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Jimmy Branly -The New Method for Afro-Cuban Drumming

Jimmy Branly -The New Method for Afro-Cuban Drumming

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Published by: Matias Recharte on May 17, 2012
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About the Author
J
immy Branly, born in Havana, Cuba, has played with AfroCuban greats such as Cuarto Espacio, Hernan Lopez, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Issac Delgado, and NG La Banda. In the United States he has performed with the Sheila E. band, the L.A. Latin Jazz All-Star Big Band, Bill Wolfer (Mamborama), Russell Ferrante, Jimmy Hasllp, the Sandro Albert Quintet, Airto Moreira and Flora Purim, the Carlos Cuevas Trio, the Brandon Fields Group, Otmaro Ruiz, Luis Conte, Mike Turre, Raul Malo, Celia Cruz, Bayalo, Tito Nieves, Albita Rodriguez, Strunz and Farah, Susie Hansen, Rebecca Mauleon, and his own Jimmy Branly Band. Jimmy endorses Yamaha drums and hardware, Zildjian cymbals and sticks, Remo heads, and LP percussion.

Acknowledgments
want to thank all of the great musicians who helped and influenced me in the music scene back in Cuba: Daniel Peraza (the one who made me switch from sports to music), Enrique Pia (from Irakere, and one of my great drum teachers), Omar Hernandez, Hernan Lopez Nussa, Fernando Calveiro, jose Luis "EI Tosco" (NG La Banda). Issac Delgado. Charly Flores, and the late, great "Yulo." My first classical percussion teacher, Arnoldo. The teacher of all of us living outside Cuba, Roberto Concepcion (ha, ha, ha). Ernesto Simpson, Geraldo Piloto (a great drummer and composer from the group Klimax), Gonzalo Rubalcaba (for teaching me how to play soft), Felipe Cabrera. All my love goes to my mother and my big and beautiful family for their love and support in my career. Here in the United States everything changes for Cubans. There are many other types of music and concepts that make us understand the world in a different way. Back in Cuba we had all day to play music and practice. Now we have other responsibilities besides music, and it is beautiful to see a future you can build on your own. There are many great musicians back in Cuba, real talent that no one knows, my best wishes for them. Thanks to all the great drummers in the Uni,ted States, musicians that influenced me back then and now, such as: Neil Peart (the first drummer ilever heard), Ringo Starr, Elvin jones, Dennis Chambers, Buddy Rich, Tony Williams, Vinnie Colaiuta, Ian Pace, jeff "Tain" Watts, Horacio "EI Negro" Hernandez, Bill Stewart, Gregg Bissonette, Ignacio Berroa, and many others. Thanks to Chuck Silverman and Terry O'Mahoney for their support back in Cuba and here in the United States. Thanks to Joe Testa at Yamaha for their great drums and hardware, Kirsten Matt at Zildjian for their cymbals and sticks, Matt Connors at Remo heads, and Martin Cohen at LP. I espedally want to thank my beautiful wife Alondra for her love and! support. My special thanks to Neftaly Gonzales, who worked with me on this book night and day. With all my heart, thanks to Rob Wallis, Paul Siegel, and Hudson Music.
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The Cascara 3.er 6-ldeas for Soloing Chapter 7-G1uaguanco Cha Cha Chapter8-Cha Chap. e.... ee ...' ..'..ter9-Afr.. ••••••••••••••••••• IN.'.••••••••••••••••• 4 5 5 6 Worlds of Adv'ic.. . '...5 2'7 29 5-The Bongo Belll Bass Drum Combinatlens Chapt.. .otat'ion Key Chapter iiiiii I The Cilave .'.o-Cu ban 6/8 .'.The Bombo INote 4-Hi-!HatVari.'.'......•••••..'..•• 3 ...•'..•'..'..' Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter 2.e ••••••••••••••••• '••'••'•• Technique 'Tiips.Table Of Contents lntroductlon .. '. ..ations 1 8 '9 11 16 19 21 2..' •••'•••••••••••••••••7 •••'. .

