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In this lesson we will look at how you can imitate timbales using your snare drum. Every time we play a Latin American "drumkit beat", we are usually always imitating or emulating the individual parts of either a Brazilian or Cuban percussion section. We imitate the Surdo drum part of a samba rhythm by playing the Samba foot ostinato pattern, we use rimtaps to imitate the claves, the open/close hihat pattern to imitate the guiro etc. We can also imitate Timbales.

The Timbales have a high pitched, wide open sound. About the closest thing on the drumkit is playing the snare drum (with no muffling/dampening) towards the edge, with the snare strainer turned off.

Playing the snare in this fashion is particularly useful, if you are playing with a band in a Latin context, and you need to do fills or solos that are accurate to the style. But this is only half the battle, so far you have the sound. The next thing is to play actual Latin American sounding figures and ideas.

This is an entire topic of its own, but as a starting point listen to as much Latin American music as possible. Check out music from artists such as Tito Puente, The Afro Cuban All Stars, Oscar D' Leon, Hector Lavoe, Machito and his Afro-Cuban Orchestra. For more of a Latin Jazz style listen to Michel Camilo (Dave Weckl - drums), Return To Forever (led by Chick Corea, Airto Moreira on drums). Latin Jazz uses more of the improvisational elements of jazz, but still in a very much Latin American context or vein.

Notice how much of the rhythmic phrasing DOESN'T land on the beat. Quite often the notes land on the in between 8th notes and 16th notes (depending on if the music is written in Common time or double time).



The Son Clave Songo Imitating TImbales
The Rhumba Clave Reggae Cuban Percussion Instruments
Basic Samba Snare Samba - Part 1 Brazilian Percussion Instruments
Expanding Latin Beats Snare Samba - Part 2 African - Bikutsi