Posts Tagged ‘youtube’

Finding “One” in Salsa Music

Tuesday, 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!


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.


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

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

Thanks to our friends from 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 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.

Salsa Music for the New Year and XMAS

Friday, 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!

A great documentary about Timba in Cuba

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Our most recent Salsa Timing Video featured a Timba song. Timba is a genre of music from Cuban origin, sometimes referred to as “Cuban Salsa”.

The song we chose was “El Repartero De La Habana”, performed by Sama Y El Expreso De Oriente. You can watch the video here:

Today we bring you a documentary program about the Timba in cuba, or more specifically – “Team Cuba”. Team Cuba was formed back in 1998 by the 7 most popular bands at that time, with the mission of spreading the Cuban Timba and sharing it with the rest of the world. The following video tells their story, featuring live concert clips with many famous Timba bands, an interviews with influencers in the Timba music, including Juan Formell (“Los Van Van”), Issac Delgado, amongst many others.

Despite the quality of the recording, the story itself fascinating for anyone interested in Latin music and Cuban Timba. Watch the video and learn what Timba is directly from the makers of this high-energy dance music:

Many thanks to Michael “Che” and for TimbreMayor for sharing this great resource with us. What do you feel about Timba? Would you consider Timba as a part of Salsa or as a distinct genre? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!

Hong Kong Mambo – A new Salsa timing video

Saturday, June 11th, 2011

Getting back from a two-month vacation in South America, it’s the time for a new Salsa Timing Video. This time, Tito Puente, “The Mambo King”, with a great Mambo song.

As you can see, this video is “On-2″ (New York Style). After releasing our first On-2 video, “La Llave”, we received a lot of positive feedback, so we decided to create another one. This video also features an illustration of the Timbales patterns. You can find an explanation about these patterns in our blog post “The key to dancing Salsa On-2″:

While Tito Puente is recognized as a world-class Timbales player, and some even believe he is the best Timbales player of all times, it’s less known that he also played the Vibraphone and the Marimba. In this song, Hong Kong Mambo, you can hear his talent playing the Marimba. The marimba has a key role in the piece, playing the melody.

A few things to notice about the congas:

  1. It’s easy to notice the Slap sound of the conga drums, look for it whenever the instructor says “2″ or “6″. The first slap is at 00:07.
  2. At 03:15, the Congas improvise for 2-phrases, which can be clearly heard.


“La Llave” by Grupo Latin Vibe – The Lyrics

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Here are the lyrics for the new Timing Video, “La Llave”:

If you haven’t done so, we recommend that you read our previous blog post:
The key to dancing On-2.

The blog utilizes this song to explain the “On-2″ Salsa style (a.k.a New York / Mambo), and also explains some of the rhythmic patterns that are presented in the video.

Original Lyrics:

Se me quedó la llave, Mercedes, se me quedó la llave, Carmela
Se me quedó la llave, Juliana, se me quedó pegada en la puerta
Se me quedó la llave, Mercedes, se me quedó la llave, Carmela
Se me quedó la llave, Juliana, se me quedó pegada en la puerta
Se me quedó la llave, Mercedes, se me quedó la llave, Carmela
Se me quedó la llave, Juliana, se me quedó pegada en la puerta

Tum tum pa tum pom pom pom
¡Abre la puerta que soy yo!
Si no me abres la puerta me quedo aquí en el hondo
Tum tum pa tum pom pom pom
¡Abre la puerta que soy yo!

Te traigo un ramito de flores, Carmela, y una sopita de camarón
¡Abre la puerta que soy yo!
Tum tum pa tum pom pom pom
¡Abre la puerta que soy yo!

Y una cajita de chocolate a Mercedes, dueña de mi amor
Tum tum pa tum pom pom pom
¡Abre la puerta que soy yo!

Ay, tum tum pa tum pom pom pom
¡Ábreme la puerta, te lo ruego por favor!

