The 3/2 Son Clave

lochday

Senior Member
The 3/2 afro-cuban son clave is a great inspiration. Rockers have made great use of it in songs like Desire (U2), Magic Blue (The Who) or Women are Smarter (Greatful Dead) to name just a few. This clave is what you actually play in the famous Bo Diddley beat. It also can be used in a NOrleans fashion with the bass drum playing the clave unisono with the snare drum. Any other thoughts?
 

Garvin

Pioneer Member
Yeah there is definitely something trancendent about clave. People recognize it all over the world even if they don't even know what it is. There are claves in Ghanain and Senegalese music that we hear in all kinds of popular music, but that is even more off the radar and thus ignored for what it actually is.
 

Garvin

Pioneer Member
Caddy, you were one of those kids who didn't pay attention in school, weren't you? LOL!
 

zambizzi

Platinum Member
The clave is used in Latin rhythms and some African music...and can also be found in a lot of contemporary music :)
 

Garvin

Pioneer Member
I sort of assumed that this thread was started with the assumption that people already knew what clave is. Indeed, it is the root of all of the Afro-Cuban music we hear. Clave provides the roadmap to it all. Afro-Cuban rhythms, having their roots in Africa naturally carry elements of West African music from places like Ghana, Guinea, Senegal, Mali, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Cote D'Voire, etc... Clave can be heard in much of the traditional music of these countries as well, though not necessarily in the 4 different ways we hear it in Cuba, and the Carribean. Brazil being the closest South American country to West Africa, ended up with a bit of a different clave as well, which is most closely related to the clave you hear in Sabar drumming.

But yeah, U2 used it as well I guess. Maybe thats why Bono feels he owes so much to Africa.
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
Caddy, you were one of those kids who didn't pay attention in school, weren't you? LOL!
*wakes up*
...ugh? Huh? I'm sorry, what?
*wipes drool off of chemistry book*

...and yet I was in the top 30 students. Go figure.

The more I read about the origins of the clave, the more I realize that we drummers/modern Latin musicians have a lot of misconceptions of the tradition. It's cool that the music has morphed into a popular style, and it's influence is seen in all musical genres.

What have I listened to so far this morning that had the inferred clave in it?
Mickey's Monkey by Smokey Robinson
Swingtown by Steve Miller Band
You Wreck Me by Tom Petty
China Grove by the Doobie Brothers

Incidentally, have any of you heard the inaugural version of "I Heard it Through the Grapevine" by Gladys Knight and the Pips? It's great, and I think it has more soul than the more popular version by Marvin Gaye
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
*wakes up*
...ugh? Huh? I'm sorry, what?
*wipes drool off of chemistry book*

...and yet I was in the top 30 students. Go figure.

The more I read about the origins of the clave, the more I realize that we drummers/modern Latin musicians have a lot of misconceptions of the tradition. It's cool that the music has morphed into a popular style, and it's influence is seen in all musical genres.

What have I listened to so far this morning that had the inferred clave in it?
Mickey's Monkey by Smokey Robinson
Swingtown by Steve Miller Band
You Wreck Me by Tom Petty
China Grove by the Doobie Brothers

Incidentally, have any of you heard the inaugural version of "I Heard it Through the Grapevine" by Gladys Knight and the Pips? It's great, and I think it has more soul than the more popular version by Marvin Gaye
I think you could superimpose a 3-2 clave on many, many Western songs and it would sound fine, even if it's not already there. I have a feeling that beat goes back to when people were first making music around fires, tens of thousands of years ago.
 

lochday

Senior Member
I sort of assumed that this thread was started with the assumption that people already knew what clave is. Indeed, it is the root of all of the Afro-Cuban music we hear. Clave provides the roadmap to it all. Afro-Cuban rhythms, having their roots in Africa naturally carry elements of West African music from places like Ghana, Guinea, Senegal, Mali, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Cote D'Voire, etc... Clave can be heard in much of the traditional music of these countries as well, though not necessarily in the 4 different ways we hear it in Cuba, and the Carribean. Brazil being the closest South American country to West Africa, ended up with a bit of a different clave as well, which is most closely related to the clave you hear in Sabar drumming.

But yeah, U2 used it as well I guess. Maybe thats why Bono feels he owes so much to Africa.
Exactly.This thread is about talking about the 3/2 son clave, assuming people know it, but why not, while we're at it, talking about other ones too. Where they come from, how and where they are used, Afro-cuban clave, Brazilian, Carribean, the use of them in jazz, rock, how we can play them, etc.
PS could you explain what "Sabar drumming" is
 

Garvin

Pioneer Member
PS could you explain what "Sabar drumming" is
I'm no expert, but basically, Sabar is broadly referred to as the Senegalese style of drum and dance. The drums are played in groups like other West African music. All the drums have different names, like congas, but they are generally called Sabar. They are LOUD as hell. They used to use the rhythms to communicate between villages. You can hear them for miles. The dancing is awesome as well. There have been a bunch of Senegalese drummers who have brought Sabar out of Senegal. Doudou N'Diaye Rose is probably the most important of these guys. You can hear Sabar in Baba Maal, Yossou N'dour and some of these guys have ended up on Sting albums and the like. You might hear sabar referred to as mballax as well. Its kind of a more modern version of sabar from what I can tell. Its like a specific accompaniment. You should youtube some of this and check it out. Its some awesome drumming and it'll turn your brain inside out.
 

lochday

Senior Member
Thank you Garvin for explaining about Sabar drumming ... and danse. I'll utube it as soon as I can.
 
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