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Books/exercises for beginners in afro-cuban and latin rhythms

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Aaron Saunders, Aug 3, 2004.

  1. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    I really want to start getting into latin/salsa/samba/various afro-cuban rhythms and music styles, but I'm not back with my bass teacher for another month and I'd like to get a head start (I want to record a samba track in the fall and have a jam or two with a drummer who I know but didn't know could do this kinda stuff until yesterday or so).

    Do any of y'all have any reccomendations on books for learning these styles?
  2. There's the Latin Bass book by Oscar Stagnaro. That's very good but you have to be quite a good sight reader.
  3. Yep, Romac is spot on.

  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I have a book called Latin American Percussion which I found useful for getting the various rhythms - by Berger Sulsbruck.

    The Latin Real Book by Sher, is also very good for getting into these styles.
  5. Slot


    Oct 17, 2003
    Sydney - The Shire
    'Funkifying The Clave' by Lincoln Goines and Robbie Ameen is a great book too.

    Not sure if it would really suit a beginner though
  6. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    How difficult is the reading in the first one? I'm not a "reading wuss", but I'm not exactly going to hold first chair in the New York Phillharmonic.

    I think I heard about that book in an interview in BP with Boris Kozlov, Slot. Thanks for the reminder!

    Thanks for the suggestion romac. That'll probably be a second or third book on my list (definitely something for my birthday in november).
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well - it is all, little two-bar patterns - showing you what the percussion & drums would be doing in different Latin styles - occasionally with a bass line - but there are no complete bass lines as there are in the Stagnaro book, which I also own.

    If drummers can read it.......;)

    I think the point is that in this kind of music, it is all based arond the percussion patterns and how stuff fits together - so for me, studying bass lines in isolation is a waste of time - it's how you play with percussion and in some cases : piano parts like the 'Montuno' in Cuban Son.

    As a bassist, you are part of the percussion section!! ;)

    I found it easy to programme these rhythms into my drum machine, for practicing!
  8. leanne


    May 29, 2002
    Rochester, NY
    I'm no expert or anything, but..

    Funkifying the Clave - I highly recommend the book/cd. The video is great too, but for me, I find it more as entertainment/inspiration at this point in my development. I can learn more easily from the book. I think you should buy both. I love both. They are good. :)
    The True Cuban Bass - Carlos Del Puerto & Silvio Vergara. I think this book is great too.
    Drumset Artists of Cuba - Cool video, really inspiring.

    I found this website to be really helpful in understanding different styles. There's notation (for drums) and sound files for everything, plus information about the styles. Cool stuff.
    Afro-Cuban Rhythms for Drumset

    Beyond the instructional stuff, I think immersing yourself as much as you can in different types of Latin music might be more helpful than anything else. If you're familiar with clave and the (typical) role of the bass and where to find the one, everything is so much simpler (obviously).
  9. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Sounds like a really good first book on the subject. I am by no means adamant, or even expecting the better books to have complete basslines -- this thread was inspired by a random memory of a latin-rhythm book I saw for djembes a few months ago at music store, which was prompted by a desire to record a latin track. Thanks for the help on the subject, fellas and lady.

    By the way, Leanne (and any others), who are musicians I should get into?
  10. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I agree with Leanne's suggestions; IMO, they suit a Latin-newbie pretty well(the Goines/Ammeen & Del Puerto books/tapes may have been my first Latin books).

    You do want to get the various claves engrained into your head.
    Later, & what has helped me with ODD stuff...drop some notes. Example: In a 2-bar 3:2 clave(in 4/4), mentally drop the last note to give you something of a "7" feel.
    Experiment...though, make sure you have the clave(s) down cold.

    I also agree with any Latin drum/percussion book...great, IMO, for copping(i.e. 'stealing') rhythms. Examples:
    'Stealing' the kick drum & snare parts to make a Thumb(kick drum) & Pop(snare drum) bass figure. Also, invert...just to experiment & see what you can come up.
    The 'stealing' doesn't end with the drumset, either.
    You can apply the same technique for Ago-go bells, Bongo Bells, Congas, Timbales, etc(Low & High = Thumb & Pop or 1st finger & 2nd finger for fingerstyle).

    Definitely check out Jerry Gonzalez & The Fort Apache Band...they excel at both types of music-
    Latin & Jazz!
  11. mz91


    Apr 19, 2002
    Zug, Switzerland


    Got it from the good people at Bass Books..