Tum tum pa tum pom pom pom
¡Abre la puerta que soy yo!

¡En hora buena!

¡Mercedes, Mercedes, abre la puerta que soy yo, chica!
Aquí, tú no me venga a fastidiar más, ¿OK?
¡Vete, vete ya!

Tum tum pa tum pom pom pom…
Tum tum pa tum pom pom pom
Abre la puerta, dueña de mi corazón

Tum tum pa tum pom pom pom
Ay, prende la radiola y apaga la televisión
Tum tum pa tum pom pom pom

Y cuando entre, vamos a bailar un son

Tum tum pa tum pom pom pom
Abre la puerta, por favor!

And in favor of the non-Spanish speakers, here is the English translation:

I got the key stuck, Mercedes, I got the key stuck, Carmela
I got the key stuck, Juliana, I got it stuck in the door
I got the key stuck, Mercedes, I got the key stuck, Carmela
I got the key stuck, Juliana, I got it stuck in the door
I got the key stuck, Mercedes, I got the key stuck, Carmela
I got the key stuck, Juliana, I got it stuck in the door

Tum tum pa tum pom pom pom
Open the door, it’s me !
If you won’t open the door, I will stay here waiting
Tum tum pa tum pom pom pom
Open the door, it’s me!

I brought you a bunch of flowers, Carmela, and a shrimp soup
Open the door, it’s me!
Tum tum pa tum pom pom pom
Open the door, it’s me!

And a box of chocolate to Mercedes, owner of my love
Tum tum pa tum pom pom pom
Open the door, it’s me!

Ay, tum tum pa tum pom pom pom
Open the door, I beg you, please!

Tum tum pa tum pom pom pom
Open the door, it’s me!


Mercedes, Mercedes, open the door, it’s me, girl!
Here, you don’t come back and bother me anymore, OK?
Go, go away now!

Tum tum pa tum pom pom pom…
Tum tum pa tum pom pom pom
Open the door, owner of my love

Tum tum pa tum pom pom pom
Ay, turn on the radio and turn off the TV
Tum tum pa tum pom pom pom

And when I get in, we will dance Son (traditional Cuban dance, one of the roots of Salsa)

Tum tum pa tum pom pom pom
Open the door, please!

After reading the lyrics, what do you think this song is about? What is the story behind it?
Leave a comment and let us know!

The Key to Dancing Salsa “On-2″

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

Dancing Salsa “On-2″ is very popular amongst our users, and we have received many requests to create a Salsa timing video that illustrates the “On-2″ foot step pattern. Many dancers have trouble finding the “2″ beat and still can’t isolate the percussion patterns that accent that beat. In this timing video we will focus on the Timbales patterns, the Cáscara and the Mambo Bell, both can help you to keep in time when dancing Salsa “On-2″.

The song we chose is “La Llave” by Grupo Latin Vibe ( “La Llave” means “The Key” in Spanish, so we hope that this video will provide you the key to unlocking the “On-2″ rhythm and let you unleash your full potential on the dance floor without having to worry whether you are still in time with the music. This is also a relatively slow track (164BPM), and many Salsa dance studios play this song for practicing.

Another thing to notice about this song is the use of a Vibraphone. The vibraphone is a percussion instrument, but it’s also a chromatic one. This means that it can play all sort of notes, and is suitable for playing the melody. The instrument itself resembles a big xylophone with the bars arranged like the keys on a piano keyboard. Many Salsa groups and artists utilize the magical sound of the Virbraphone in their music. Some examples are The New Swing Sextet, La Sonora Carruseles, Louie Ramirez, Joe Cuba Sextet as well as many others.

Gropo Latin Vibe with Tommy Mattioli on the Vibraphone

Grupo Latin Vibe with Tommy Mattioli on the Vibraphone

So here we go, the new timing video:

We will now explain to you the two Timbales patterns illustrated in this video, their relation to the “Clave” pattern and how they can be used to find the “On-2″ beat.

