The tumbao rhythm is one of the fundamental patterns for congas. Learning how to play tumbao on congas is critical for players who want to level up their drumming.
Conga tumbaos incorporate slaps, open tones, heel, toe, and touch strokes to establish a balance of strong and weak sounds on the drum.
For lack of a better term, I call the open tones and slaps strong sounds and the heel, toe, touch, bass, and mute tones weak sounds. But they are anything but weak. I promise. Some styles require fewer variations, while other styles like timba or songo have room for almost infinite melodic possibilities on the drums.
The weaker sounding strokes heel, toe, etc. These strokes establish an underlying thickness to the sound and blend well with other instruments like the timbale pailas, guiro, and maracas. Other forms of the word refer to laying down. So, a tumbao — whether played on bass, congas, piano, tres, etc. The origins of the use of conga tumbaos is a bit clearer than the nomenclature. Today, congas are used in salsa, timba, and other forms of Latin jazz ensembles.
The drums and tumbao patterns have also been adapted to popular music all around the world. The basic tumbao comes from the earliest use of the congawhen congueros often only had one drum. Despite the lack of drums to establish parts with conversations on various sides of clave, conga drummers used all of their stokes to make new tumbao phrases.
Conga drumming has between seven and nine basic strokes that most drummers follow. I focus on eight sounds, and the strokes vary from one to the next based on the following criteria. For more information, check out this article on the specific strokes and how to play them.
The conga tumbao accents certain clave hits. For example, the bombo note is the and of beat two on the three side of clave. The ponche is another clave accent. The conga tumbao phrases with the ponche very consistently with open tones.In music of Afro-Cuban origin, tumbao is the basic rhythm played on the bass. In North America, the basic conga drum pattern used in popular music is also called tumbao.
In the contemporary form of Cuban popular dance music known as timbapiano guajeos are known as tumbaos. The tresillo pattern is the rhythmic basis of the ostinato bass tumbao in Cuban son -based musics, such as son montunomambosalsaand Latin jazz. Often the last note of the measure is held over the downbeat of the next measure. In this way, only the two offbeats of tresillo are sounded. The first offbeat is known as bomboand the second offbeat last note is sometimes referred to as ponche.
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The bass line of "Dame un cachito pa' huele" coincides with three of the clave's five strokes. The two offbeats are especially important because they coincide with the two syncopated steps in the son's basic footwork.
Timba tumbaos incorporate techniques from funk, such as slapping, and pulling the strings in a percussive way. The following excerpt demonstrates several characteristics of timba bass. The basic son montuno tumbao pattern is played on the conga drum.
The conga was first used in bands during the late s, and became a staple of mambo bands of the s. The basic tumbao sounds slaps triangle noteheads and open tones regular noteheads on the "and" offbeats. For example, a very common variant sounds a single open tone with the third stroke of clave poncheand two tones preceding the three-side of clave. The specific alignment between clave and this tumbao is critical.
Another common variant uses two drums and sounds bombo 1a on the tumba 3-side of the clave. Beginning in the late s, band conga players began incorporating elements from folkloric rhythms, especially rumba.
This relationship between the drums is derived from the style known as rumba. The feeling of the high drum part is like the quinto in rumba, constantly punctuating, coloring, and accenting, but not soloing until the appropriate moment Santos The quinto-like phrases can continually change, but they are based upon a specific counter- clave motif.
Cruz's creations offered clever counterpoints to the bass and chorus. Many of his tumbaos span two or even four claves in duration, something very rarely done previously. The example on the right is one of Cruz's inventos 'musical inventions'a band adaptation of the Congolese-based Afro-Cuban folkloric rhythm makuta.
Afro-Cuban Piano: Master the Montuno
The Cuban jazz pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba developed a technique of pattern and harmonic displacement in the s, which was adopted into timba tumbaos timba piano guajeos in the s. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Beyond Salsa Piano v. Redway, CA: Bembe Inc.
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From the different rhythms, instruments and their particular history to the mastery of their most prestigious representatives at an international level. One of the concepts most used when mentioning the national sonorities is that of tumbao, which, in most cases, leaves the inexperienced in the matter with doubts about its meaning.
What is tumbao and what is its role in Cuban music? The tumbao has its origin in music, although sometimes the word can be used to refer to the sensuality with which a woman walks, for example. As part of Afro-Cuban music is the base rhythm that is played in the bass guitar and forms the well-known Cuban rumba and all the sounds that derive from it.
The name salsa, mambo and Latin jazz, are nourished by this peculiar rhythm through instruments like the three and the bass. The main point of the tumbao is the feeling. The tumbao allows the dancers to feel the music like never before, beyond the simple rhythms is transmitted the feeling through the composition, a characteristic typical of our national music.
The timba can be denominated like one of the Cuban rhythms that contribute more to the popular music of the island. Groups such as the popular Charanga Habaneraunder the direction of David Calzadohave continued and renewed the legacy of timba in our days. When talking about dance music in Cuba it is impossible not to mention the tumbao, whose concept is so ingrained that it transcends the boundaries of music to blend, in addition, in the recesses of the life of each Cuban.
