Monday, May 20, 2019

Guaguanco - two ways

A little more on general fluency with a Guaguanco-type groove on drumset. It's not a style that authentically uses a drumset, but the groove is a hip alternative for non-traditional situations. It has a nice melodic element that is at first a little confusing in how it relates to clave; mainly, it sounds like aligns with the 3 side, but it's really on the 2 side. On recordings of Cuban musicians, usually the melody is on the 2 side. But I've heard some recordings— seemingly authentic situations— where it does actually align with the 3 side.

I'm not expert on Cuban music, and don't regularly play with people who are, so I'm not going to try to draw any conclusions on it. I can say the first way is correct, but sometimes it is done the other way for reasons unknown. With these exercises we'll learn to play it both ways, with some small variations in the melodic part to give it a little life.

For an authentic sound, play the RH/palito part on a dry sound— jam block, rim, floor tom shell, or hihat. Or play it on a cymbal, cymbal bell, or cowbell. You can see that the variations are very small; we're just doubling different notes of the melodic part. Learn to combine them freely when playing the groove. Also see my previous page of Guaguanco, and other related posts.

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