Sometimes it's the people you're playing with who will direct where the clave is going to be. The New . Don't worry about names. Each one has a particular voice and concept. This book and my playing represent a fusion of all these styles. don't take it too personally or too seriously. If you don't feel the clave in the right place. It can be musically and rhythmically dangerous if you don't interpret the clave in the right way. Example 58 in the book is a combination of bass drum patterns that fit with the clave.Method for Afro-Cuban Drumming is for all drummers who do not necessarily want to learn the authentic way of Cuban -style drumming but more a fusion of these styles.Introduction W elcome to The New Method for Afro-Cuban Drumming. take too seriously. All of these examples will work perfectly with almost any bass or piano turnbao. The concept of The New Method for Afro-Cuban Drumming is to help you modernize Afro-Cuban styles and fuse them into your own style. Then it is your responsibility to make them sound good. don't force it. Many times you will share the stage with musicians who don't know the style as well as you do. This has been done to emphasize the musical fact that the rhythmic patterns work well with both daves. 4 . Please remember that this is only my way of playing. Every example you will read and listen to (all exercises are recorded) is taken from my little box of experiences which I brought from Cuba. I hope that my style and concepts help to answer some of your questions. That being said. mambo). Make sure you play musically when you are performing these patterns. Cubans and non-Cubans. Within this book you may find patterns you recognize and others that you do not.. Jazz has helped me to think more musically. find. who play these styles amazingly. What is the right way? You can answer this question yourself if you listen to music and dedicate some time to analyzing the styles of Cuban music. There are many other drummers. Practice all of the examples in a variety of ways. songo. inspired by being in the United States. read them from the end to the beginning. My concept came primarily from listening to jazz. and learning so much from the musicians with whom I've performed. Play them "as is. You'll find that there are not many names or styles mentioned (i. Clave is a word and concept that most drummers.You can use this example in many different ways. Just learn the examples and add them to your own concept of playing drums. This is what I will share with you as well. and make up your own combinations and phrases. But. and this can be further helped by adding some of the bass drum examples presented in Chapter 3. In this book I've put together examples of my style of playing drum set. timba. In this book you will hear the dave change from son to rumba. The cascara pattern can sometimes do the job of the clave rhythm by itself (without the need to state the clave). I find myself playing a bit differently from when I first arrived. The Cuban clave is very strong and it can be as beautiful as it can be ugly if not interpreted and played the right way. Then you'll be more likely to understand the clave and its role. you as the drummer are responsible for this element. Here in the United States I have been exposed to many musical concepts. I." play them as two-bar phrases.e.

There are many more ideas that can be added to these examples. Respectfully. ~~--~-'iiiI T I 5 . to salsa. Here is how I play the cowbell with the pedal when I want both the sound of the bell and the hi-hat. Just be creative. Notice that I slide the heel of the foot to the left in order to play the cowbell. and timba. Pressing the index finger onto the stick as you strike the head muffles the drum sound. musical. Jimmy Branly Technique Tips hese pictures show a technique used by many timbaleros that can also be applied to the drum set. and always respect the language and authenticity of all musical styles. These styles have been played for years by great musicians from all around the world. This is the best way to understand the concept of communication between instruments. I hope this book will help you in some way. son. Listen to every single detail of every instrument. This picture shows what you can do to any pedal that you are using to play the cowbell next to the hi-hat. Don't just listen to the drums. from Latin-jazz and straight ahead jazz. Second.~----------------------------- Words of Advice T he best advice I can give to all drummers and percussionists who really want to learn these styles is to listen to the music carefully. Take the beater on the right side of the sprocket and move it to the left side of the sprocket. without being hindered by the leg of the hi-hat stand. The same technique can be applied to the shell of the floor tom or the cowbell. this will allow the beater motion to move freely. listen to as much music as you can.

j Shell of Floor Tom . on Hi-Hat J l. on Hi-Hat (except where notated) J Mambo Ride Crash J J Floor Tom Open Hi-Hat o J o j Bell Cha Cha Belli j Hi Tom ~ Snare Ghost Note 0j Cha Cha Bell with Left Foot Rim Shot (.H.j Hi Hat Clicks with Left Foot Bass Drum J Open tone on the Snare Drum (snares off) 0J J J J II 6 .Notation Key R.H.

