Finding “One” in Salsa Music

November 20th, 2012

As a Salsa dancer, you may find some songs easier to dance, while other songs can be trickier in figuring out the rhythm and finding the “1″. Luckily, our partner Don Baarns is here to Help! You will find some very useful tips in the instructional video series Don recorded for you called “Finding 1″.

The first video serves as a quick introduction to the topic of “Finding 1″, using the POV (Point of View) method developed by Don. This method focuses on three main components which define his approach: Phrase, One and Verify.

The second video takes a popular Salsa song from the sound track of the movie “Dirty Dancing – Havana Nights” and shows you how to break it down using the POV method, giving you some exercise to train your brain for finding 1.

Curious to know more about the POV method? Just go ahead and watch these free videos from Don. Then you will be able to practice with our unique Visual Salsa Online widget, with the very same song Don used in his second video. You will be able to watch the basic salsa step synchronized to the music, and then test yourself to get immediate feedback how good you are doing.

Let’s start!

Learn

Part 1 – Intro:

Part2 – Analyzing the Song “Do You Only Wanna Dance”:

Don spends great amounts of time and money providing your these instructional videos for free. If you found them useful, you may wish to go ahead and give your donation: Don Baarn’s Donation Page.

Practice

The following widget will let you practice and test yourself with the song used in the second video, “Do You Only Wanna Dance” by Julio Daivel’s Big Band. Just press the Play button on the youtube video to get the shoes start moving to the rhythm, then try your luck in the “Test Yourself” tab to see how good you are doing.

Don’t worry if you don’t get the timing for this song on the first try – this is not an easy song! Come back to practice until you are happy with your progress.

Final Words

Did you like Don’s videos? Please leave a comment and let us know. Also, we are here to answer any question you may have. If you liked the Visual Salsa Online widget, you may wish to consider purchasing a monthly package, which gives you 30 songs to practice with, one per day. Visit Visual Salsa Online Purchase Page for a discounted price!

.

Free Salsa Musicality Intro Lesson

August 19th, 2012

Thanks to our friends from SalsaLessons.tv you can enjoy a free instructional video about Salsa Musicality. You will learn how to listen to the basic rhythms, take advantage of the melodic patterns for finding the “1″ and how to synchronize your movements to the music. You will also be introduced to the Clave rhythm, and get a taste of additional Latin music styles, such as Cha Cha, Merengue and Bachata.

In addition to the video, you will also find here a widget for practicing with the songs from the video, so you can apply what you learn immediately and then test yourself to see how good you are doing. We recommend first watching the video, and then practicing with the widget below. Have fun!

Watch the Lesson

Get Adobe Flash Player to watch this video.

Practice Your Timing

The widgets below will let you practice and test yourself with twp songs from the lesson, “Acid” and “Otra Oportunidad”. The music tracks come from youtube, so please hit the youtube “play” button to get the widget going. You will then be able to switch between 4 tabs where you can see the On-1 dance steps, On-2 dance steps, visualize the Clave rhythm, and finally test your ability to find the “1″.

Ray Baretto – Acid

Jimmy Bosch – Otra Oportunidad

Learn More & Practice More

Did you enjoy the instructional video? You can find more many on SalsaLessons.tv. Some are free, others are available for paying members, go ahead and check them out.

Do you want to practice with additional songs? Try our new Online Visual Salsa widget where you can choose from a selection of more than one hundred songs to practice with and then test yourself.

Brian Michael: A new cooperation is born!

July 26th, 2012

We always look for new ways to bring the Salsa rhythm to you. You first had the Salsa Beat Machine, then the Rhythm & Timing videos and now also Visual Salsa.

Today we took an important step in bringing a better Salsa learning experience to you. Cooperating with the Salsa singer Brian Michael, we will now be able to create more content for you using his songs and music.

Start Enjoying it Now, Free

Starting from today, you will get 3 free songs to practice with when you download
the free Visual Salsa Software. Brian will be working with us to give you ever more free songs for practicing in the future.

