More than one Tumbao?

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Chrix, Jun 12, 2005.

  1. Chrix


    Apr 9, 2004
    So I've got this gig next week and the piano player makes sure to tell me that the percussionist (I'm assuming it's a latin/samba/bossa etc...-heavy gig) is very particular about what Tumbao paterns he uses. So he tells me to review my tumbao variations.

    First of all, I think that he made a mistake because I thought there was only one tumbao pattern for the bass (I'm aware of others for percussion).

    So As of now, my search has been pretty futile, and I feel that if they're out there, I need to be aware of them. Just wondering if anyone here could help me out.
  2. Paging Bijoux...paging Bijoux
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Wll, I have studied Afro-Cuban music and had lessons from people experienced in this - although I wouldn't call myself any kind of expert....;)

    So my view is there is a Tumbao "concept" - which is basically root-V with syncopation - usually anticipating chord changes on the 4 of the previous bar - which is tied across the bar line - emphasising the and of 2 or 3 and avoiding the one. But there seem to be innumerable variations ....

    So the Latin Bass Book by Oscar Stagnaro starts with what he calls the "basic" Tumbao and variations, which does actually include a bass note on the one - but then goes on to the syncopated version which he says is the basis for most Afro Cuban bass lines - he then goes on to list various types of Tumbao for things like Charangas and Gurachas some unsyncopated - e.g. 3 and 4, others adding more chord tones, swing etc. etc .
  5. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    ...although you can quickly piss off the rest of the band if you start switching up your rhythm. ;) Chrix- have you tried contacting the percussionist before the gig to ask him what it is he is looking for? What kind of latin music is this group playing?

    A percussionist I sometimes play with is nicknamed "Salsa Cop" because he gets a steely stare if I get off the basic Tumbao. The band plays puerto rican/cuban music. Very inspirational stuff!
  6. delbass


    Sep 9, 2003
    Albany, NY
    Check out the Latin Bass Book by Oscar Stagnaro.
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Err... do people actually read what's posted in threads...? :meh:
  8. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Consider it a more lengthy "+1."
  9. Dharmabum


    Jul 11, 2005
    Richmond, VA
    The True Cuban Bass by Carlos Del Puerto and Silvio Vergara (Sher Music) is so good at presenting tumbaos that it's frightening. In my humble opinion it puts everything else on the subject to shame.
  10. ToR-Tu-Ra


    Oct 15, 2005
    Mexico City
    This year at my school ensemble, we've been playing some "latin" tunes. And, yes, there is more than one tumbao. It's not only about 1-5, you can mix in approach notes like you would in jazz to spice it up a bit. But coming back to the rhythmic pattern, there's not only one type of "latin" that's why I don't like calling it "latin" there's: Son, guaracha, guaguanco, samba, salsa, cumbia, mozambique and many more that I dont remember right now. All of them are syncopated, that's the basic thing about "latin". For example, we're playing a tune called Blue Bossa (you can find it in one of them real books), and my teacher gave me this rhythmic pattern: /dotted quarter, dotted quarter, quarter(tied to the next measure)/ so (except for the first note) you never play a downbeat, thus creating that "latin" feel. I don't rememeber clearly right now but I THINK my teacher told me this is called a SONGO pattern...
    I hope I explained it right, if I didn't, I can post a scan to make it clearer.
    Also, keep in mind most "latin" grooves are more like 2/2 as opposed to 4/4
    Well, I guess that's all... I hope I've been of some help
  11. bass_means_LOW


    Apr 12, 2004
    Las Vegas
    Another great book for Afro-Cuban grooves for bass and drums is, "Funkifying the Clave" by Robby Ameen and Lincoln Goines.
    tor-tu-ra; "Blue Bossa" is a bossa from Brazil. A songo is a rhythm with origins in Cuba.
    Make sure the rhythm is appropriate for the composition. One mistake players sometimes make is that they'll try to fit about every "latin" rhythm they know into one song. Not only is it inappropriate, but it does a disservice to latin music in general.
  12. ToR-Tu-Ra


