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S&M Activities

Getting Your Hands Dirty
4 de Diciembre
Salsa and Merengue Music DJ
Lessons: Salsa
Lessons: Ear Training
Lessons: Merengue
Dance Technique
Tango Argentino
Teacher Training
AfroCuban Percussion
DJing Latin Music
Seminars: Aspects of
AfroCuban music
Materials: Lesson, Workshop, Seminar and Masterclass
Workshop: Afro-Cuban Percussion

Our starter lessons are pitched at absolute beginners with no background in music. Participants can expect to be able to play the percussion patterns that are used in the majority of today's salsa music by the end of the workshop. You should also begin to recognise different rhythm patterns, and have an improved sense of timing.

Introductory content

  • Congas
    How to play the different strokes and assembling them into the basic pattern called the tumbao moderno on one drum.
  • Bongó and Bongó bell
    Playing the different strokes and putting them together to get the basic martillo rhythm and pulse ride pattern respectively.
  • Hand Percussion: Clave, Güiro and Maracas
    Elementary patterns of son clave, slow pulse and regular upbeat rhythms respectively.

A minimum of one 1-hour session is required per instrument, although we highly recommend that there be two 1-hour sessions, spaced a week apart to allow you an opportunity to practice. Stringing all these lessons together will give rise to a maximum six-session beginners workshop, with a chance to play as a percussion ensemble at the end of it.

Opportunities for further learning are possible:

In-depth content

  • Congas
    Patterns and playing strategies on two drums.
  • Bongó
    Martillo variations and repiques (solos).
  • Hand Percussion
    Further studies on clave, guiro and maracas.
  • Timbales
    Playing on shells skins and bells; cueing sections.

These lessons can take the form of one-hour stand-alone sessons, or a longer workshop format if a theme requires extended development. A complete range of options are available to suit your leaning needs.


1999 Salsa & Merengue Society