The Cáscara Pattern

Cáscara illustrated in Gold

Cáscara in Gold

Cáscara is the Spanish word for a shell, and it is also the name of a very common timbales pattern. This pattern is played by hitting the shell of the drums with the woodstick.  It is usually played during the verses, either with one or two sticks, and has a direct relation to the Clave. The pattern itself consists of single and double-strokes, and sounds like:

Ta  TaTa  TaTa  TaTa  Ta  TaTa

Each ‘Ta‘ signifies a single stroke and ‘TaTa‘ a double-stroke. We have a single stroke, followed by 3 groups of double strokes, another single stroke, and finally a 4th group of double-strokes. The interesting thing about this pattern is that it starts on beat 2: The first ‘Ta’ in the sequence falls on the second beat of each phrase, that is the beat where the men break backwards when dancing “On-2″. To illustrate this, we will show you the cáscara pattern again, but this time also with the beat numbers:

2 & 3 & 4 & 5 & 6 & 7 & 8 & 1 &
Ta  TaTa  TaTa  TaTa  Ta  TaTa

The best thing about this pattern is that you don’t actually have to remember all these beats – once you internalize the pattern, by listening to it and memorizing how it sounds, you will be able to pick it up very easily. Then you will be able to find the “2″ beat just by listening for this pattern, and whenever you hear that the pattern repeats and a new iteration begins, you will immediately know this is the “2″ beat and that you ought to break backward with your right foot (or forward with your left foot, if you are the follower).

You can practice this pattern along with the video. All you have to do is to say it aloud (the ‘Ta’ and ‘TaTa’) following along with the timbales animation – whenever their shells highlight in gold there is a stroke of the Cáscara pattern. If you find it hard to follow, you can begin with just saying the ‘Ta’ on the 2nd beat (when the instructor voice says “2″), then you can add the first ‘TaTa’ following immediately on beat 3, and gradually add more ‘Ta’ and ‘TaTa’s until you master the complete pattern.

→ Listen to the Cáscara pattern on the Salsa Beat Machine

The Timbales Bell Pattern

Bell in Purple

Bell in Purple

The Timbales bell is usually played during the chorus and the more energetic parts of the song. In some cases, the Cáscara pattern we discussed above is also played on the timbales bell, but usually it the bell its own distinct pattern that goes as follows:

2 & 3 & 4 & 5 & 6 & 7 & 8 & 1 &
Ta  TaTaTaTa  TaTaTaTa  TaTaTa

As you can see, this pattern consists of a single, accented stoke on the 2-beat, followed by 3 groups with multiple strokes (each group consists of either 3 or 4 strokes). All you have to look for is that single, accented stroke, and when you hear it you will know you found the “2″ beat and you are dancing in time. Again, you don’t have to remember all the beats in this pattern – once you internalize the sound of this pattern you will learn to recognize it in music and you will be able to dance Salsa in On-2 timing easily.

The bell strokes are indicated in the video using a purple glow. For practicing, you can try spotting the single ‘Ta’ stroke that falls on “2″. Once you can spot is visually in the video, try closing your eyes and see if you can still spot it without the visual clues. Then you can try saying ‘Ta’ on beat 2, and gradually add additional “Ta” sequences until you will be able to read aloud the complete pattern while keeping in time with the music. After you master the bell pattern in this video, you can look for it in additional songs. “Idilio” by Willie Colon, for example, has a very clear bell pattern starting at 02:35.

