Archive for the ‘General News’ Category

Free Salsa Musicality Intro Lesson

Sunday, 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!

Thursday, 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/.

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

Monday, 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

I perfer dancing…

Tuesday, 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…

Salsa Beat Machine Widget in your Website

Friday, November 18th, 2011

We are excited to announce the new Salsa Beat Machine Widget. This brand new version allows Salsa studios, dance teachers, music professors and professionals to put the Salsa Beat Machine directly in their web sites. Imagine offering all the great functionality of the Salsa Beat Machine to your visitors directly from your website, having them experiment with Salsa music and different rhythm patterns directly from within your webpages. Well, now it is possible.

Some websites are already using the Salsa Beat Machine widget in their pages, and we have several outstanding requests from others. You can see it live in the following pages:

Live Demo

Get it now

Inserting the Salsa Beat Machine widget to your webpage is as easy as pasting 2 lines of HTML code into your website. We can also provide detailed, step-by-step instructions for users of the WordPress publishing system (using a custom plugin).

We give a free usage license for the Salsa Beat Machine widget to all users who donate $20 USD or more. All donors also get their personal copy of the Salsa Rhythm Software for running on their PCs.
Upon completing your donation, just drop us a word to beatmachine@salsa4fun.co.il and let us know that you are interested in using the Salsa Beat Machine widget in your website. We will create a license key for you and send you the HTML codes for embedding the widget.

Other licensing options are also available, including custom branding and special/extended functionality version. For non-standard licensing, you will need a custom widget contract. Please contact us to for a quote.

We would love to get your feedback on the new widget and hope many web masters will find it useful.

Salsa on the Moon !

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

During their new 10-years anniversary campaign, the Google Adwords program has decided to project the address of the Salsa Beat Machine website on the moon. Well, not for real, it is only a computer-generated video, but it was still really nice to watch:

The Salsa Beat Machine website on the Moon

After watching the promotional video, I began wondering how many years will pass until a pair of astronauts will be the first to dance Salsa on the Moon. A very exotic place to dance, in my opinion.

If you had the opportunity to dance Salsa on the moon, what Salsa song would you take with you?

New Salsa Timing Video: Yo No Se Mañana

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

After publishing the last Salsa timing video, I have received requests from several users asking me to create a similar video for the song “Yo No Se Mañana” by Luis Enrique.

This time, I have decided to make the timing video more “beginner-friendly” and include moving shoes that demonstrate the basic step in On-1 timing. As with the previous video, there are annotations that highlight the musical changes and the structure of the song. The new video is available in high definition, 720p:

The lyrics:

Yo no se si tu no se si yo, Seguiremos siendo como hoy
No se si después de amanecer, vamos a sentir la misma sed
Para que pensar y suponer, no preguntes cosas que no se...
yo no se
No se donde vamos a parar, eso ya la piel nos lo dirá
Para que jurar y prometer algo que no esta en nuestro poder
Yo no se lo que es eterno, no me pidas algo que es del tiempo
coro:
Yo no se mañana, yo no se mañana,
Si estaremos juntos, si se acaba el mundo
Yo no se si soy para ti, si seras para mi
Si lleguemos a amarnos o odiarnos
Yo no se mañana, yo no se mañana,
Quien va a estar aquí...
De un café pasamos al sofá, de un botón a todo lo demás
No pusimos reglas ni reloj, aquí estamos solos tu y yo
Todo lo que ves es lo que soy, no me pidas mas de lo que doy
Nooo oooo
coro:
Yo no se mañana, yo no se mañana,
Si estaremos juntos, si se acaba el mundo
Yo no se si soy para ti, si seras para mi
Si lleguemos a amarnos o odiarnos
Yo no se mañana, yo no se mañana,
Quien va a estar aquí
Esta vida es igual a un libro
Cada pagina es, un día vivido
No tratemos de correr antes de andar
Esta noches estamos vivos
Solo este momento es realidad
Ohh No, no, no seeee
pregones:
(Yo no se mañana)
Esta vida es una ruleta que gira sin parar
(Yo no se mañana)
Yo no se si tu, yo no se si yo, como sera el final
(Yo no se mañana)
Puede ser peor, o puede ser mejor
(Yo no se mañana)
Deja que el corazón decida vida miá lo que sentimos
Mañana... yo no se
(Yo no se, yo no se mañana)
Ahora lo que vivimos es algo realmente lindo,
Quien puede saber lo que pasara mañana no hay nada escrito
(Yo no se, yo no se mañana)
Estamos solo tu y yo
Y los momentos hay que vivirlos... hay que vivirlos
(Yo no se, yo no se x2)
Yo no se mañana, yo no se mañana,
Si estaremos juntos, si se acaba el mundo
Yo no se si soy para ti, si seras para mi
Si lleguemos a amarnos o odiarnos
Yo no se mañana, yo no se mañana

Do you have any ideas or requests for the next video project? Share them in a comment below!