1* J 4.The clave is a binary rhythmic pattern that serves as a foundation for the polyrhythms that are played over it.. In rumba clave there is a beat displacement of an eighth-note on the 3rd beat of the 3 side.hap_er I The Clave norder t.2-3 Rumba Clave j * IJ ~ II lSJ· JJ IJ Bell: I JJ I IJ ~ J£ J .of t~e examples presented ilnthis book relate to Afro-Cuban drumming. we will start with the clave. understand how all. and one measure of two beats (known as the 2 side). In this two-bar pattern there is one measure of three beats (known as the 3 side). I 1* J J 2. The clave can start on either side as shown in these two examples of son clave.o. 2-3 Son Clave I IJ JJ IJ I£ JJ* 1£) J :11 B BII: 1 j J I IJ 4tJ J 1£ * :11 These next two variations of the clave are called rumba clave. 11 * ltJ· b ~I :11 7 .

ells of the timbale d:ums. > > :11 :11 8 . > N - Ji J I n.JlJ > > 1 J D.The dave overdubs are two cycles of son clave followed by two cycles of rumba clave.Cascara literally means "s~ell" as it refers to the sh. In Afro-Cuban music the cascara is usually played during the verses and piano solos as it precedes the bell pattern played during the coros (chorus sections). let's add the cascara rhythm over ~t.. > Ji. It ISthe syncopated rhythmic pattern played by the tirnbalero. M~re important.JiJ > > > I ri.hlpter 2 The Cascara ow that we have an understanding of how the clave sounds.r. .These next examples demonstrate some grooves utiliz'ingcascara in 2-3 clave. the dosed hi-hat is used as a substitute for the shell sound (although the shell of the floor tom can be used as well).When playing the cascara pattern on the drum set.

a rhythm fits over th~ dave. process ISto add the bass drum. The following examples are cascara patterns utilizing the bass drum to play the bombo note along with some variations. also known as conga. The bass drum pattern IS based on the bombo note.hap_er i The Bombo Note w that ~e've seen how the cascar. O.The roots of the bombo are found in comparsa music. In relation to the clave the bombo note is the second hit of the 3 side. the next step in t. but it can be played on the 2 side as well. N Bombo note on both sides of the clave: 9 .hiSlear~ing. which IS the "and" of beat 2.

I ~ ~ :11 10 . .o ell: ~gndJ.I~> ~6..J J J J § > > I J J.. J 3 J J J ~ ~ > » i in£] J J J J J J J j J~ijJJ > > > > » I~ § .

the left hand can play ghost notes. or a combination of both as in example 6.hap_er. As in the other examples in this book.. rim shots.. JJlJJ~~ > > > > > J . using a maraca pattern add's variation to the cascara pattern. Hi-Hat Variations s state . > I I I fJ J J~ JJ > > > I lJJ ~ ~ > rp > :11 11 .g d' .. '5 Dell: J fJ JJ. earlier.verses and certain solo situations. The next four examples show the maraca pattern on a closed hi-hat using alternate sticking. G:Iii ).Within these examples. the cascara pattern is usually pl'ayed'durin. variations of the bombo note are applied. However. A 3»3> >3»3> >3> >3> >3»3> The following examples add the left hand.

l J J . CE:JiiJnJnJnJnJnJnJnJn B ell: I I ~ 10. The pattern is played on a closed hi-hat and later adds variations of the bombo note. I :11 12 .l J J .1] J J J J J .. . > 8 ell: J 7.J.J ] J J J J ] J J .I ~ ~6.l J J J J ] J j ...J.J ] J > > > > > > > > > >.1J ] J > > > » > > > > >I"""""!->"'I""""'I I I I :11 Examples 10-17 use a part of the bongo bell pattern that will be discussed later.p ] J J ] J J PJ ..p J .._>~ I I I :11 8 IIII: j > 1]J J ] J J .