We even have plans for mobile (Android, iPhone, iPad) apps that will let you practice your rhythmicity on the go. But first, we are eager to get your feedback on Visual Salsa, so go ahead, download and install it, and let us know how we can make it even better for you.

Who is Brian?

Becoming a recognized Salsa singer is hard for most people. Even for those who get to sing occasionally, building a career out of Salsa music is far from trivial. For Brian, it was even more challenging, as you will read in the following paragraphs.

Brian Michal with composer Isidro Infante and the studio engineer

The Tough Start

Baby Brian

Brian was born and raised in Illinois. At the age of 15 years he moved to Puerto Rico. His Spanish was not his strong point, and he had a tough time making friends. He was more of a loner, not being accepted by neither the Puerto Ricans nor the the migrant Puerto Ricans group.

Surprisingly, something positive came out of this situation: He began spending more and more time experimenting with music, connecting to his roots through the study of Latin music. Despite being shy, soft-spoken and the individualist kind of person, he managed to find friends amongst the local singers and dancers, who shared the same passion for music. He had a common language with them.

Thanks to the support of his mother, Angie, he decided to face the challenges and stick with his dream. But the challenges were many, and he had to face doors shut in front of his face, rejections and criticism. Record labels and producers preferred to go with native singers, which they considered less risky.

When The Hard Work Ultimately Pays Off…

Eventually Brian’s persistence paid off. After competing in talent shows and auditions all over the country, he finally started gaining some recognition. Winning a first prize was a major leap for Brian, also leading to his appearance on local TV shows and having his songs played on Puerto Rican radio stations.

Appearing on “Voces en Funcion“, a famous Puerto Rican talent show, was a major milestone in his career. This gave him the drive to participate in many other talent shows, as he returned to Illinois, including American Idol, Star Search, Chicago Idol, Objetivo Fama and Gigantes del Manana.

By 2008 Brian was finally ready to record his dream record, bearing his name and featuring his vocals, for which he teamed up with legendary producer Isidro Infante. Isidro, who has worked with Celia Cruz, Fania All Stars, La India, and so many others, helped Brian bring his vision to life, incorporating several Latin genres into his album.

Nowadays, Brian is in a state of joy and accomplishment, having reached many dreams and goals. He has opened for some of Latin music’s biggest artists, such as El Gran Combo, Xtreme, Tito Nieves and Bachata Hietz. He has been played on many international radio and television stations, such as La Mega, Rumba, Hard Salsa, Echale Salsita, Univision, Telemundo and Wapa TV. Brian’s music has reached many people all over the world, and he is currently working on two new singles that will be released some time in the late summer.

Brian at the Latin Grammy Street Party

Final Words and Thanks

We are very excited about working together with Brian, and hope that you will like listening and dancing to Brian’s music as much as we did.

This cooperation would not have been possible without the help of Irene Ayala, Brian’s personal manager, who have done wonderful job in making the connection, handling the legal stuff and opening our mind to this opportunity.

You can listen to Brian’s music on his website, http://www.brianmichaelonline.com/.

Visual Salsa: A new way of feeling the Rhythm

July 10th, 2012

Do you like Salsa music?

Would you want to understand it better, truly express it in your dancing,
feeling the rhythm just like a native born dancer, without having to think about it all the time?

We hope you do, and are working on making it possible for you. We want you to be a part of a new, online Salsa Rhythm course we are creating, experimenting with new ways of rapidly mastering Salsa music. You will help us to custom tailor the course in the way which will work best for you.

Starting small, with a simple widget that will take you through a Salsa song and show you the basic footsteps (whether you are On-1 dancer, On-2 dancer, or interested in both), synchronized with the music and following it. The idea behind this method is to present the sense of repetitive musical patterns in a way other than simply counting numbers. Maybe it will work better for you, who knows? Let’s try!

Go ahead, Try it

The song you will begin with is called “Viva La Esperanza” from “Salsa Kids”. To start, simply hit the blue “play” button on the widget below:

Did you like this widget? Did you find it fun?