At Havana Music School you can answer all the questions you have about Cuban music. Do not forget to subscribe to our website to be aware of what happens in the musical panorama of the Cuban island. April 28, by Juan Alexander Padron 0 comments. El tumbao. Tags: Afro-Cuban musicrhythmTimbaTumbao. Related Posts. Musical Tours in Havana Havanamusicmusical tourstourism.What has always appealed to me about Afro-Cuban music is that it's simultaneously pianistic and percussive.
Unlike in traditional jazz, the piano's role is often to play a repetitive rhythmic pattern known as the montuno or tumbao. Much of the magic in Afro-Cuban music comes from the fact each instrument in the rhythm section including bass, congas, timbales, and bongoshas its own tumbaowhich interlock into a rhythmic matrix. To get you started in your own Afro-Cuban piano adventures, here are some typical piano parts I play in this style. This basic rhythm is developed in the next four examples.
Montuno Progression Ex.
When constructing a. Here, we're playing octaves on the third of Cthe root of Fand up a half-step to an octave on the root of G. This is another instance of the strong link between the tres and the piano in popular Cuban music. Notice the movement in octaves between the root of Cthe third of Fand a half step-up to the third of G. Notice how the sevenths are in octaves, emphasizing the voice leading between chords.
Hint: When playing a progression that goes from minor seventh to a dominant seventh chord, use the seventh of the first minor chord to move to the third of the dominant chord. Nothing strikes fear into the hearts of piano players like the mention of stride piano.
This seemingly impossible old style is like ragtime on steroids, and pushes jazz pianists to the limit. The left hand alternates a low bass, frequently played in tenths, with close position midrange chords, while the right hand provides melody, syncopations, lines, and runs.
The total effect is a relentless, locked-down swing eighth-note feel. A much kinder, gentler number is 12 — the number of notes in the chromatic scale. Acoustic Treatment. Direct Boxes. Other Accessories. Keys and Synths. Acoustic Piano.
How to Play Tumbao on Congas – 21 Variations
Home Digital Piano. Midi Controller. Other Keys And Synths. Stage Piano. Live and Studio. Audio Interfaces.
Combo Amps. Control Surfaces. Daw Software. Effects Plug-ins. Host Machines. Other Live And Studio Gear. PA, All-In-One. Stage Speakers. Studio Monitors. Virtual Instruments. Other Virtual Instruments.Here are presented two chord progressions among the most popular and the most used in salsa music. Indeed, as in many musical genres like pop or jazz, some chord progressions occur more often than others in salsa and it is very important to know it.
The examples below show simple piano and bass tumbao patterns. They can be played at a slow or fast tempo according to the context of the song. This chord progression has been very popular since the 40s, especially in cuban music. One of the reasons for the success of this chord progression is that it uses the three basic chords of the tone. Another chord progression commonly used in salsa is the I—V—V—I.
Although this progression was already used before, it has been widely used in various forms in the New York salsa of the 70s and 80s. Note that the bass plays a Re on the V chord to avoid the repetition of the Sol that is already in the I chord. Read also: 3 typical tumbao bass lines on the i—V—V—i progression in 70s and 80s salsa. Home How to play montuno on piano How to play bass tumbao Browse by artists. Search for:. This chord progression can also be played in major or minor tone.
At points, the melodies change to grind against the piano rhythm giving salsa its characteristic charge, before returning to the flow. Montuno is the name given to the melodic rhythm articulated by the piano and it takes the form of a two to four chord repeated pattern also called a vampalthough it can be longer. The basic montuno structure is simple to learn, although its syncopated nature and the essential phrasing to clave provide unique and rewarding challenges for the pianist.
Montunos are, to the newly initiated, fairly restrictive in nature as they comprise a small number of chords. True montuno mastery involves continually engaging the listener's interest in the face of this limitation through changes in chord voicings, timings and tasteful use of adornments like passing notes, all the while maintaining the flow as a backdrop for the instrument melodies. The instrument Full coverage of the pros and cons of acoustic versus electric, pianos versus synths are better covered elsewhere.
Only the main considerations relative to playing salsa are mentioned below.
Of foremost consideration to the musician is portability. If you're lucky enough to have a venue where a full acoustic piano is available, I envy you. Electric pianos feature a similar key action to acoustic pianos, which I consider essential to developing a pianist's touch and phrasing. I also prefer the flexibility of the full 88 keys where available. This does lead to a somewhat heavier and more bulky unit. Synths or keyboards can be much lighter and there are many instances where two of them are used in place of one full electric piano.
There is generally more flexibility in how they can be configured. Synths are commonly found in many timba bands, although usually in tandem with an electric piano as well. Alternatively you can have a combination of both. If your group does not have a bassist, the pianist can and does assume the bassist's role; playing the bass tumbao with the left hand.
Some electric pianos can be configured to simulate bass sounds on the lower half of the keyboard; otherwise a synth can be used instead. Some brands worth investigating are Korg, Roland, and Yamaha. What to play Montuno progressions are based on modes, so if you're not especially familiar with them, you might want to brush up on your modal theory.
A number of salsa standards are based on this progression, and once you're familiar with it, it's very simple to identify. Keys to start off with are C major then A minor. Remember that brass and woodwind transposing instruments are common in the salsa line-up, hence many songs are written in keys that are friendly to them such as F major, D minor, and G minor. Pianists are extremely fortunate to have a fine piece of instructional material available to them called " Montunos" which details the playing of the above.
I strongly recommend that you purchase it if you are at all keen to play Afro-Cuban piano.