> Bell: J : ~> '19.In examples 18-21 the bass drum is played on beats 3 and 4 of each measure. ~ ) 18. Doing so creates a rhythm dominant in a more recent style of Afro-Cuban music known as timba. Bell:J n a f? J n a r J n a f* J nay :11 Jn) Vlnna [:11 na Hlnn) [I > > > > > -> > I I I > > > > > > > 13 .

:11 14 . I ~: J 13J J J j J. these next examples add the lett hand. they still act as an important part of the groove.When the left hand is in cross-stick position.l j J J ]J j J ijJ J J d J . The ghost notes are placed in such a way that they set up snare strikes and other hits. Keep in mind that while the ghost notes are barely heard./ While using the bongo bell pattern on the hi-hat.l d J J J J d I I I While still using the lett hand technique from the previousexamples. The lett hand uses a combination of cross-sticking and ghost notes. the ghost notes are played with the fingertips. the right hand. try using the cascara pattern with ~24.

everything learned so far plus an added hi-hat opening on beat 3 of the first 15 .Examples 28-30 incorporate and third measure.

E nj n j nj n o NNO NN jjj 1 n j r. In Afro-Cuban music.l ciJ j J ] d IS i]j J J d I j . which IS notated with an 0. .. the bombo note and variations with the left hand will be added. 1 0 NNO NN r j .l J d I j .J j P d x . n 1 :11 . IJd . and the dosed end which is also the neck of the bell.ti. the bongo bell usual1ly accom~an'i:s the timbale bell~:uring th~ coro sections as weillas the mambo sec.As in other examples. which is notated with an N.l cij j J J d :11 16 .ons: Keep in mi~d that In this pattern. 1 i]j .11 j Id Jj IJd l ! 1 til] Jl 1 j J d.J The Bongo Bell xamples 1-9 incorporate the bongo bell pattern.. the bell I'Splayed In two spots on the belli:the open end.

d j j .d. Example 9 uses the bongo bellipattern on the ride cymbal. ~ .. except where notated.. 17 ... I d > I d I I > I I :11 The torn-torn notes in the second measure are played with the left hand as are all torn-torn notes.----------------------------~~ill ru J . The B means to strike the "bell" of the cyrnbal.Pd...! JJ j'!]J d.J1 j J J j j .p d d ru j~.. d > > jl""""'l". All other cymbal strikes should be placed just underneath the bell..~J3.p j ] d j j ] J a d ru j J] d j J..! .~ 4..p j j J] d{Jd] j ]lJI. Bill ru J j J d j j JJ d j ] d] j ..

Examples 10-1 3 contain a bell variation that is similar to the timbale bell pattern. Now. add the rest of the kit using the ideas learned thus far. 18 .

l 1£ . IJ )1 t J I' J I' ¥ }I t . )1 t J l t . l IJ I' ~ J t t .) £ OJ.lI IJ IJ It JJJ . ~J nJ n OJ t J OJ OJ I J t nJ n J J :J I I' It I. OJ Ot )1 1 J IJ. --k" I' lI ~ * J Ot J t J It J 'Ji t 1£ J t J 11 J . . Jl J .lt . J lt nJ n J nJ n . lt k J J t lt k lI II ~ t 0' l J .lJ l IJ t .lt t I * 1 U I] . J0 J k J J J t k ~ I' J5 J 1 * 19 . l t .lJ J t . )i t I. The clave overdubs are in 2-3 rumba clave. )) t J £ t 1 JJJ --k" I.Bass Drum Combinations This example incorporates numerous bass drum variations played over the bongo bell pattern.