We love to hear your feedback. We will be creating additional widgets and similar content in the coming days, and publish them here, in our blog. Please, do leave your feedback – whether positive, negative, or any questions you may have – we want to learn from you what works best, improve and build the most effective Salsa Rhythm course for you.

You can either leave a comment below, use our Facebook page or send us a mail to support@salsarhythmsoftware.com if you wish. We read and answer every mail!

Special thanks to Gadi Evron and John “salseroblanko” for their ideas of creating this widget and publishing it in this blog.

If you would like to help too, contact us and we will give you the complete instructions how you can embed this HTML widget in your own website :) Happy dancing!

Like Latin Music and Michael Jackson? You are going to like this!

July 2nd, 2012

If you are reading this blog, you probably like Latin music. Do you know who Michael Jackson is? I bet you do, and you are likely to know some of his songs. But how do the two connect together? You are going to find out in a minute.

Tony Succar, a long-time fan of Michael Jackson and a musician, has joined forces with top-notch Latin musicians to create an homage album to a Jackson. What began as an ambitious kickstarter project, is now becoming a complete music album, covering many of Jackson’s songs with Salsa feeling and Latin style.

Tony Sucar

Tony’s dream is to reach many people with Jackon’s message of Unity and peace.

You may be surprised to find out that the whole project began without any funding nor connections. Two years forward, the album is nearly complete with artists like Tito Nieves, La India participating, as well as many other recognized named in the Latin music industry. In Tony’s own words – “It’s amazing how all of this happened, it was like a movie! I didn’t have the funds to do it, nor the connections, the people…”.

Tito Nieves

Tito Nieves, singing while recording the “Unity” album

Watch the Trailer, Get Inspired

Anticipating the full album release, you can get a little taste of the creative process in the official trailer:



Final words

We hope you enjoyed the introduction with this exciting project. “Unity” is still very young, and I am sure the talented people behind the album will continue to create for us amazing beats we can enjoy on the dance floor. We will keep updating you about this project and the upcoming album release.

You can learn more about the project by visiting the official blog:
http://unitylatintribute.com/blog/

Do you like the idea of giving a Latin twist to Jackson music? Do you find this project exciting? Leave a comment and let us know!

Percussion Section of “Unity”: playing Timables, Congas, Güiro and a Bell

La India, Singing during the production of Unity

Horn Section of “Unity”, featuring two trumpets and two trombones

Download Salsa Rhythm for Android

March 9th, 2012

Now available: Salsa Rhythm 1.0 for the Android

10 different kinds of instruments, more than 60 musical patterns and thousands of possible combinations are available in the new Salsa Rhythm application for Android.

Following 6 months of development and beta-testing, the new version is now available from the Android Market for a discounted price of 1.49$. Bringing the lively Latin rhythms directly to your phone or tablet Android device, the application is perfect for practicing your timing both for On-1 and On-2/New York style Salsa dancers.

Download Salsa Rhythm for AndroidDownload Salsa Rhythm for Android

This new release is an amazing collaborative effort of many people around the world who participated in the beta-testing stage and helped to shape the final form of the application by sending us their valuable feedback:

Salsa Beat Machine on Android

  • Isaac OLEG, France
  • Gilad Ofir, Israel
  • Darren Sharman, Germany
  • Nuno Lopes, Portugal
  • Simon Fung, Hong Kong
  • Lesdy Lopez, USA
  • Tolga Cag, Turkey
  • Michael Sverdlin, Israel
  • Jami Josephson (learn2salsa.com), NY
  • Juan C. Pastor, Spain
  • Joel Martinez, Florida
  • Aydin Karakut, Belgium
  • LearningWarrior, USA

Download Salsa Rhythm for AndroidDownload Salsa Rhythm for Android

What do you think about the new release? Which features would you like to see in the next version? Share your thoughts with us below, in the comments section.

Salsa Rhythm for Android goes beta !

December 28th, 2011

Salsa Rhythm for Android is finally here! Announced today, the first beta version will be distributed to 50 selected users for evaluating and collecting feedback.

