Coro bell Independence

Welcome to the next workshop.  Although there are many books and there is much discussion about the patterns played on the bells, this is without a doubt a topic that is understood at a much deeper level when you listen to the music and take in a bit of the culture. One of the tasks you have as a drummer of these styles is to seek out and immerse yourself in the culture. Can you think of a better way to do research for your job? Go and dance and party! Hahaha.

The Coro bell or “Bongo bell” as it is also known, is one of the most important instruments in the Afro Cuban rhythm section. The bells are very important to the Latin drummer or percussionist in general, because they help to carry or generate the time in the grooves. This bell stands out because one of its main functions is to play during the chorus of a song, and it is used to support certain soloists. It is also the part that all dancers love! When people hear that bell come in, you can bet that the dance floor is going to heat up! So the drummer has to make sure that the part can be delivered with intensity and musicality. One of the main things that will help you in doing so is having your independence together.  Independence with this part is crucial to your ability to function in the rhythm section.  As we progress in our study of patterns you will see why. Again, on the Drumset, its good to remember that the time is generated from the top end of the kit, and not the bass drum and snare. That is essential knowledge if you are going to play with percussionists. In these styles of music, 95% of the time, you will be doing so. The structure of the grooves, interplay, dynamic levels and time generation are concepts that need to be very clear. How to use the Coro bell is essential knowledge.

In this section I have outlined more independence exercises, so that you can get a taste of the work. There are many more exercises…in fact way to many to analyze here in these workshops. But I am going to outline some basics and start you off from there.

Download these exercises – coro bell independence

Exercise 1) gives us 2 notes on the snare, on 1 and e of one. Then on 2 and e of 2

Exercise 2) is basically a permutation of this and moves the phrase over to the e’s and ands’.

Exercises 3) and 4) are combinations of the first 2 and a bit more difficult. You should always start off slow and build speed. These patterns can be played anywhere from tempo 80 to 130.  So make sure these exercises can be played with ease.


Have fun and see you inside my new lessons membership site.


Con Alma

Phil Maturano

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