Clave Consciousness v2-RumbaClave-Kim Atkinson Percussionist
CC v2 Rumba-back

Clave Consciousness
vol. 2 Rumba and AbaCua Clave
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Entire Program – 1 hour 17 minutes
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Rumba and AbaCua Clave are definitely challenging for most people – AbaCua Clave being the most mysterious. In order for this lesson to be easy and fun, please study all the exercise in Vol. 1, or have a good understanding of Son Clave and 12 bell. These Rumba and AbaCua Clave lessons are derived from and build on what I presented in Vol. 1, so please study those lesson first.

Why is Clave Important?
Clave guides the rhythm section, the improvisors, the dancers and singers. Clave sets the pace. Clave patterns contain the most important accents of the time span, and are used as signals, breaks, bass lines, vocal patterns, introductions and other cues.
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SKU: CC2-DD-ALL Categories: , ,

Product Description

When you master these lessons, you’ll be able to accurately, easily, and with a groove,  play the Rumba or AbaCua 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!

I teach you the patterns from the inside out.
We count and clap the patterns in different ways, and I show you two hand coordination and other exercises to get the feeling into your body. The lesson ends with 25 minutes of clave grooves at different tempos for you to play along with. If you are interested in clave in “6-8″ this is a great lesson for you.


Track 1. Intro
Lesson Length: 0:58 min
I open this track playing a Songo groove in 3-2 Rumba Clave with guiro, conga, drum set and timbales, then I tell and demonstrate what you will be learning, how the lessons work and how to progress.

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Track 2. Overview
Lesson Length: 1:53 min
In this track I play the Cuban rhythms Rumba and AbaCua and show you how the Clave pattern of each rhythm functions.
Web note 1

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Track 3. Rumba Clave Level 1
Lesson Length: 7:38 min
Rumba Clave level 1 In this track I teach you the Rumba clave pattern slowly, in two halves. I use two sets of 8 evenly spaced counts – a common denominator method anyone can do. We will emphasize certain numbers with the voice before clapping on those counts. This helps you be accurate and remember what you are doing. It is a fun game as well, keeping a groove with your voice, while adding accents that add tension and excitement to the sequence

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Track 4. Rumba Clave Level 2
Lesson Length: 6:07 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. 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. Rumba Clave Level 3
Lesson Length: 6:39 min
In this lesson I teach you the same sequence of Clave hits again, but with a more complicated set of syllables called “sixteenth note” counting. This way of feeling the rhythm shows you the big picture. You’ll gain a deeper body understanding with this next level of organization. Knowing the pattern this way will help you to understand why Clave is the key pattern and how it fits in Jazz, and other forms of American music.

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Track 6. Rumba Clave and The Pulse: Two Hands
Lesson Length: 1:43 min
In this lesson I teach you a pattern that combines Rumba Clave with the four pulse main beat that that connects, modulates and grounds the 5 irregularly placed Clave strokes. The pulse that I am adding into the mix here I call the “four-pulse” – many people call it the “downbeat”. Its the sequence that you unconsciously tap your foot to when you hear music. It is the motivation for dancing. This is yet another way of understanding the rhythm because, in practice, Clave is never separate from the main beat. You might consider that Clave is a simple and elegant way of creating this main beat in an understated way.

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Track 7. Stick and Hands and/or Feet
Lesson Length: 1:11 min
In this lesson we transfer the combination pattern of track 6 to a drum, marking the pulse with a bass note with one hand while tapping Clave with a stick on the side of the drum. This change of sounds intensifies the contrast between the 5 stroke Clave pattern and the four pulse main beat and helps you hold the rhythm even tighter in your body. Once you can do this exercise easily, copy the bass pulse with a foot tap and slowly fade out the bass drum hit. That will spreads the rhythm further in you body, between feet and hands. When this is easy, you’ll be able to clap Clave while stepping, or play the combination as a drum set pattern between bass drum and hi hat, bass drum and and snare, or any other combination of sounds.

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Track 8. AbaCua Intro
Lesson Length: 1:01 min
AbaCua Clave is one of the most mysterious patterns and at first listen may sound exactly like the Rumba Clave pattern in the previous lessons. However, three of the five hits are in slightly different places in the time stream, compared to Rumba Clave. AbaCua Clave is based on a cycle of 12 potential hits. As with all Clave patterns, it is mostly empty and forms a guide line for many rhythms.

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Track 9. AbaCua Level 1
Lesson Length: 4:44 min
AbaCua Clave level one. In this lesson I break the pattern down into two halves, with six evenly spaced counts each. For most people just learning to count the sets of six and keep time is a challenge. Make sure that is easy for you, then add the Clave hits. Keep at it, listen closely and repeat. It is a new language you are learning.

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Track 10. AbaCua Level 2
Lesson Length: 5:56 min
In this lesson we rename the 12 counts as sets of 8th note triplets, so you can feel the underlying four pulse which connects, modulates and grounds the 5 irregularly placed Clave strokes. This is the best way to feel the pattern and will help you understand how to navigate between subdivisions and tempi.

