new questions about 7 essential grooves


Hi Russell
Thank you for being so gracious to answer some of the questions I’ve had in the past.
I have another.
I play conga (not latin) and would like to know how I would approach the 7 essential grooves
  if playing along side a kit drummer?
Thanks, Rick
Hello Rick,
Depends on the style of music. First of all the kit drummer and the conquero must agree on what kind of fills they are going to do together. Things have to fit together, But before the fills you have to agree on the basic patterns that will work best for each song groove. The basic patterns are SIMPLE repetitive and predictable so that everyone does not get confused by too many notes that conflict. That is the secret to the 7 essential grooves approach. You simply have 7 musical choices; slow six beat, medium six, fast six beat, slow four beat, medium four, fast four beat, or a mix of six and four together. Everything can be simplified down to those 7 basic grooves. If you both agree on the rhythmic pattern in one of those 7 grooves then whatever you each improvise will probably fit together provided that you both support the downbeat in your playing. Listen for the groove, hit the downbeat consistently, and at first play as simple as possible until the groove is locked in and it is safe to add a fill or solo. The percussion supports and adorns the melody and does not overwhelm the melody.

Russell Buddy Helm

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