Originally Posted by Matty G.
Hey Chuck! I remember first seeing you at a joint clinic with Ed Shaugnessy at Long Beach State. You were great!
My question; when it comes to doing fills in latin music, such as on a songo in a latin jazz setting, what are the rules for creating phrases that expand upon the groove without destroying it? I've been playing the songo and other latin grooves for years but still have a relatively limited vocabulary when it comes to making longer phrases, fills, etc. I try to avoid playing fills that go right to '1', cause they seem too obvious. On the other hand, I don't want to play too complex, over the barline, etc. Do you have any thoughts or suggestions?
Great question...do you have a couple of years for some answers? You ask "what are the rules for creating phrases that expand upon the groove without destroying it?"
Well, there's this concept of "playing in clave" which is a key when playing Cuban music. It's not about actually playing the clave rhythm. It's more like really _knowing_ and/or _owning_ the subdivisions. Now that may seem a little "brainy" when it comes to actually playing music. So, let me say, it's a balance between a more organic approach, which translates to "feel", and the more "educated" approach when it comes to the concept of owning the subdivisions. (Is this making sense?)
A relatively easy way to begin:
1. Take the most basic of cáscara grooves and orchestrate this as a fill, perhaps ending on the last note of the "2-3" with a cymbal crash and rim shot. That would sound pretty good. (Try just the "3" part of the cáscara for a shorter pharse). Understood?
2. Here's a link to something I do and have done which is transcribe solos and then apply them to the drum set. Check this out, for inspiration:
Let me know if this helps you at all. I have a million more ideas...