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Rumba Clave Bass Lines

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Craken, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. Craken

    Craken

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    I wrote a piece for my band, and during practice we decided that the B section would sound great with a latin feel. The drummer has suggested a rumba, and it is sounding nice but I am having a bit of trouble locking in with him. That is probably down to me having little to no experience of creating these kinds of lines.

    The beat is pretty similar to this, .

    I am just looking for some musical examples of a band (with bass of course) playing over this kind of groove so I can hear where I should start if anyone knows of any?

    If you are interested in how my composition is made up, it's 4/4, the tempo is medium (ever-so slightly slower than the video above), and it alternates between F#maj7 and Dmaj7 with one chord per bar.
  2. Matthijs

    Matthijs

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    I'm at work so I don't have any good examples on hand. What I would do is forget about the cascara on the hiat. I'd base myself on the classic basic pattern of the bass drum and expand on that to interact with the rumba clave. The tricky part for a good rumba feel is getting the timing for the third stroke on the 3part of the clave right and in unison with the drummer. One can get in heated debate about where that stroke is supposed to be. It's great if you can even accent that stroke together, but it might also work better to chicken out and leave that to just one of you.
  3. Matthijs

    Matthijs

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    How inexperienced are you at these lines? Is it just the rumba, or the salsa thing altogether? If that's the case I should probably tell you more on what to do with the basic mambo pattern of the bassdrum. Is it clear to you that the rumba part in the video is what is happening on the snaredrum?
  4. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member

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    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Check out videos of Jerry Gonzales and the Fort Apache Band, as they use rumba clave often.
  5. Craken

    Craken

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    What I have been doing in practice is just following the bass drum, so I think I have a very basic idea of what I should be doing. There is no kick on the one, so I feel myself getting a bit shaken by that and as a consequence the whole thing sounds stiff.

    When it comes to latin lines, I have only really dealt with bossa novas. Salsa and Rumba are both quite unfamiliar concepts to me. I understand what the grooves consist of, but inventing solid grooving basslines around that is proving to be quite tough for me at the moment.
  6. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U Supporting Member

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    You have to listen to a lot of afro cuban music to get familiar with the "feel". In the video, the bass drum plays on the and of 2 and 4 which is where the bassist plays as well, usually the 5th of whatever chord is played on the and of 2 and the root of the chord in the next bar on 4.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tumbao
  7. Matthijs

    Matthijs

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    Follow the lead Phil gave you. That is basically what I wanted to add on the basic tumbao pattern. Although: a rumba can be a bit more tricky, as the normal tumbao bass is very heavy on beat 4: it preludes the chord in the next beat, is accented and is often sustained over the barline. The 3 part of the rumba clave doesn't land on the 4 though, but roughly 1/8 after. So you run the risk to kill the rumba feel with the normal tumbao bass. There are official ways to do this, but if you are aware of this there are other ways to create a nice rumbalike groove. However, it does pay out to be able to do it the right way first.
  8. Matthijs

    Matthijs

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    It will take you some time to internalise playing without the one. It is important imho to realise that that bassdrum on the 21/2 and 4 is your main part, not the drummers. It is your duty to confuse everyone with the abscense of the 1 :smug:

    One last thing I can offer as help, without being able to show you actual examples, is to find the conga on rumba tracks. That will give you a lot more to expand on than just the clave and a bassdrum.
  9. Matthijs

    Matthijs

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    Ok, one more (just looking for excuses for not working here). Do a search for rumba clave and congamasterclass on youtube. If your not playing in a traditional salsa setting it is a possibility to adapt the conga role. It has a very specific pattern that you can fit all the notes you want to.
  10. Craken

    Craken

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    Great, thank you for your input everyone. I think I have a good idea of how it is constructed now, I just need to hear some musical examples that I can learn and play along with to internalise the feel. :)

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