This journey has began back in January 2010, when the first line of the source code was written. Back then, the iPhone platform was more popular than Android by far, so we have put our efforts in completing the iPhone version first. Today, nearly 2 years after the first seed, this source code has grown into a fully functional Salsa Rhythm application.

The new application will be tested in the following month, and then will be released to the Android Market, after making some changes and adjustments, based on the community feedback.

Interested? Find additional screen shots and information on our community google group, where you can follow development of the beta version, discuss it and help us make it better:

Salsa Music for the New Year and XMAS

December 9th, 2011

A new year is coming, and what’s the best way to celebrate? Salsa, of course!

We have put together a compilation of New Year and Christmas Salsa music you can listen free from youtube, also several Salsa CDs you can get from Amazon. So let the fun begin!

Timing Videos

We have created several Salsa Rhythm & Timing videos for New Year songs:

Click here for the complete blog post about these songs, including lyrics, explanations and much more useful information!

Christmas Salsa Collections

For those of you who prefer purchasing CDs/Salsa Collections, here are recommended Christmas Salsa collections on Amazon, all are available for 10$USD or less. A great Christmas gift for yourself or friends who dance:


Feliz Navidad
Hector Lavoe, Yomo Toro & Daniel Santos

Asi Es Nuestra Navidad
Gilberto Santa Rosa & El Gran Combo

Ponle Salsa A Tu Navidad
Orquesta Tabaco Y Ron

Additional songs

What’s your favorite new year Salsa song? Leave a comment & let us know!

Listen to Salsa Music online, free

December 3rd, 2011

While listening to a variety of songs and musical styles is essential for developing your musicality, many dancers don’t know where to find new sources of Salsa music. One of the easiest ways to discover new songs is by listening to an online Salsa radio station. For example, you could listen to the broadcast while working or doing your homework. When you hear a new tune that you like, you just write down the name and the name of the artist, and later obtain that track.

So where to start? We have collected a few links to quality online Salsa radio stations, run by professional Salsa DJs who also play in parties. Some of these radio stations also have live shows:

Radio Candela

The first station is the new kid in town. Launched just a few months ago, run by DJ Nrike from Stockholm, Sweden (and originally from Cuba), the Radio Candela station plays a hot mixture of Salsa, Reggeaton, Bachata and other latin music styles.

Salsa Picante

Hosted on Live365, this station has more than 5 years of broadcasting in its record. This station mainly plays new songs and is a great channel for discovery of recent releases. In the station’s web page you will find links to additional Salsa stations hosted on Live365, as well as and option for free listening:

Note: Live365 also offer a VIP package, free of advertisements, with desktop software & mobile application so you can listen on-the-go. If you want additional details, Click Here for 25% off the regular price.

Radio La Zeta

Based in Bogotá, radio La Zeta broadcasts Salsa music 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This station plays music most of the time, but they have occasional talk shows too, which can be very interesting if you are a Spanish speaker. This radio is broadcasted over the air in the area of Bogota, Colombia, but there is also a link for listening to the broadcast online:

Do you know any additional quality Salsa radio not listed here? Write a comment below and we will review it and add it to the list.

We wish you best time listening to your favorite Salsa music online, free!

I perfer dancing…

November 29th, 2011

We asked our facebook users which style of Salsa they love to dance. While Cuban Salsa took the lead, we could also see the Mambo style just a little behind, leaving the L.A. style and the Romantic Salsa genre far behind. The most surprising finding is that nobody chose the “Mixed” option – it seems like every dancer got his preferred style, and there is nobody who prefers just a little bit of everything.

To make the survey more interesting, we gave the dancers to add their own answer. While we spotted many non-salsa styles in the  answer list, such as Cha Cha and Tango Argentino, it seems like Bachata is the most popular foreign style amongst Salsa dancers. However, Merengue, the other genre from the Dominican Republic, was not mentioned even once!

Here are the complete results of the survey, with just over 180 participants:

Which is your preferred style? Let us know in the comments section below…