After you've learned all of the other exercises, go back and play them again, with these accents in the right hand.

4: Getting into slightly more complex coordination, we'll add the rumba and son clave rhythms, and then clave plus dotted-quarter notes in the feet.

Play all of the exercises many times without stopping, preferably along with a recording (a selection of good tracks for that is coming).

Get the pdf

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