What DrumHeads Are Saying About TigerBill and TigerBill's DrumBeat Website...

Click for Another Quote


 

Best Products at the
Lowest Prices
Lowest prices on Tiger Tested drum products

Lowest Prices on Drum Sets, Cymbals and Percussion at Amazon.com

TigerBill's Unique
Drum Lessons
Play Better With Less Effort - Learn TigerBill's Tension Free Drumming Concepts

Advertise With Us
Contact Us
Link to Us
Newsletter
News & Press Room
Order Info
Permissions & Reprints
Privacy Policy
Products
Register for Free
Welcome


Auctions
Books for Fun
Books for Education
Business
Buying Drum Gear
Chops Challenge
Clinics & Events
Concerts & Tours
Contests
Discount Drum Shop 1
Discount Drum Shop 2
Drum TV Show
Drum n Bass
Drum Skills Evaluation
Fame & Fortune
Famous Drummers
Forums
Fun With Drums TV Show
Gear & Accessories
Gladstone Technique
Healthy Drumming
Hip-Hop / Rap
History & Culture
How To Guides
Interviews
Laugh It Up
Lessons for Free
Loops & Samples
Magazines
Member Links
Merchandise
MIDI Files
Moeller Technique
MP3
Newsgroups
Radio
Record Your Own
Reviews
Schools
Sit-in & Play
Software
Sponsors
Store
Tabs
Tension Free Drumming™
Ticket Sales
TigerBill and Friends
TigerBill's Bio
TigerBill's Gear Picks
TigerBill's Clinics & Events
TigerBill's Drum Shop
TigerBill's Lessons
TigerBill's Place
Tips and Tricks
Videos
Vintage Gear
WFD

Tiger Bill's bottom line review

Tiger Bill Reviews

Conversations in Clave:
The Ultimate Technical Study of Four-Way Independence in Afro-Cuban Rhythms

By Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez

Book and CD

 

Click here to buy this at a discount online

 

Learn to Hear
El Negro tells us that coordination is more than just playing patterns, it's the ability to "hear multiple rhythms from multiple sound sources at the same time. This is, in fact, the key to high level drum set and percussion performance." I heartily agree. Although in the beginning you need to practice certain patterns to be able to develop four-way coordination, eventually you should get to the point where you can play absolutely anything that comes to mind. To that end, this book is divided into eight main sections and includes a 65-track audio CD. Let's check out each section, one by one.

Part 1: Fundamental Concepts of the Clave Rhythm
This section teaches the four basic clave patterns in Cuban music. It also explains the combination phrasing that El Negro plays so well (switching from four feel to six feel). This section breaks down these patterns so you can easily understand and practice how to superimpose duple and triple meter over an ostinato clave pattern.

Part 2: Achieving Dexterity With the Clave Rhythm
This section is further subdivided into two main sections:

1) Technical Exercises: Rhythmic Permutations with the Rumba Clave - Includes exercises to develop your coordination and musical phrasing. The clave is played with the right hand, hi-hat is played with the foot on the initial downbeat of each measure, and they're both played against left hand variations (using one-note to seven-note patterns). Reversing the hand parts around is also recommended.

2) Creative Exercises: Melodic Permutations with the Rumba Clave - Contains examples of how to treat the clave rhythm as a melody and play it using different sound sources.

Part 3: Fundamental Concepts of the Cascara Rhythm
This section covers the cascara, which is the basic "ride" pattern in Cuban music. In a percussion section, this pattern would usually be played on a timbale shell but drum set players could play it on a drum shell, cowbell, cymbal bell, etc.

Part 4: Achieving Dexterity With the Cascara Rhythm
This section follows the same structure as Part 2 except that it uses the cascara rhythm.

1) Technical Exercises: Rhythmic Permutations with the Cascara - Includes exercises to develop your coordination and musical phrasing. Cascara is played with the right hand, the hi-hat is played with the foot on the initial downbeat of each measure, and they're both played against left hand variations (using one-note to seven-note patterns). It's also recommended to reverse the hand parts.

2) Creative Exercises: Melodic Permutations with the Cascara. Four options are given for practicing this section:

  • Right hand plays rumba clave while left hand plays melody.
  • Left hand plays rumba clave while right hand plays melody.
  • Right hand plays cascara while left hand plays melody.
  • Left hand plays cascara while right hand plays melody.

3) Applications In Improvisation: This new subdivision gives you examples of how to improvise both the rhythmic line and the melodies.

Let's talk a look at the remaining four sections of the book.