→ Listen to the Timbales Bell pattern on the Salsa Beat Machine

The Clave

The Clave is a fundamental rhythmic pattern in afro-cuban music. It is usually played with two wooden stick, or by striking a special woodblock mounted on the Timbales set. We are not going to explain this pattern in detail here, but in favor of those who are already familiar with it, we provide a chart to show you how it relates to the other Timbales patterns:

2 & 3 & 4 & 5 & 6 & 7 & 8 & 1 &  <- Beats
Ta  TaTa  TaTa  TaTa  Ta  TaTa   <- Cáscara
Ta  TaTaTaTa  TaTaTaTa  TaTaTa   <- Bell
X   X       X     X     X        <- Clave Pattern

Each stroke of the Clave is represented by an ‘X’ in this chart. As you can see, the 2-side of the clave (the one with the 2 strokes, on the left) comes together with the accented Ta on both the Cáscara and the Timbales bell patterns. For songs in 2-3 clave, like “La Llave”, this falls on the beat number 2. For songs with 3-2 clave (for example, “La Salsa Nunca Se Acaba” by Susie Hansen), the accented Ta of these patterns still falls on the 2-side of the Clave, which means beat number 6.


You can find the lyrics of the song, along with a full English translation on a distinct blog post:

La Llave by Grupo Latin Vibe Lyrics + Translation

Final Word

We hope that the information presented in this article will serve as another step in your journey towards mastering the Salsa music rhythms. We have done our best to present it in a simple and accurate manner, and we would love to get your feedback about this. You can leave a comment below and share your impressions with us.

If you still haven’t joined to our mailing list you can do this by filling a simple form on the top of the homepage,

New Year’s Special: Salsa Rhythm & Timing Video

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

Celebrating Christmas and the New Year, we have just completed a new Salsa Rhythm & Timing videos project. We call it the ANET Project – Año Nuevo en Timing , meaning: New year in timing. The goal of the project is to create and publish 3 special rhythm & timing videos with a festive “new year” theme. Following this theme, all the 3 songs we chose are related to celebrating Christmas and the new year.

So let’s dive in…

Bomba De Navidad, Ismael Miranda

Our “bomba” for the Christmas…

Oye compa….

Mami esto si es verdad
que yo quiero bailar contigo esta navidad
Hay mamita mami
Mami esto si es verdad
que yo quiero bailar contigo esta navidad

Yo me voy con Luis Ramirez a comer lechón
y despues sigue el bacilon en casa de Ramón
Hay mamita mami

Mami esto si es verdad (y lo sabes tu mami)
que yo quiero bailar contigo esta navidad
Hay mamita mami
Mami esto si es verdad
que yo quiero bailar contigo esta navidad

Quintin sonando el bombon,
Rivito en el timbal,
Chino sonando el tambor,
y yo vengo a cantar
sabrosa mi bomba

Mami esto si es verdad
que yo quiero bailar contigo esta navidad
Mami esto si es verdad (mamita mami)
que yo quiero bailar contigo esta navidad

Que vengan los aginaldos la fiesta va empezar
brincando con ron cañita vamo a bacila.
Hay Mamita mami
Mami esto si es verdad
que yo quiero bailar contigo esta navidad
Mami esto si es verdad
que yo quiero bailar contigo esta navidad

Los Reyes magos mami,
te visitaran si en el año te portas bien seguro volveran
muchas cosas rica y linda los reyes te traeran
como tu lo has hecho tan bueno seguro
Los Reyes magos mami,
te visitaran si en el año te portas bien seguro volveran

Hay tan Margarita y Luisa como bacilaran
cuando vean el monton de cosas que los reyes traeran
Los Reyes magos mami,
te visitaran si en el año te portas bien seguro volveran.

Uno Llega Y Otro Se Va, Orquesta Original De Manzanillo

A Cuban Salsa song, with many Rumba elements, about the new year and its traditions in Cuba:

This song features 3:2 Rumba Clave, Violins, two lead vocals and also “Orishas” (see below). The timing video explains all of the elements, and also includes beat counting and the Salsa basic step synchronized with the rhythm of the song.

