Cuban Music: Rumba, An Introduction

Cuban music can be broadly categorised into two groups: rumba and son. As the names suggest, rumba styles share the rumba clave in common, whereas son styles make use of the less syncopated son clave. Rumba is not one single style and the term is used to refer to three main subgenres (guaguancó, columbia, and yambú) all of which are Cuban musical styles of direct African descent. While these three subgenres are all classed as rumba, they are unique styles of music that must be approached as such. A similar parallel can be drawn with the term “pop,” which is … Read more

A Guide To Cuban Music: Instrumentation and Clave

The caribbean island of Cuba is a nation with a rich musical heritage. This is largely due to the rich diversity of its people and the vast amounts of migration that characterise its history. The mixture of indigenous peoples, Spanish settlers, and the African slaves transported across the Atlantic have given Cuban music a unique voice, a voice that has in more recent times been exported the world over. While there are many different styles of Cuban music, the majority share one thing in common: clave. Clave is at once an instrument, a specific rhythm, and a rhythmic concept that … Read more

A Guide to Drum Kit Notation for Latin Music: Bossa Nova

Bossa Nova (translated as “new wave” or “new trend”) is a style of music that became popular globally during the 1960s. While it was popular in Brazil to a lesser extent in the 50s, it wasn’t until Stan Getz and João Gilberto collaborated for their groundbreaking album Getz/Gilberto in 1963 that the style gained international recognition. At its core, bossa nova is a fusion of Brazilian samba and American jazz music. It takes the rhythmic ideas present in samba while adopting much of the harmonic and melodic vocabulary as well as the song forms of jazz music. Our previous article explored … Read more

Drums Edition: 4 Things I Wish I Could Tell My Younger Self

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Most musicians, myself included, spend a large portion of their youth practicing and playing music. We devote a lot of time and effort learning things that at the time we think are incredibly useful. But the problem is that as children or teenagers, we don’t really know which skills will be most useful in the real world of the gigging musician. What’s more, our tastes change and we might not be interested in the same music in our adult years as we were in our youth. This article will explore my personal experience with learning the … Read more

A Guide to Drum Kit Notation Folkloric Styles: Samba

In the last article, we discussed some of the reasons that many traditional folkloric musical styles don’t translate seamlessly when applying Western notation. One example I gave was Brazilian samba, which has a very unique rhythmic sway that cannot be accurately notated in the traditional Western sense. This article will look more closely at this rhythmic sway and explore some methods for learning this style of music as authentically as possible, without actually travelling to Brazil. Of course, there is no true substitute for experiencing a style of music in the environment in which it originally developed. Despite its many … Read more

Guide to Drum Kit Notation – Folk Music

Those of us who read Western Classical music notation are often guilty of assuming that it is the holy grail to musical literacy and competence, and that such notation can be universally applied to all musical styles. While Western notation is undoubtedly an incredibly versatile and adaptable form of communication, this assumption can be dangerous when trying to learn many styles of folkloric music, each with their own unique vocabulary, history, and notation. This article will explore the ways in which these styles of music are passed on, in some cases through notation and in others through aural tradition. We … Read more

Facebook Series: Live with Brendan Bache

At Liberty Park Music, a global community of music lovers drawn together, we believe in presenting our international audiences the finest assortment of music from all over the world. In this upcoming series, we are bringing a string of Facebook Live Feeds from our teachers around the globe to you. These live feeds zoom into our teacher’s perspective and expertise on music; furthermore, it gives you an early preview of how lessons are crafted for students. LPM teachers provide step-by-step instructions for easy comprehension and juicy tips on improvement techniques. Join us on this euphonious journey to understand how each … Read more

Liberty Park Music Recommends – Top 5 Drum Apps To Tryout Today

WE ARE BUSY. There are work deadlines hanging over our heads, commitments with family and friends, and don’t forget that sleeping, eating, and exercising are pretty important. Sometimes it can feel like we just don’t have time to practice our drum technique. FALSE. Our success or our failure is determined by two things: 1) how much time we put into practicing, and 2) how efficient our practice is. As busy professionals, we can’t devote hours of each day to pounding away on our drums hoping to gain the skills we need to reach our goals. Maybe you want to learn … Read more

Why & How Should I Learn to Read Drum Kit Notation

Music is a language, and like any language, it can be communicated in many different forms. As children we learned our mother tongue aurally, by listening to our parents and trying to replicate the sounds we heard. A parallel can be drawn between learning a language this way and learning music aurally. We can listen to music and try our best (with the guidance of a teacher) to play back what we hear. As children grow, we reach a certain age where it’s important to become literate in our mother tongue: to read and write. This happens when we go … Read more

Acoustic vs Electric Drum Kits

Electric drum kits have burst onto the drum kit market in a massive way. Many beginners look for electric kits when buying their first drum kit, both for their reduced volume and often smaller size. There is also a large demand for electric drum kits for drummers who play predominantly electronic music. The wide array of digital sounds available, and the ease with which sounds can be changed makes electric drum kits suitable for styles of music which require more than just a traditional drum set configuration (bass drum, snare drum, tom toms and cymbals). This article will explore the … Read more