He said she said part 2

Welcome to our next workshop. Here we continue exploring the call and response (macho – hembra) phrasing concepts that we discussed in the last post. It is essential that you have the ability to hear and create call and response phrases, and that they flow in that magical deep pocket that lies in between “2 and 6” – You develop that by studying these phrases using the RTS concept. If you are not familiar with the RTS concept, please take advantage of the internet and check out my RTS video. On my youtube page.

The call and response concept is an absolute “must have” in your playing arsenal. Your compositional skills will be maxed out when playing Latin music. Deep rhythmic vocabulary should be like a game to you.  Without a constant and free flow of vocabulary your playing will sound stale and stagnant. Whether you are comping, playing a groove or soloing, the improvisational nature of the music will eventually demand that you create a phrasing that has a beautiful, loose, loping and forward moving texture. As opposed to a drum machine like repetitive loop.

If you have been following our progress here, some of our exercises might seem familiar. We have covered them in the past, but now we are applying melodic variations (call and response) using the RTS concept. So lets get right down to it!

Exercises 1-6 are meant to get your hands moving around the kit while playing our now familiar ostinatos in 6/8. 1-3 with single accent phrases and 4-6 with double accents. Be mindful of the sticking and notice the movement you will have to make to get back to the snare from the toms especially in ex’s 4, 5 and 6.

In exercises 7 and 8 the basic phrase is a one bar cycle but…the melodic phrase cycles out at 2 bars. That means you must play 2 bars for the high tom to start at the beginning of the phrase again.  It will be very clear once you play the exercises.

Exercises 9-11 are 2 bar cycles and the melody on the toms outlines the cycle.

All of these exercises are played with the melody going from the high tom to the mid tom. You should try them also starting from the mid tom. Reversing the melody.

These subtly distinctions are very useful and are extremely important in order to develop a good sense of where the “1” is.  In fact, this is one of the biggest challenges in this music for the westernized player.  Maintaining compositional cohesion in phrasing over a time line structure (clave). In other words, loosing the clave and not being able to tell where “1” is. In our next workshop I will explain in full what clave is exactly and how to understand it. As always please drop me a line if you have any questions.

Download the exercises

He said she said part 2

Toca con sabor!

Phil Maturano


Leave a Comment