    Oct 15, 2005
    Mexico City
    I know... But the teacher at ensemble made the arrangement. At the beginning I was trying to play it bossa like, but soon I had to change to son because of the rhythm the drums were playing. Now I'm playing it songo because my bass teacher happened to listen to us and gave me some poniters.
    I don't like mixing more than one (two at most) rhytmic patterns into a "latin" tune. I feel it makes things sound chaotical. I try to stick to the same rhythym and spice it up with my note choice rather than changing the rhytmic pattern. I am very aware that slight changes on the bass line affect greatly the sound of a tune. Believe me, I live in a place where latin beats are the most listened, so I have to stay sharp. ;)
  13. BoogieNight


    Jun 15, 2001
    IMO (I'm a brazilian bass player) the song Blue Bossa can be played as a "bossa nova", but is more frequently heard with a cuban-like groove. So there's nothing wrong in the use of a Songo arrangement.

    It's interesting that people who live in non-latin america countries tend to think that "latin" rythms are all similar. For me it's strange, because I know a lot about samba and bossa nova, but I'm gonna buy a method of Afro-Cuban bass lines because I'm almost incapable of playing cuban music!
  14. ToR-Tu-Ra


    Oct 15, 2005
    Mexico City
    Actually, I've never heard Blue bossa played like bossanova, all the recordings I've heard (not many, 3 or so) are cuban-like beats. For bossa we're playing Agua de março (water of march). I'm having a tough time with that tune because I've hadn't enough time to memorize it and the only "chart" I have is the lyrics with the chords on top of the words and the singer keeps forgetting the words! :scowl:
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well, "Blue Bossa" was actually written by the Jazz trumpeter Kenny Dorham and appeared on the classic Blue Note Jazz album "Page One" by Joe Henderson's Jazz quintet.

    So this was essentially a Jazz album with Dorham and Henderson bringing in influences from Brazil and other countries to give variety to the rhythms in their original tunes..

    I think this is why there is confusion about and a general "lumping together " of all Latin music ....?

    So - Jazz musicians in the 1960s were looking for all sorts of musics to give variety and spice to their bands - so then people danced to Jazz, and where Jazz developed it was natural to bring in elements of Brazilian and Cuban music as this was heard in the same sorts of clubs, played by immigrants from those countries and Puorto Rico etc. etc.

    But I think you have to be careful to separate a tune like "Blue Bossa" - which is clearly a Jazz tune influenced by Brazilian music and music genuinely from Brazil or Cuba , which is very different !!
  16. ToR-Tu-Ra


    Oct 15, 2005
    Mexico City
    Very true! And of course, there's also music genuinely from latin america influenced by jazz, so it's kind of the same thing but the other way around.

    You can jazz up a latin tune and you can also "latinize" a jazz tune, anything can be done. The only thing to watch out for IMHO is not to mess with many different rhythmic patterns in the same tune. If you're playing bossa or son or salsa or guaguanco, stick to that one rhythm and make it interesting with your note choice (1, 5, 1, 5 gets a bit boring after a while, I know). But if you go playing rumba while everyone else is playing bossa, well, I think something is not going to sound right.

    Anyway... do what you feel and have fun. Isn't that what music is all about?
  17. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well it depends what you're doing - if you were playing in a small Jazz band with musicians you know well, that draws influences from world music like Brazilian, Cuban etc. - then I would agree on your last point 100% !

    However, if you were playing in a Salsa band for dancers, with 3 percussionists and a large horn section with set arrangements - then I'd say have fun - but you can't just do what you feel or the following is likely to happen :

    a) everything falls apart,
    b) you get out of synch with the rest of your band and annoy them,
    c) you get out of synch with the dancers and annoy them

    ..any of which can be disastrous for the gig!! :D
  18. ToR-Tu-Ra


    Oct 15, 2005
    Mexico City

    You're right!

    but when dancers get out of synch nobody says anything, tho... argh! :D