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  #1  
Old 06-14-2017, 11:32 PM
Bilbo Bilbo is offline
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Default How to improvise Latin fills

Hi I'm preparing a piece and struggling to work out what to do to embellish a section of it. Here's a link to a YouTube video of someone playing the same piece. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhaMJx7pEy0 Between 1:27 and 1:58 I want to add some fills, but have no idea what to put in. Can anyone help ?
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  #2  
Old 06-15-2017, 12:23 AM
mikel mikel is offline
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Default Re: How to improvise Latin fills

Improvisation is just that, you play what you want to embellish the song. Get into the feel and style of the song/music. An original embellishment will always sound better than a copy. Bring something of yourself to the music dont simply do what you think is "Correct".
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Old 06-15-2017, 03:16 AM
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Seafroggys Seafroggys is offline
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Default Re: How to improvise Latin fills

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Originally Posted by mikel View Post
Improvisation is just that, you play what you want to embellish the song. Get into the feel and style of the song/music. An original embellishment will always sound better than a copy. Bring something of yourself to the music dont simply do what you think is "Correct".
Eh, I disagree, especially in the context of the learning stages. You want to be able to transcribe and copy what others do so you can learn the vocabulary. Once you gain the vocabulary, then you can improvise on your own.
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Old 06-15-2017, 05:34 AM
toddbishop toddbishop is offline
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Default Re: How to improvise Latin fills

If you're playing it the way the drummer in the video is-- like, basically as a funk piece-- try doing your usual funk fills, and see how that goes. Probably you don't want to end strongly on 1 with them-- try ending on 4, or any note of the clave rhythm, if you know what that is. You might also get out your copy of Syncopation and try some of the rhythms from pp. 33-45-- double-timed, so they feel like 16th note based rhythms-- play them as rim shots on the toms, like a timbale solo, and punctuate with cymbal+bd, or cymbal+tom or snare. The book rhythms are pretty densely written, so you'll want to add some space-- you can rest as much as you play. Try not to always start and end on the 1.

Always a good idea to find a good Cuban/Salsa/Latin book, and do a lot of listening.
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Old 06-15-2017, 09:21 AM
Bilbo Bilbo is offline
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Default Re: How to improvise Latin fills

[quote=toddbishop;1507237]You might also get out your copy of Syncopation and try some of the rhythms from pp. 33-45-- double-timed, so they feel like 16th note based rhythms-- play them as rim shots on the toms, like a timbale solo, and punctuate with cymbal+bd, or cymbal+tom or snare. The book rhythms are pretty densely written, so you'll want to add some space-- you can rest as much as you play. Try not to always start and end on the 1.

quote]

What is this book ?

Also, when you say funk fills, what do you mean ?
Sorry but I've only been playing for 4 years and some things are still a mystery to me!!
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Old 06-15-2017, 12:18 PM
mikel mikel is offline
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Default Re: How to improvise Latin fills

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Originally Posted by Seafroggys View Post
Eh, I disagree, especially in the context of the learning stages. You want to be able to transcribe and copy what others do so you can learn the vocabulary. Once you gain the vocabulary, then you can improvise on your own.
Well possibly, but that's just your way of doing it, what I posted was my way of doing it. Different strokes etc. Its music, there is no right or wrong way just the individuals way.

Improvise means to perform spontaneously without preparation.
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Old 06-16-2017, 04:03 AM
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Default Re: How to improvise Latin fills

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Well possibly, but that's just your way of doing it, what I posted was my way of doing it. Different strokes etc. Its music, there is no right or wrong way just the individuals way.

Improvise means to perform spontaneously without preparation.
And how can you perform if you don't have any idea what to play?
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Old 06-16-2017, 05:13 AM
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JustJames JustJames is offline
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Default Re: How to improvise Latin fills

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Originally Posted by mikel View Post
...
Improvise means to perform spontaneously without preparation.
But we need to be careful about what we mean about "preparation".

In conversation, I often make friends laugh out loud. (In a good way.)

That's speaking English.

And despite my scintillating wit in the English language, I know with 100% certainty that I can't achieve the same result in Finnish.

I don't speak Finnish.

Vocabulary matters.
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Old 06-16-2017, 06:38 AM
toddbishop toddbishop is offline
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Default Re: How to improvise Latin fills

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Originally Posted by Bilbo View Post
What is this book ?

Also, when you say funk fills, what do you mean ?
Sorry but I've only been playing for 4 years and some things are still a mystery to me!!
The book is Progressive Steps to Syncopation, by Ted Reed. It's sort of a library of rhythmic ideas you use on the drums in a variety of different musics. By itself it may not mean a lot to you by itself-- you should probably get with a teacher who knows how to teach it.

Funk fills would actually be just anything at all you already play as a fill. Any fills you know how to play, try them out in the context of this piece, and see how they work.
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Old 06-16-2017, 10:30 AM
mikel mikel is offline
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Default Re: How to improvise Latin fills

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Originally Posted by JustJames View Post
But we need to be careful about what we mean about "preparation".

In conversation, I often make friends laugh out loud. (In a good way.)

That's speaking English.

And despite my scintillating wit in the English language, I know with 100% certainty that I can't achieve the same result in Finnish.

I don't speak Finnish.

Vocabulary matters.
Quite. You prepare by playing the song and absorbing the genre and feel of the music. If you play drums but cant get the feel of the groove and think of something appropriate to play, with out first having to listen to exactly what someone else has played, then perhaps its not your natural instrument.

