Clave-Consciousness-v1-Son-

Clave Consciousness
vol. 1 Son Clave and Twelve Bell
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Entire Program – 1 hour 17 minutes
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Welcome to a detailed, step by step, multilevel audio lesson and groove session in Son Clave (Son is pronounced “Sohn” and “Clave” is “Kla' Veh”) and Twelve-Bell. These two key patterns form the foundation of an immense body of music from around the world.

In these lessons I teach the patterns from the inside out. I lead you through counting and clapping the patterns in different ways, as well as two hand or hand-foot coordination exercises to spread the feeling throughout your body.

The lesson ends with 40 minutes of Clave and Twelve-Bell grooves at different tempos for you to play along with.

Clave Consciousness will get you going with your voice in rhythm, as you will learn to count rhythm and track beats. When you master these lessons, you will know in your body what “syncopation” means!

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Product Description


Intro to Clave Consciousness Track. FREE
Lesson length: 1:17 min
In this track I demonstrate what we will be learning, tell you how the lessons work and how to progress.  After many years of learning, playing and teaching African Diaspora music, I realize that helping people understand and apply Clave is one of the most valuable and widely applicable lesson I can give anyone.

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Track 2. What Is Clave?
Lesson length: 3:43 min
In this track I define and tell why Clave is important, name and demonstrate several patterns of Clave, define “3-2” and “2-3” Clave and give some history and audio examples of its use in drum ensemble music.

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Track 3. Son Clave Level 1 counting
Lesson length: 5:35 min
Learn how the Clave “accents” or actual hits fall over an even stream of pulses, which we name by using numbers 1 through 8.  This is a a common denominator method of counting and naming the hits, anybody can do it. I lead you to emphasize certain numbers with your voice, before you clap on that number.  Combining voice emphasis with the clap helps you be accurate and remember what you are doing.

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Track 4. Son Clave level 2 counting : 8th notes
Lesson length: 4:36 min
In this lesson we rename the numbers in a simple system of musical counting called  “eighth notes”.  The pattern the same, but the claps fall on different syllables.  This manner of counting rhythm is common. If you have learned some musical counting in the past, you probably have heard or practiced in this manner. This manner of counting the Clave is very common in music literature describing Latin American music.

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Track 5. Son Clave Level 3 counting : 16th notes
Lesson length: 4:59 min
Again we rename the sequence with a more complicated set of syllables that create a higher level of organization and understanding.  The system is called “sixteenth note” counting and is common in Jazz and other forms of American music. This way of feeling the Clave shows you the big picture, and will help you to understand why it is the key pattern. It is extremely useful when navigating fast tempo and shifting between patterns and layers.

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Track 6. Son Clave with 4 Pulse
Lesson length: 2:50 min
In this lesson I show you how the Son Clave pattern relates to the underlying pulse of four even beats. This “main beat” connects, modulates and grounds the 5 irregularly placed Clave strokes. I call it the “four-pulse; many people call it the “downbeat”. It is the sequence that you unconsciously tap your foot to, when you hear music you like. When you master these lessons, you’ll be able to easily, accurately – and with a groove- play the Clave pattern while you tap the four pulse with your foot. With practice, you’ll be able to step the four pulse in a natural, easy way, while you play the Clave pattern and sing!

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The Clave is a field of rhythmic activity and there are many ways to describe it. 

We just learned how the Clave fits into a field of 16 counts.

In the next set of lessons we’ll learn how the 5 Clave strokes fit into a cycle of 12 counts. This gives it a mysterious feeling.

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Track 7. Intro to Twelve-Clave
Lesson length: 0:33 min
In this lesson I’ll show what I call Twelve-Clave. Now the 5 accents fit into a cycle of 12 counts.  The four pulse falls in the same manner as we learned before, connecting and modulating the uneven grouping of the Clave strokes.

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Track 8. Twelve-Clave Level 1
Lesson length: 5:01 min
In this lesson we work with two sets of six counts and learn how the Clave accents fall over these counts.  This helps us to understand that the “Clave pattern” is a broad term with many slight variations that one learns to identify by context.

