Musicality: Learning to Play the Clave Pattern

This post constitutes my first video blog, where I will be doing most of the explaining through a video (see below) and not in written form, as I’ve been doing so far.

And this video is about clave.

If you read my previous “Against Clave” post (click here), you might be wondering: Why clave? Wasn’t the conga the more helpful instrument?

Sure, in learning how to keep a beat by using modern songs where clave is implicit, it is. However, I did make a disclaimer in that piece, and that disclaimer was that, regardless of the emphasis on the conga, one should still learn how to find the clave, because even it if is not explicit, it certainly is explicit in the minds of the musicians, and the clave pattern acts as the backbone of the music.

So this post will be about the clave, and specifically about how to play it—not how to find it, per se. I see a lot of people that attempt to play it, and often times are “off” in their timing. This video will show you how to play the basic clave pattern in a way that is consistent. If you don’t have claves at hand, not to worry: in their absence, you always have your hands so that you can clap along.

In later posts, I will show you how to play the clave to go along with the music. For now, learning the pattern and playing it consistently is a very important first step.

I hope you find the video helpful.

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