Learn How to Play the Salsa on Drums
Once drummers have mastered the art of Rock drumming, they tend to move onto different styles of music in the Latin genre. Latin grooves are a lot more challenging and complicated to learn, especially if you are only familiar with the common rock time signature 4/4. Mot people, drummers or not, know the Salsa as a very upbeat and rhythmic style of music. They picture a hot Latin band playing a salsa tune to a crowd of dancers. Let’s take some time to learn the salsa on drums. It’s not very easy, so be patient.
First things first, what is the salsa? The answer to this may shock you. The salsa is not a style of music at all. In fact, when you as a professional musician to play a salsa beat, he will look at you in confusion. The reason to this is the salsa is a style of dance. This style of dance is usually danced to different upbeat Latin styles like the Merengue. The salsa has become so popular that it has taken on the name for other Latin styles of music. So let’s learn how to groove along to the Salsa dance, and play these upbeat Latin songs.
The basic Merengue or Samba is a start to playing the Salsa. If you can play these styles, you can pretty much play a salsa song. But let’s try to play the basic “Salsa” pattern, if that’s what it is called anyways. The first step you want to do is to start out by playing the Cascara. This pattern is fairly basic; check this lesson out to learn the complete description of the cascara. For this groove, play the cascara on a cowbell. This looks like this:
Next we want to add a nice clean cross stick to this. Because this is a Latin groove, let’s add a Latin pattern. Let’s add in the Son Clave. You can play the Rhumba Clave if you want, both work fine. This would look like this:
This is a very common Latin pattern that sounds great when played right. If you listen, most Salsa songs are played with this pattern. Add the bass drum in when you can to add some comping to the groove. If it doesn’t sound very funky yet, it is probably because you are not playing it fast enough. This pattern needs to be played at a very fast tempo to be effective, so practice this enough to play it at fast speeds. Play this to a great Latin tune and you will see what I mean. For more Lessons on Latin Drumming, check out Mike Michalkows Latin Drumming System. If you liked this lesson, you may be interested in learning Jazz as well
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