in this lesson I’ll teach you the bell pattern that forms the base of Yan Valu. This very useful pattern is used in many forms of music, you may have heard it as bass line. It is a form of the Clave rhythm when played in 12 over a main beat of 4. This pattern is similar to others used throughout the African diaspora but its unique structure could be considered the signature of many Haitian styles. It has a strong three in time of four feeling and connects with the main beat in 3 places.
In the second half of this lesson I’ll show how the bell pattern fits with Clave, the key rhythm. It is the same essential 5 clave strokes plus two others, which give it a very circular and mysterious feeling. The Clave pattern is integral to the rhythm and is your most important guide to understanding the cross rhythms and syncopations you will encounter. Make sure you lock this relationship between the bell pattern and the Clave into your mind and body.
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