Here, we have a clave in five over a chant in six. The chant nods to time spent in Cuba and Africa. I have been performing this chant (on and off) for 21 years and it still stands as one of the most challenging to date. The best way to learn this chant is to study each part separately and slowly. Of course, this is the mantra by now. First, the five clave takes eight times to meet the top of the drum chant in six. The drum chant in six takes five times to meet the top of the five clave. The hat keeps every downbeat in six. Written in 6/8, the whole chant is 20 bars. So that’s three ways of understanding this. As far as the drumming, the challenging parts start at the seventh time of the five clave. This happens at bar 16. Specifically with the snare and clave played together. It will take some time for you to work out the spacing and sticking required to pull it all off smoothly. Have fun!
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