) OJ J J '}I' * • I J. J '1 ')1 £ IJ J J J IJ J j. j J. J I' J . J I')i* JJ 0' J5 Bl J I' t * JJ - JJ I' )i I 0' J . J ' J. J I' J. J ' )i JI J J IJ . l £ J I Ot t J J I. J ' Jl 0' J . j I' J . J * J IJ o J n J n IJ )i * J IJ * J *I I I J nJ n - I II - 20 .Bass Drum Combinations (cont. J JJ I<: I J IJ J 'J. '}I t 0' J. J .

JI * J J ~ :11 :11 ~5. T G:Iii Dell: I. in relation to.apter • Ideas for Soloing he following examples feature hand exercises to develop a feel for how "up beat" eighth-notes fit. Dell: J. J J J~J. 'f Ji 11 JJ JJ 1I J J . t~e left hand pla~s 3-2 rumba clave while the right ~and plays around the kit. Keep In mind that the right hand can hit any drum as long as the rhythm ISplayed as written. jhJ J! 11 JJ 'f ~ it 1 1 J £.the~e patterns.. Ji 11 JJ JJ 'f J :11 j :11 Jlt J J J IJ.J iii n J "7 jJ :11 21 . All examples have four-bar intros-two clave cycles.. . J--J. In. clave.

ii' )n n ' )1 on .tUn.). 11. jh B )I )1 ! )I )1 on. J.D. ). 11' )'0 n . 11' BU i. ! t). ~. ). iii n £.CE:Jji7. In examples 8 and 9. JI1 )! stroke triplets.DIB ~ i. i. the left hand plays the clave while the right hand and right foot play the double- 22 . 11~)n n. 11' )'Od]. )1 8. n.D. J J.0 .). J(g . J\ . £1' J. ii' .0 .)~ gO n.Q n. .o . i. ill. ai' ~IJQ.pI' . )IQ. ~!]:0. J. . BI!I]. ). 1~ II! Jnn.

J J JJJ~]J 3 3 3 3 JJJ3]J 23 . J JJJ]]J ..~/ ----------------------------~11 J.. 3 3 )1. P I. J-J. )1.

11 II I II 24 . *J JJJ]JJ JJ D!J J . J J11 * J . J-J.111 1 J J.111 jJJ]]J 3 3 3 3 ./ 8J J BJ .J-J .111 *J *J JJJ]]J jJJ]]J 3 3 3 3 3 1 J L J-J J J-J.11 II J jJJJ]J 3 I!J J J-J . L J.1.

rumba cycle also consists of yamb~. 25 . The. This technique is illustrated above. The left hand is in the cross-stick position playing the clave pattern while the right hand taps out the ghost notes. and columbia.apter 1 Guaguanco uaguan~6 is one of the three main styles of rumba. Notice in the second measure of example I that the left hand comes up to allow the tone to ring.) G Notice in the first measure of example I that the left hand rests to muffle the sound. Anyone of these three styles can be fused with contemporary Afro-Cuban music but guaguanc6 seems to be the most popular choice due to its 4/4 time signature and flexibility in tempo. This technique is illustrated above. The following examples demonstrate how to incorporate the guaguanc6 rhythm on the drum set. (See photos. In the second measure the left hand lifts the stick up to allow the open tones to ring.