If you have copped some fills from a Latin drummer and play them, you are not strictly improvising, are you? I presume the OP was asking because he is having difficulty grasping the Latin feel and cant make his fills sit properly in the song.

Be inventive, listen to the music and play around with it. Play what feels natural, It wont always sound right but music never moves forwards unless people are prepared to make mistakes or try something different.

And music is bilingual, so its a clumsy analogy.

Last edited by mikel; 06-16-2017 at 01:27 PM.
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  #11  
Old 06-16-2017, 04:06 PM
brentcn brentcn is offline
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Default Re: How to improvise Latin fills

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Between 1:27 and 1:58 I want to add some fills, but have no idea what to put in. Can anyone help ?
In this part of the tune, part of the band plays a repeating riff (a "vamp") 8 measures. After the first two measures, more horns are added, and then another horn part is added to that. At the end of the 8 measures, there is an "ensemble figure", where the whole band plays a little fill together.

It would be okay to play a beat, and add some fills -- nothing wrong with that -- but you can also think of this part as one big fill that starts simply and gradually gets more adventurous throughout the 8 measures. So, you would be (tastefully) soloing over the vamp. There's a great book called the Drumset Soloist that deals with this skill in a variety of music styles.

When you improvise, or play rhythms from Syncopation (which you should definitely do!), keep it simple at first: only use your right hand one one or two drums, so that you're not overwhelmed or distracted by other limbs or drums. From there, create new combinations and rhythms, by using other surfaces and sounds, adding other limbs, and so on.

No matter what, at the end of your improv, remember to play the ensemble figure in unison with the band!
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  #12  
Old 06-17-2017, 03:14 AM
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Seafroggys Seafroggys is offline
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Default Re: How to improvise Latin fills

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Originally Posted by mikel View Post
Quite. You prepare by playing the song and absorbing the genre and feel of the music. If you play drums but cant get the feel of the groove and think of something appropriate to play, with out first having to listen to exactly what someone else has played, then perhaps its not your natural instrument.
Yeah I'm going to be absolutely blunt and say this statement is pure bullshit.
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  #13  
Old 06-19-2017, 12:21 PM
mikel mikel is offline
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Default Re: How to improvise Latin fills

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Yeah I'm going to be absolutely blunt and say this statement is pure bullshit.

Yep, your opinion, and unless you think you are a special case its no more valid than mine.
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Old 06-20-2017, 03:22 AM
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Seafroggys Seafroggys is offline
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Default Re: How to improvise Latin fills

Okay.

Marching band.

Your response?
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  #15  
Old 06-20-2017, 11:17 PM
mikel mikel is offline
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Default Re: How to improvise Latin fills

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Originally Posted by Seafroggys View Post
Okay.

Marching band.

Your response?
People walking, in time, playing instruments. Your point is?
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  #16  
Old 06-21-2017, 04:08 AM
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Seafroggys Seafroggys is offline
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Default Re: How to improvise Latin fills

My point is this ridiculous statement you made.

Quote:
If you play drums but cant get the feel of the groove and think of something appropriate to play, with out first having to listen to exactly what someone else has played, then perhaps its not your natural instrument.
So why don't you join a drum corps and do things your way and see how that flies?
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  #17  
Old 06-21-2017, 09:07 AM
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Tyrnox Tyrnox is offline
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Default Re: How to improvise Latin fills

Honestly I wouldn't use that video as a reference, I thought that was a rather poor interpretation of a "latin" style.

Best way to get better at improvising in a style ? Listen to the music, listen... listen.. listen.. learn to love the style and know songs by heart, then get on your drums and try and play the songs. Try and play the fills the way the drummer plays them, this will be hard because it won't be in your drumming vocabulary, but playing songs as is and putting yourself in another drummers shoes is a great way to learn new styles.
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  #18  
Old 06-21-2017, 10:38 AM
mikel mikel is offline
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Default Re: How to improvise Latin fills

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Originally Posted by Seafroggys View Post
My point is this ridiculous statement you made.



So why don't you join a drum corps and do things your way and see how that flies?
Its only ridiculous in you opinion. What you are saying then is that everyone is a natural drummer. Also, drum corps is a completely different ball game to band playing, apples and oranges. How often do drummers in drum corps improvise fills? The OP was asking how to "Improvise" latin fills.

If you are intent on making this personal here is one for you. I have played guitar off and on for 51 years, I can play lots of chords and I can, with a lot of practice, master complex songs and even solo breaks. I can copy a solo from tablature and play it. Ask me to come up with a solo at a jam night and I would pass, because I would struggle, badly. I can copy stuff but I cant express myself on the guitar and make it flow and sing. Because I am not a natural guitarist.

If I was a natural guitarist I would be able to "Improvise" a solo that was sympathetic to, and added to, the song. I cant, therefore, unlike some of my guitarist friends I am not a natural guitarist.

Now drumming, thats different. I can grasp the groove and feel of a piece of music and enhance it with rhythms and fills that are sympathetic and add interest, regardless of the genre or having heard the song before. Therefore I feel I am a natural drummer, not a great drummer, or possibly even a very good drummer, but I have a feel and an aptitude for it and I can play what jumps into my head.

Last edited by mikel; 06-21-2017 at 01:07 PM.
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