Part 5: Fundamental Concepts of Afro-Cuban 6/8 Clave
This section follows the same structure as the prior clave and cascara sections except that it concentrates on the Afro-Cuban 6/8 clave.

1) Technical Exercises: Rhythmic Permutations with the Afro-Cuban 6/8 Clave - Includes exercises to develop your coordination and musical phrasing. Afro-Cuban 6/8 clave is played with the right hand, the hi-hat is played with the foot on the initial downbeat of each measure, and they're both played against left hand variations (using one-note to five-note patterns). Reversing the hand parts is also recommended.

2) Creative Exercises: Melodic Permutations with the Afro-Cuban 6/8 Clave - Four options are given for practicing this section using two of the most common Afro-Cuban 6/8 Clave patterns.

3) Applications In Improvisation: This subdivision gives you examples of how to improvise both the rhythmic line and the melodies.

4) Variations for 6/8 Rhythms: Variations of cowbell ride, bass drum, and hi-hat patterns for 6/8 rhythms. It's also recommended that you apply these to all of the previous exercises in this section.

Part 6: Advanced Systems
Introduces three- and four-limb ostinato patterns with a variety of rhythmic combinations, divided into 3 basic subsections:

1) Technical Exercises - Consists of preparatory patterns and combinations that will give you the coordination required to perform the more advanced exercises that follow.

2) System Exercises - Contains 15 examples of applying left hand variations to various ostinato hi-hat, bass drum, and right hand patterns.

3) Creative Exercises - The final part of this section gives you some tips on applying what you've learned in a musical way and shows you how to combine the previous 15 System Exercises with Melodic Exercise Master Sets (shown later in Part 8) for a thorough coordination study.

Part 7: Groove Transcriptions
These are transcriptions of some of Horacio's patterns offered as examples to help you develop your own grooves. Includes: 6/8 grooves for the drum set, Guaguanco, Mambo, Congo and Comparsas, Cascara, Macuta, Cha Cha Cha, Merengue, Songo, Mozambique, and a couple of grooves transcribed from recordings. Horacio explains that you should not "copy the grooves and leave it at that. You'll never reach your maximum potential as a player if you do not develop your own voice and style." Excellent advice.

Part 8: Supplemental Materials
The final section of the book is divided into three subdivisions, as follows:

1) Left-hand Variations: Master Sets - All variations, from one- to seven-note, are reproduced here for convenience in practicing. Also recommended is the application of these patterns to all of the systems in Part 6.

2) Melodic Exercises: Master Sets - All are reproduced here for practice purposes, along with the recommendation that they be applied to all of the systems in Part 6.

3) Selected Discography - A listing of selected recordings of Horacio appearing with such artists as Tito Puente, David Sanchez, Santana, Giovanni Hidalgo, Gary Burton, and many more.

The Conversational Bottom Line
El Negro's book/Audio CD Conversations In Clave is also available in DVD format, which are perfect together. The DVD allows you to see and hear what he's doing, while the book and accompanying audio CD breaks it down into easily digestible pieces. If you're an intermediate or advanced player who is interested in Afro-Cuban music, four-way coordination, or both, you'll be sure to find something of value here. Considering that the DVD retails for $29.95 and the book/audio CD retails for $26.95, you're getting a wealth of information for about the price of one professional drum lesson. In my opinion, El Negro has done a great job and Alfred Publishing deserves credit for releasing two more high-quality products for us DrumHeads to enjoy. Check them out.

Purchase the Book & CD at a discount online: Conversations in Clave Book/CD

Purchase the DVD at a discount online: Conversations in Clave DVD

Stay loose!

Tiger Bill

 

Become a Free Member of the largest, most Comprehensive Drum Site on the Web

Learn TigerBill's Innovative Tension Free Drumming and take your chops to the next level

Get TigerBill's Free Info-Packed Newsletter, Monthly Chances to Win Valuable Drum Stuff

& Much More...

Click Here to Register as a Free Site Member

Copyright © 1998-2013 by TigerMix.com, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.

Unauthorized reproduction without permission is prohibited except as noted.

< Back to Top >

Free Site Membership!
Click Here for FREE Site Registration and become a member of the largest drum and percussion family on the Web!

* S I D E B A R *

Links Related
to this Article

Related Links on Site

.
Horacio El Negro Hernandez
.
Buy Conversations in Clave Book & CD at a discount online
.
Buy Conversations in Clave DVD at a discount online
 
 
.
Find out more about Tiger Bill's Concepts of Tension Free Drumming™
 
 
 
 
 

Related Links on Web

.
Alfred Publishing