Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Abanico

The Abanico (meaning “fan” in Spanish) is the name of a stock set-up that occurs in Salsa, Afro-Cuban music, whatever you choose to call it. It is played by the timbale player— the timbalero—to bring in a new section after a stop. It occurs in two basic forms, depending on the clave orientation of the piece: 3-2, or 2-3.

Here is the 3-2 version; the top line is clave— son, in this case— whether or not anyone in the ensemble is actually playing that rhythm, the music is oriented around it. The bottom line is the percussion. Usually the figure is played on a high timbale, but since we're all about the drumset here at CSD!, you'll likely play it on a high tom, or on the snare drum, with the snares off. The accents are rim shots, played near the edge of the drum. The roll can be played open or closed, or as singles, depending on the tempo, and the personal style of the player— you have some latitude in how you choose to do it.

And in the 2-3:

As drummers in the North American mode, we're used to starting our grooves on beat 1, maybe just substituting a crash cymbal for the ordinary ride sound. But here we're ending the fill on a drum on beat 1, so you'll have to get used to coming in with your salsa grooves on beat 2, as in the case of this 2-3 Mozambique:

Recorded examples after the break:

With this track by Eddie Palmieri, you get to hear it played an exceptional number of times in one tune, with a 2-3 clave orientation. The style here is called Pachanga, FYI, which uses a strongly 2-feel groove called Caballo:

If you're having any trouble hearing it, the Abanico happens at 0:17, 0:26, 0:44, 0:54, and 1:02.

Here's another 2-3 example— again, a Pachanga— by Tito Puente. It occurs at the end of the opening figure, and again during the piece at 0:20, 1:10:

Strangely, I'm not finding any good 3-2 examples right this second, but I'd like to post this thing— I'll find some and share them in an update...

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