Learn all the patterns, listen to (and play along with) the suggested tracks at the bottom of the pdf, and then improvise your own variations— mainly, moving the left hand more freely, using different sounds (especially rim shots and dead strokes).
Do the listening and you'll learn how to prioritize the variations to stay with the style; there's a sort of hierarchy to the notes you play on the drums:
- & of 2 (“bombo”— primary) of the second measure — always present, always strong
- & of 2 (bombo— secondary) of the first measure — often/usually present, usually strong, or pretty strong
- 4 of either measure (“ponche”) — emphasized, but not as strongly as the prior two; usually stronger in the second measure
- 1 of the first measure — usually not played on the drums, definitely not strongly (this is contrary to the popular Steve Gadd/fusion version of the groove, which plays the one strongly).
- 1 of the second measure — same, but even less so
You might also try running the bell part and bass drum variations with the left hand parts in our generic Latin method— as written they fit with the 2-3 clave orientation of these patterns. Review all of my previous posts on Mozambique, as well.
Get the pdf