ONE OF MY FAVORITE GROOVES!
i found this on an old sexteto habanero recording. Probably one of the earliest (if not THE earliest ) examples of recorded abakwa music--and recorded in a completely nontraditional format --the sexteto. Abakwa is normally percussion and voices only.
This is pattern is very similar to the 6/8 "palitos" pattern pplayed in rumba COLUMBIA and abakwa.
Note: this pattern is kind of a musical palindrome---the second measure (in 6/8) is the mirror image of the first measure--in other words , the 1st and 4th Beats are The same, and the 2nd and 3rd beats are the same.
this is an exercise do help develop independence , while playing in 6/8 meter. Abakwa is an Afro-Cuban folkloric style found mainly in havana and matanzas. The top line (i suggest playing this with your dominant hand), is a part traditionally played on the erkundi, a pair of woven shakers very similar to the Brazilian caxixi. Sometimes this part is played on a wood block, or piece of bamboo ("guagua", "catá", etc.).
The four different patterns on the bottom line are loosely based on a variation played by the cowbell. The bell , known as Ekon in abakwa music, would normally play what is sometimes called "6/8 rumba clave" en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:6-8_clave_-B.png.
The two bell patterns shown in measures 1&2 , and 3&4 are the most common ones used in actual abakwa music. In my recent research the pattern in measures 3 & 4 seems to be the "correct " bell variation; it is the only variation I was able to find in various examples of abakwa music recorded in Cuba on YouTube and elsewhere. The pattern in measures 1&2 , which starts on the downbeat, is often played and taught in New York but I'm not sure if it is currently played that way in Cuba.
Each of the four patterns on the bottom line should be repeated until you are comfortable. Then try switching between patterns, switching hands, etc...
video coming soon...
here is one great resource on the abakwa rythym :
At least 7 gigs booked this month--4 at havana central in Edison NJ with QUimbombo, another with consumata, yesterday with #sambanovo in coney island