Apple is Fast !

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

They have just sent me a notification email to tell that Salsa Rhythm 1.3 is now being reviewed. This is only 24 hours after I have submitted the fixed version, following the bug they found yesterday in this version. Let’s cross fingers and hope they time the review will pass peacefully, and the new version will already be available tomorrow.

Salsa Rhythm App v1.3 Delayed, Rejected by Apple

Saturday, October 2nd, 2010

The release of Salsa Rhythm App v1.3 was planned for today. Unfortunately, a that bug was found during apple’s review process will cause the release to be postponed until the next week.

The bug per Apple’s description happens on iOS 4.1 in the following scenario:

1) Launch Salsa Rhythm.
2) Go to the info page by tapping on the info button in the bottom right corner.
3) Select the “Send us Feedback” button.
4) The app crashes.

Unsurprisingly, when I tested the above scenario on my device it did not crash at all, no matter how hard I tried. Since my device had iOS version 3.1.2, I realized that this was the time to upgrade to the latest version, so I went all through the upgrade process.

Even then, after upgrading to iOS 4.1 I still was not able to reproduce the bug. I went all over the code again and again trying to guess where the bug could come from. Finally, after almost an hour of scratching my head, the solution came into my mind: Perhaps the app reviewer at Apple did not have an email account configured on his iPhone device?

With that idea in mind, I deleted the mail account settings from my iPod Touch, and voila – the app crashed when clicking on “Send us Feedback” and I was finally able to reproduce the bug. Needless to say, the solution was simply adding two lines of code for displaying an error message in case the user has no mail accounts configured.

This bug existed since the very first version of the application, but it was only discovered yesterday during Apple’s  review process. In my opinion, this bug has almost no impact – in reality, who uses an iPhone/iPod touch without taking advantage of its Mail program ?

New Piano Patterns – “El Preso”

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

We have just rolled out a small update to the Salsa Beat Machine, adding new patterns from the salsa song “El Preso” from Fruko y Sus Tesos.

Despite what many beginners think, not all Salsa song are romantic songs that talk about “corazón”, “flores” and “amor”. “El Preso” serves as a great example: It’s an excellent Sasla tune, with a driving music and rhythm that makes you want to move your feet and start dancing. However, once you listen to the lyrics, you realize it’s actually a very sad piece with a really melancholic theme.

The song tells the story of a prisoner who is condemned to spend the rest of his life in a small prison cell, has nobody left in the world and has been left alone with his pain. The only thing that holds him alive is the eternal memory of his mother, and being totally hopeless he is just waiting for the day of his death, the day when he can finally join his mother.

We have translated the coro of the song for you, so you can get a feeling of what it goes like:

Ay, que solo estoy
Solo me espera la muerte
Ay, que solo estoy
¿Cuando cambiará mi suetre?

Solo, con mi pena
Solo, en mi condena

Ay, how lonely I am
Only death waits for me
Ay, how lonely I am
When will my luck change?

Alone, with my pain
Alone, with my condemnation

As you can see, this piece is one of the few songs that does it so well telling pain in music. Apart from the melancholic theme, there is also a musically interesting phenomenon in this track: Just after the coro, the piano begins to play a pattern similar to the timbalero’s cáscara. We have put this pattern in the new Salsa Beat Machine and you can look it up under the name El Preso – “Piano Cáscara” in the piano pattern list.

Finally, we are going to show you to set up the Beat Machine to play the patterns like they are in the original song:

Step 1 – Set the master key to “C” and the tempo to 220 BPM:

Step 2 – Choose “El Preso – Bassline” in the bass pattern list:

Step 3 – Choose one of the new piano patterns for “El Preso”:

And you are ready to go! You can also experiment with turning on/off the clave, timbales, guiro and other instruments. By cycling between the 3 different piano patterns and playing with other instrument settings, you can actually create a neat salsa piece of your own…

I invite you to experiment and create your own machine setting, then save it using the blue save button (it’s on the top panel, near the “Tempo” box), and post here the link to your machines. Enjoy the music!