Watch course author and instructor Mark Walker discuss Afro-Cuban Drums.
More than ever before, today's drummer is called upon to be a versatile, creative force. Afro-Cuban Drums is designed to strengthen your overall versatility as a drummer by exposing you to the rich grooves and rhythmic concepts of Afro-Cuban music, a genre that has become increasingly popular since its inception in the 1940s and now influences many other styles, including pop, gospel, jazz, rock, hip-hop, country, and classical.
This course explores popular Afro-Cuban styles, such as the guaracha, mambo, songo, cha cha, and 6/8 (bembe), and how to orchestrate them on the drum set. You’ll learn the traditional percussion patterns and rhythmic roots of the styles, as well as modern adaptations. You will learn to play with an authentic sound and feel, and connect different time feels smoothly, mastering the basics of coordination, soloing, dynamics, tone production, control, and vocabulary.
The course provides a solid method of coordination practice, which can be applied to any situation or style, in addition to ways to effectively accompany other musicians and improvise in order to strengthen your own unique musical identity. You will also become more familiar with the musical styles of Cuba and the compositions of some of the most representative Afro-Cuban composers.
Afro-Cuban Drums features video demonstrations and listening examples from classic recordings of Latin music, among others. You will work on practice exercises based on essential patterns, breaks, and solos for percussion and drum set and then apply what you have learned with end-of-lesson assignments performed with play-along tracks. The target audience for the course is drummers who want to be able to apply Afro-Cuban rhythms to the drum set whether in a traditional Latin, jazz, pop, or other musical setting, or who would like to improve their tone production, time feel, knowledge of rhythms and poly-rhythms, coordination, and soloing. Armed with the knowledge of this course, you will be able to apply Afro-Cuban rhythms to your playing situations—from traditional to modern—with authenticity and confidence.
By the end of the course, you will be able to:
recognize different Afro-Cuban styles, such as guaracha, mambo, cha cha chá, songo, and bembé (6/8)
know, recognize, and feel the clave (key) direction
play son clave, rumba clave, and 6/8 clave on the drum set with different orchestrations
adapt various Latin percussion patterns to the drum set
play the cascara (shell) pattern on different parts of the set
play the bongo and mambo cowbell patterns
coordinate the dominant right-hand patterns with clave
play and coordinate the tumbao (conga part) on the drum set
coordinate the bass drum tumbao and various foot patterns for hi hat
make smooth transitions between different sections in the music
improvise solo phrases "in clave"
perform cierres (breaks) with and without percussion