Learn The Basics Of Latin Drumming
Latin music and Latin drumming is a big mystery to a lot of drummers; mainly because of how rare they are played on the radio or on other popular sources. Learning how to play Latin music is very beneficial for any drummer. The truth is, this style of music is very popular in other parts of the world. In fact, Latin music has been around a lot longer than rock, pop, country and most other styles of music. Its’ origins come from Latin America, and consists of many different styles and tempos. Some common types of Latin music are: Salsa, Samba, Bossa, Beebop, Cumbia, Rumba, Afro-American, and Brazilian. As a drummer, it is good to learn the theory and history behind these styles of music to broaden your skills and knowledge.
The biggest problem for rock drummers when trying to dive into Latin music, is that rock drumming is a totally different style and feel than Latin. Latin music uses different tempos, feels, and rhythms, some that you may never use in rock music. Latin drumming has a totally different approach than rock. For a lot of styles, the drummer is meant to play behind the band, providing rhythm and groove for the other members of the band. Also, instead of using the common hi hat, bass drum and snare, Latin music utilizes other voices around the kit more than rock drumming normally would. Wood blocks, cowbells, toms, timbales, bongos, congas, and others voices are all used in creating a totally different feel than before. A lot of Latin and Afro-American music is driven by the band, and not the drummer. For example, if you play some certain salsa or samba grooves alone, they won’t sound very “Latin” at all; however, add the band and you will be surprised at what you create.
To start, there are a few basic grooves and patterns you should learn before diving into the music. Learning these patterns is as important as practicing your basic rudiments. If you can master these with both hands and feet, you will have no problem with some basic and even advanced Latin grooves. Remember to start slow, as these are all patterns that require a bit of thought and concentration. Some of the Basic sticking patterns are as follows.
Mastering these patterns with your hands and your feet will improve your independence greatly, therefore increasing your level of playing by a lot. These are just a few examples of some of the patterns you will run into when exploring Latin music.
Other examples of Latin drumming may have you off the drum set, and onto a percussion set, which is not uncommon. You may see a set up with a few congas and a cowbell, or a tambourine and some wood blocks. These set ups are designed to accompany the band and offer a warmer and more mellow of a sound. Whatever the style and set up is, do not get discouraged if you cannot play along, it just takes practice.
A great music style that has very similar concepts is jazz. Learning the basic jazz grooves will also be beneficial for all styles of Latin music. Finally, the last thing you should do if you are trying to learn Latin grooves, is to listen to more of the style. Go out and look for different styles of Latin music CD’s, and really educate yourself in this type of music. Only then will your truly understand the concepts of Latin drumming!
For more information make sure that you check out the Latin Drumming System. Its due to be released Spring 2007 and will cover all of the concepts necessary to master latin drumming methods. This beginner to advanced training pack will be everything you will ever need to play latin drum beats and grooves.
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