Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Two clave rhythms at the same time

This is an interesting thing relating to clave, and Latin rhythms in general:

Play this rhythm and sticking:

Now play each hand on a different sound— a metal sound with the right hand, and a snare drum rim click with the left:

You should be able to see what's going on there— the right hand is playing Son clave in the 3-2 position, and the left hand is playing it in 2-3 position.

Son clave in 3-2 position; 2-3 position has the
measures reversed. You already know this.

...which is not a thing that ever happens in music, that I am aware of— usually if 2-3 clave is happening while the band is playing 3-2, somebody is screwing up and is about to get spanked. It's to be avoided. But it is interesting, so I decided to see what happens when you do the same thing with some other rhythms. Like Rumba clave:

Or 6/8 Son Clave:

Or 6/8 Rumba clave:

I also did a couple of Brazilian rhythms: the familiar Bossa rhythm, and Partido Alto. You can get the pdf to see those. I'll be thinking about what to do with this idea— it could be a useful exercise for introducing the rhythms, and the concept of 3-2 vs. 2-3; also as a starting place for developing independence. Certainly one hand should always dominate, and the last thing you should do with it is try to actually make both clave positions speak at the same time.

(h/t to Bermuda Schwartz)

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