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
|Ay, how lonely I am
Only death waits for me
Ay, how lonely I am
When will my luck change?
Alone, with my pain
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!