Orisha Ochun

Orisha Ochun

The Orishas are spirits or deities that reflect the manifestations of god in the Yoruba mythology. Yoruba people originally came from Nigeria and some parts of Benin. During the slave era, they were dispersed across America, spreading they beliefs and their traditions in Cuba, Brazil, Puerto Rico and some parts of the United States. This led to creation of several syncretic religions, amongst which is the Santería. Santería became a popular system of beliefs in Cuba, merging the Yoruba religion with Roman Catholic and the Native Indian traditions.

Each Orisha represents a different manifestation of Olodumare, which means God in the Yoruba language. Here are some of the Orishas mentioned in the song:


Orisha Orula

Orula is mentioned many times throughout the song. Being the Orisha of divination and wisdom, he became one of the most beloved Orishas in Cuba. He is also considered the great healer and has Osain, the God of plants and remedies as his auxiliary. Many Cubans wear his alternate green and yellow beads necklaces. You can read more about Orula in this article.


Divinity of rivers, love, feminine beauty, fertility, and art. Ochun is one of Orisha Shango’s lovers and beloved of Orisha Ogoun.


Orisha Yemaya

Orisha Yemaya

Divine mother, divinity of the sea and loving mother of mankind, daughter of Obatala and wife of Aganju.


Arch-divinity, father of humankind, divinity of light, spiritual purity, and moral uprightness.

For those of you who are interested in this subject, a good starting point will be Wikipedia’s article about Orishas (Also the source of some of the information presented here).

Felicidades, Cheo Feliciano

A great new way to start a great new year!

This song is a great example of phrase shifting: there are 3 different phrase shifts in it. A phrase shift happens when the “5″ count suddenly becomes the “1″. This usually happens after a break in the music, in cases where the break is only 4 beat long.

In the above video, however, you will find an example of a phrase shifting that goes without any break at all: at 02:23 the mambo section of the song ends, followed by a short, 4-beat phrase, which serves as a “bridge” to the chorus of the song. The transition is so smooth that you can easily miss it while dancing.

As with all other timing videos, we included on-screen annotations to explain the musical structure of the song and highlight the important aspects, such as the phrase shift mentioned above. The phrase shift, by the way, also causes another phenomenon called “Clave Change”. We will explain this phenomenon in depth in an upcoming article, but meanwhile you can rely on the annotation to tell you when it happens.

Final Word

We are already working on our next timing videos, so keep following and subscribe to our youtube channel, to make sure you always receive the latest timing videos from us. We wish you a happy new year and a lot of health, success, and fun on the dance floor!

La Rebelion by Joe Arroyo, a new Salsa Rhythm & Timing video

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Following a request by a user, we have created a new Salsa Rhythm & Timing video for the song “La Rebelion” by “Joe Arroyo y La Verdad”. This song is commonly known as “No le pegue a la negra”, which means “Don’t beat the black woman”. The song is about the slavery in America, in the 16th century, telling the personal story of a black slave whose wife was beaten. Finally, the slave could no longer stand this treatment, and rebelled, protesting about beating his wife.  The story happens in Cartagena, Colombia, the place where  Joe Arroyo, the singer, comes from.

From a dancer point of view, this song poses several challenges that can be easily spotted when watching the video:

  1. The speed (tempo) of the song changes constantly throughout the song. We have included a speedometer in the video so you can visually see the speed changes. As you can see, the speed varies by more than 15% across the song!
  2. There are two short phrases that occur in the song. A phrase is usually 8-beat long, and fits with a single forward-and-backward footstep cycle.  A short phrase, consisting only of 4 beats instead of the usual eight, challenges the dancers and requires them to break or use some other trick in order to accommodate to the sudden change of the “1″ beat.
  3. The Clave pattern breaks twice, using a technique called “3:3 Clave License”. The Clave is the fundamental pattern that holds together the rhythmical structure of the Salsa music. A “Clave License” happens when the arranger of the song decides to break the Clave pattern in order to match changes in the phrasing. This phenomenon is common in Cuban music, yet unusual in music from New York. We will publish a detailed post about the Clave, its role in the music and Clave changes, so keep an eye open.