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Track 9. Twelve-Clave Level 2
Lesson length: 5:11 min
In this lesson we rename the 12 counts in a manner that reveals the underlying four pulse which connects, modulates and grounds the 5 irregularly placed strokes.  This is the best way to feel the pattern and will help you understand the mysterious nature of
Clave when played by master musicians. This pattern is important in West African and Brazilian music.

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Track 10. The Mother Rhythm: Twelve-Bell
Lesson length: 3:43 min
This lesson covers the most important and wide-spread pattern in African influenced music.  Often played on a bell, it is also a bass drum pattern, a marimba pattern, a shaker pattern as well as a dance and vocal rhythm.  It is the same 5 Clave strokes from the previous lesson, plus two more, making it a 7 stroke pattern.  This pattern could be considered the signature of African influence in music. It is found in many forms of African diaspora music, and is prominent in Afro Cuban and  Afro Brazilian drumming.

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Track 11. Twelve-Bell with 4 Pulse
Lesson length: 3:33 min
In this lesson I show you how the 7 hits of the Twelve-Bell pattern fall over the four main beats. This is the key to understanding the pattern, as several other ways of feeling it are possible. I show it as a two hand coordination, with some strokes in conjunction. When you have mastered this, transfer the pattern to claps and foot taps, or practice saying it while walking. This two part coordination can be challenging, but keep at it, it will reveal itself. All the other step in the program lead here; make sure you can do each previous exercise easily before trying this one.

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Track 12. Son Clave and Twelve-Bell lesson Summary
Lesson length 1:31 min
In this track I very briefly play the both the Clave and the Twelve-Bell patterns and show how they fit to the four pulse. Then I show the application of the Twelve-Bell pattern in the Afro Cuban Bembe rhythm.  To learn that rhythm, check out Vol 2 of the Speaking of Rhythm series.

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Track 13. Intro To Groove Sections
Lesson length: 1:03 min
In this track I give you instructions and suggestions for more ways to use the Clave lessons, and how to use what you’ve learned with the next section of Clave grooves.
Review Sounds and Hand Positions

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Track 14. Son Clave Groove, Slow
Lesson length 4:45 min
I play Clave slowly with a shaker keeping the groove, and a steady foot tap keeping the four pulse.  I count quietly in the beginning to keep you aligned, then I fade that out, so you can just feel it. Eventually I take away the foot tap so you can do it on your own, then I take away the shaker, leaving only the Clave strokes. This is the biggest challenge: can you keep in the groove, feel the push pull of the Clave without speeding up or slowing down. Then I start bringing the supporting pieces of the groove back in so you can check yourself.

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Track 15. Son Clave Grove, Medium
Lesson length: 6:51 min
Now at a medium tempo with the same format: a shaker keeping the groove, and a steady foot tap under the Clave.  I don’t emphasize the counting in this track at all, it stays in for only a short time. Again I drop out the foot tap, then the shaker, leaving only the Clave strokes.  The foot tap and shaker come back in so you can check yourself.

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Track 16. Son Clave Groove, Fast
Lesson length: 6:05 min
This time at a faster tempo with the same format: a shaker keeping the groove, and a steady foot tap on the four pulse.  I do not count in this track.  I drop out every other foot tap, then another, so the foot tap is only on the first hit, then every other Clave with no foot tap. The shaker will drop out suddenly, leaving only the Clave strokes for a few cycles. Toward the end of this track I play a groove and variations on a conga to help you get the flavor of how Clave and drum interact.

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We’ve just heard three different grooves of what is commonly known as “Four-Four” Clave. This rhythm is used in frequently in many forms of popular music.

The next three grooves cover the all-important and trance inducing “Twelve Bell” pattern which is commonly called “Six-Eight”, “Twelve-Eight”, or “Seis-por-Ocho”. Developing an embodied understanding of this pattern will help you with any further exploration in African music and many other forms of World music – including Jazz, Pop, Fusion, Reggae, and more.

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Track 17. Twelve-Bell Groove, Slow
Lesson length: 4:26 min
Here is the 7 stroke Mother pattern at a moderate speed with a shaker keeping the groove, and a steady foot tap keeping the four pulse.  I count quietly in the beginning to keep you aligned, then I fade that out, so you can just feel it. Eventually I take away the foot tap so you can do it on your own, then I take away the shaker, leaving only the bell strokes.  After a few cycles, I bring back the supporting pieces of the groove back in so you can check yourself.

