Canadian RumbaTechnique by Adam Hay // July 17 2012
This pattern starts with 3:2 rumba clave (which is a two-bar pattern…think of it as the rhythm key), then into a groove David Garibaldi got from Alex Acuna (as demonstrated 20 years ago in his Talking Drums video).
We're into some soloing, next—hat playing half-notes (emulating shekere [gourd with glass beads], kick playing bombonote (the 'heart' beat, tending to be a low pitch, lands on the 'and' of 2, and then again in the second bar); soloing phrasing is afro-cuban and funk-ish. First tom lands on '1' of every third bar, just to give some melodic foundation and to reference guaganco, the mid tempo, most known rumba style. By the way, yambu is the slow rumba, guaguanco, the mid tempo; and comparsa, the fast, if my understanding is correct.
In the soloing you can hear the tension between quarter note triplets and eighth notes. This tension is really central to the Afro-Cuban approach and its African roots. There's wisdom in this stylistic tendency: it creates the illusion of tempo shifts without actually changing the tempo. This is extremely common in African-based music.
Things are getting faster several minutes in, as of course they should with rumba. It starts slow and ramps up in intensity and speed, just like, you know, seduction (At the root of it, that's the whole point!). At approximately 4:30 we're into conga/comparsa, a street form of (dancing) rumba. This groove/sticking is also from Garibaldi.
The first ending is from the legendary Cuban percussion/vocal/dance troupe, Los Munequitos de Matanzas. The next ending is from Vinnie Colaiuta with Sting in Olso, 1993. Then just some double kick playing around. Have fun!
About the Author
Adam Hay is a highly sought-after educator and freeelance drummer based out of Toronto, Canada. Visit Adam online at www.adamhay.net.
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