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Track 11. AbaCua Clave and Twelve Bell
Lesson Length: 2:19 min
In this lesson, I show you how the AbaCua Clave pattern is at the center of the 12 bell pattern, the most important and wide-spread pattern in African influenced music. This lesson will be easiest if you know the 12 bell pattern first, as I will use it as a reference point to create the AbaCua Clave pattern. You can get the 12 bell lessons here. They are tracks 10, 11 and 12 of Clave Consciousness Vol 1.

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Track 12. AbaCua Clave and The Main Beat – Two Hands
Lesson Length: 1:57 min
In this lesson I teach you how to play the AbaCua Clave pattern together with the 4 pulse main beat. This is a two hand coordination and some hits happen at the same time, one on each hand. You will create a composite pattern of a pulse of 4 evenly spaced hits on one hand and the the 5 irregularly placed Clave strokes on the other. This useful pattern and can be translated to many instruments and surfaces – marimba, bell tree, wood blocks etc. In some arrangements of the AbaCua rhythm, it is played in this manner on two basket rattles similar to large caxixi.

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Track 13. Stick and Hand On The Drum
Lesson Length: 1:00 min
In this lesson I show you how to play the two hand coordination from track 12 on a conga drum. We tap the shell with a stick in one hand, and make a bass note with the other hand. This intensifies the contrast between the two parts of the rhythm which helps you hold them even tighter in your body. Once you can do this exercise easily, copy the bass pulse with a foot tap and slowly fade out the bass drum hit. That will spreads the rhythm further in you body, between feet and hands. When this is easy, you’ll be able to clap Clave while stepping, or play the combination as a drum set pattern between bass drum and hi hat, bass drum and and snare, or any other combination of sounds.

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Track 14. AbaCua Music
Lesson Length: 3:18 min
No talking in this track, just music. Clave, bell, shakers and four drums including “bonko”, solo drum of the ensemble. Make sure you keep Clave and the four pulse or you may get lost. There are several layers of counter rhythms and the solo drum has very off beat phrasing.

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Track 15. Groove Intro
Lesson Length: 1:18 min
The next section of lessons are grooves at slow, med and fast pace for you to play along with. I offer several ways for you to practice with the tracks. In each track, the Clave pattern is consistent throughout, and various pulses and sounds that enter and leave can seem to change the pattern – this is an illusion. Keep steady time and focus on the Clave pattern itself. The shaker and foot taps that I add and remove are built in to the pattern when played correctly. Learn to integrate them with the Clave.

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Track 16. Rumba Clave Groove Slow Tempo
Lesson Length: 4:14 min
I play Clave slowly, with a shaker keeping the groove, and a steady foot tap keeping the four pulse. At the beginning of the track, I count quietly 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 stay in the groove and feel the push-pull of Clave without speeding up or slowing down? Later, I bring back the supporting pieces of the groove so you can check yourself.

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Track 17. Rumba Clave Groove Medium Tempo
Lesson Length: 3:43 min
Now at a medium tempo with the same format: a shaker keeping the groove, and a steady foot tap under the clave. The counting in this track stays in for only a short time. I drop out the foot taps one at a time, then the shaker, leaving only the Clave strokes. The shakers comes back in, then every other foot tap, then all four.

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Track 18. Rumba Clave Groove Fast Tempo
Lesson Length: 6:34 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. At this tempo, the sixteenth note counting works best, so that is in briefly at the beginning. 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, leaving Clave only for a few cycles. I bring the four pulse back in and I count it a couple of times, so you tell where beat One is, then I bring back the sixteenth note very briefly, so you can check yourself.

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Track 20. AbaCua Clave Groove Slow

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Track 21. AbaCua Clave Groove Medium Tempo
Lesson Length: 3:00 min
AbaCua Clave medium tempo. This time I play the AbaCua Clave pattern at a moderate speed, with at shaker holding the groove and foot taps on the four pulse. I softly count the six beat cycle, then briefly switch to triplet counting without the foot taps. I fade the counting away, the shaker keeps going with just the Clave hits. Then I bring back every other foot tap, drop the shaker, so you hear just the Clave hits with every other foot tap. Next I drop the foot tap, keep the shaker, and quietly count the triplets a few cycles. I count the four pulse few times before the track ends. All these elements fading in and out help you keep stable and check yourself with this most mysterious Clave pattern.

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Track 22. AbaCua Clave Groove Fast Tempo
Lesson Length: 2:37 min
AbaCua Clave fast tempo. This track follows the same format at a faster tempo. Clave starts, I softly count the six beat cycle, then briefly switch to triplet counting with the foot taps. The foot taps drop out, the shaker keeps going with just the Clave hits. Then I bring back every other foot tap, I count the four pulse, drop the shaker, keep the Clave hits with every other foot tap. I briefly count the triplets again before the track ends.

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Clave Consciousness v2-RumbaClave-Kim Atkinson Percussionist

Clave Consciousness v2-RumbaClave-Kim Atkinson Percussionist

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Lesson Length: 1:11:54 hrs

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Lesson Length: 1:11:54 hrs

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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. 2 Rumba and AbaCua Clave
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