September 15, 2008

Latin - Cascara

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When playing latin music on drum kit we are essentially aiming to replicate as much as possible (or musically necessary) the sound of a latin percussion section. Traditionally the cascara pattern, notated above on the top line of the staff, would be played on the shell of a timbale. So to imitate this we can play the pattern on the shell of a floor tom. Similarly we will recreate the sound of the clave by playing the clave pattern as cross-stick notes. The bass drum pattern is based on a pattern often played by the upright bass. These grooves should be practiced in both son and rumba claves (as notated), aswell as in both 3-2 clave (as notated) and 2-3 clave. "3-2 clave" means you are playing the clave with 3 notes in the first bar and 2 in the second. So in order to practice the patterns above in 2-3 clave, start the pattern with the second bar.

Check out some latin music to get a feel for how the cascara and clave sit within the music. Tito Puente, Ray Barretto and Poncho Sanchez are good artists to start listening to.

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