m . il .4.3.4.4ij ~ .~4.'3"l~ '~fll. (JfJ Ii '§u 10) j53) IJ.iE 15.iE 15 n g.g fJ91g. Also notice the tempo change to half note = 140.Q) j53) I . In example 4..Q. Bid .lU! n .J (3) (3) J '1 (Jig Ii f] ~D)j53)1 ad (3) (a) J . (3) (Jrll 'i (JfJ Ii n ID)j53)1 While maintaining the bass drum on beat 4.Qffilj .4J B ..~jJ I. : ~ '~E I"g .j]. try adding beats with the hi-hat on the I of each measure. aj]n d . "5 81!11:d .4j .4 .g .lU.4. :11 26 . 5 if] .ffi:11 Example 5 uses the cowbell played with the left foot.iE 15 . starting on the third measure. . Ie .Q.ijJ .3.J. I. :~ 81!11:j . the right hand shifts to the floor tom on the "and" of beat 2.ikjJ . .4. .4j ~ . if] OJ'l 81 J.J td) (3) J '1 (Jg I~ f].Q'ffiI1 .B .

The abanico functions as a call for the cowbells to enter. funk. With snare hits on beat 3 of every measure. I > De 1 * J 1- lid > 9 j ~ IJ 9 j ~ :11 Traditionally. abanico means "fan. Examples 1-3 use a pickup known as an abanico." because the drum roll sounds like a fan being opened. and the bass drum hitting the I.hap_er 8 Cha Cha Cha nthe I940s. however variations do apply. and bass drum hits on the bombo note. including rock. Example 3 adds the hi-hat playing four quarter notes in each measure with the left foot. and R&B. a popular Cuban style from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. To translate it literally. he created what is known today as the cha cha chaoThe next five examples incorporate the cha cha cha rhythm starting with the basic pattern.The next examples add variation to the bell as well as cross-stick rim shots. these grooves easily lend themselves to the many styles that are based on this concept. tom-tom hits. and moving to a more modern Latin-funk groove. 3. 27 .With this sound in mind.the cha cha cha bell pattern is straight quarter notes. Keep in mind that each of these examples has a one-bar intro. Also take notice of the bell pattern variation. examples 4 and 5 are the most versatile grooves as they lend themselves to a variety of genres. ~ Del 1 J J1j D j f IF NJ Id PJ f If iJ N 0 NN NNN0 N 0 N 0 o NN o NNN0 N ~ ~ :11 Other than 6/8. Cuban ViOlin. Enrique Jo~rin noticed ~ particular sound coming from the dancers' feet ist when the band got to the mambo section of a danzon.

I 28 .

Afro-Cuban 6/8 W hile examples 4 and 5 on the previous page are versatile grooves. Based on Afro-Cuban folkloric styles. n .J I J :11 ]] J Bell: J e J J > IJ J JJ Jj :11 29 .fro-Cuban 6/8 is considered the most versatile because it can be incorporated into rock. Afro Cuban 6/8 Bell Pattern J jI'"1n'"1J o gil: I o j jI I J jI '"1 n '"_j_ j j jI :11 I '"1 J I j o jI N J I jI . and jazz. shuffle. A. the 6/8 clave lies underneath the following grooves whether it is played or just felt. funk. j j '"1 j I J-j jI I '"1 j J '"1 :11 Qii 2.

only played at a faster tempo. These final examples incorporate hits on the 2nd and Sth beats of each measure. The right hand plays the 6/8 clave pattern while the left hand hits the 2nd and 5th beats./ !~ : B 9 6• "II: J d J J J31 J J J j J J I j ] j J J ] > > » IJ J Jj J J:II :11 Take note of the double stroke with the left hand in measures I and 1. I~ dJ n ~J J J ~ ~ I~ dJ n ~ I :11 :11 Example 112 listhe same as II I. I I G!:Iii 8 gil: J~J J ~ ~ 110•. :11 30 .

31 . bass :11 :11 ~ ~tumbao. Short example. ~ j J J J J J d d ] j J J d~J J J J d d] ~ J J 13. :11 J d d ] j J J d J ill J J J d 3 ] ~ J J of grooves and soloing over piano.Examples 13-15 use the 6/8 bell pattern in the right hand. but full of combinations and rumba clave.

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