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Track 18. Twelve-Bell Groove, Medium
Lesson length: 6:06 min
Here is the pattern at a faster speed with the shaker and a  foot tap on the four pulse.  I count quietly in the beginning to keep you aligned, then I fade that out. After a few cycles I take away the foot tap so you can do it on your own, then I take away the shaker, leaving only the bell strokes.  Again, I bring back the supporting pieces of the groove back in so you can check yourself.

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Track 19. Twelve-Bell  Groove, Fast
Lesson length: 4:36 min
A faster tempo with the shaker and the four pulse.  We go right into it without counting under the groove, and I fade in the count in and out quietly in a couple of places.

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Pulsewave
"...the greatest benefit of your classes and CDs came to me as a salsa dancer, by improving my ability to hear and understand the Clave. ... this has made my enjoyment of salsa music and dancing that much better. Thank you again!"
Pulsewave
"I just wanted to thank you for actually caring to develop a simple yet enormously powerful teaching method that has transformed my music playing, listening and also speaking ability. Coincidentally, its also helped me run further without being as tired....I think its due me being able to feel and attend to each step I take more like a rhythm than a battle, and maybe it's because I've been stepping the pulse - when I practice speaking the rhythms - in an oval around my room"
Pulsewave
WOW... Kim!! I spent about two hours enjoying and learning from your CD.. I was TRULY impressed with the format and success it gave me and will give others... YOU DID IT!
Pulsewave
"I've had some great fun and learning from Kim Atkinson's CD's. Bembe, Makuta, Nigerian Highlife and others are great sets of rhythms I was glad to add to my repertoire. It was helpful to really get inside clave rhythms too. Kim knows his stuff, makes it clear and accessible... and he rocks!"
Pulsewave
"I often teach my students that if you can "say it",you can "play it". In his Speaking of Rhythm series, Kim takes this concept to the next level. Using spoken syllables and playing drums, each part is explored separately and then in every possible combination with each other, and against both the underlying pulse and clave. These highly effective CDs accomplish what could only otherwise be done by having a multi-track recorder available for every class. (Except of course they are MUCH easier to use, and work in your car!)

Another extremely useful feature is that a different syllable is assigned not only to each different drum sound, but also to each hand making the sound. Thus, by learning to speak the rhythm, students also learn the proper "sticking" at the same time.

I enjoyed the arrangements so much that I even adopted the Afoxe rhythms for use with my Brazilian Bateria. We now play the same Afoxe patterns on Surdos, Repeniques, and Caixas."

How does Speaking of Rhythm work?

• Speaking of Rhythm deeply involves YOU in the process of learning and expressing rhythm. You will learn to hold three contrasting parts : voice, feet and hands. This mimics the parts of the ensemble and you deeply feel how music works.

• Speaking of Rhythm is a fun and challenging game : lean where voice, hand claps and feet all interact in sequences of conjunction and opposition. You go at your own rate.

1) Connect the Syllables to Drum Strokes

Practice each drum stroke separately and speak the syllable as you hit the drum. Do this many times – you’re learning a kinesthetic language – connecting your voice and your hands.

If you need to review the syllables, hand positions and sounds on your drum, click here.

2) Speak Drum Language – Make Sentences:

Now learn the syllables for a drum pattern (for example, the tumba for Afoxé). Go slowly. Speak the sounds out loud and learn to say them effortlessly so they feel like a sentence.

3) Orient Yourself – Syllables with the Pulse:

Next, clap the pulse while speaking the syllables. This will show you how the drum part (via the syllables) relates to the main beat.

4) Make a Sentence with your Hands:

Now that you’ve learned a sentence in drum language map the vocal sounds to hand positions on the drum. (You can do this without a drum, but make sure you’re saying the syllables out-loud. You can practice this on a table, your body, anywhere).

5) Say the Sentence On the drum:

Say and play the drum rhythm. Notice that the drum is saying what the voice is saying and the voice is saying what the drum is playing.

More details here.

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vol. 1 Son Clave and Twelve Bell
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