For your convenience, here are the lyrics for the song. If you feel like translating them into English, please leave a comment with the translation below:

Quiero contarle mi hermano
un pedacito de la historia negra,
de la historia nuestra, caballero

Y dice así:

En los años mil seiscientos, cuando el tirano mando
las calles de Cartagena, aquella historia vivió.
Cuando allí llegaban esos negreros, africanos en cadenas
besaban mi tierra, esclavitud perpetua
Esclavitud perpetua
Esclavitud perpetua

Que lo diga salome y que te
de llego, llego, llego

Un matrimonio africano, esclavos de
un español, el les daba muy mal trato
y a su negra le pego

Y fue allí, se rebelo el negro guapo, tomó
venganza por su amor y aun se escucha
en la verja, no le pegue a mi negra
No le pegue a la negra
No le pegue a la negra

Oye man!!
No le pegue a la negra
No le pegue a la negra
No, no, no ,no, no, no,
No, no, no, no, no, no…

Oye esa negra se me respeta
Ehh, que aun se escucha,
se escucha en la verja,
No, no, no, no, no
No, no, no, no, no
No, no, no, no, no le pegue a la negra

Negra que me dice..

No le pegue a la negra
No le pegue a la negra
No le pegue a la negra
No le pegue

Y con ustedes… chelito de casa

Vamos a ver que le pegue a jeva
Porque el alma, que el alma, que el alma
Que el alma, que el alma se me revienta

Ehh, no, no, no, no, no,
No le pegue a mi negra
porque el alma se me agita mi prieta

El Chombo lo sabe
y tu también
no le pegue a la negra

Overall, there is a lot to learn from watching the video, listening to the music, reading the annotations and clapping the Clave rhythm along with the song. We hope you enjoy this video, and we encourage you to request a timing video for your favorite song by leaving a comment below.

A thank you letter, Cogele El Gusto !

Saturday, December 11th, 2010

Following our latest timing video, “Cogele El Gusto”, I have received a thank-you letter from Denise, who was the reason for making this video. After watching the other timing videos, she joined our mailing list and requested to create a timing video for this song. Putting the video together took nearly a month, and the final result came out very satisfactory.

You can watch the video here, on youtube:

The song “Cogele El Gusto” was recorded by Wayne Gorbea and his band, “Salsa Picante”, back in 1997. It instantly became a hit in the Latin clubs across the UK, and later became popular “Salsa Dura” song in the rest of the world.

The piece is quite long – almost 10 minutes, and it features two trombones, a trumpet, a full percussion section: timbales, congas, bongos, a bass and a piano. The video contains on-screen annotations to explain the music and its structure, and also a visual image of the dominant instrument in each part of the song.

In addition, the video contains a visualization of several key rhythms that are very common in Salsa music:

  • The Clave rhythm. Even though it’s not always present in the music, the Clave rhythm is always implied in the patterns the other instruments play. This is the fundamental rhythm all the other pattern revolve around.
  • The Timbales bell (a.k.a campana / cencerro) – Played during the coro/montuno sections of the song, often accompanied by the Bongocero’s bell. The video visualizes the timbales bell pattern by highlighting the bell whenever it is struck by the player.
  • The Timbales Cáscara - This unique pattern is played on the shell of the Timbales during the verse sections of
    the song. The video visualizes the Cáscara pattern by highlighting the timbales shell whenever it is struck by the the Timbalero.

In addition to the patterns mentioned above, there are some parts of the song where the Cáscara pattern is played on the Timbales bell. This happens during the solos of the congas and the bongos. Don’t worry if you still can’t recognize these patterns yourself – the video will tell you which patten is played in every instant.

Cogele El Gusto by Wayne Gorbea

A screen shot from the new timing video

Finally, I would like to personally thank two people who helped in the creation of this video: Michael Morozov from Israel and Alex Schamenek from Houston, Texas. We are now working on bringing you the next timing video for the song “La Rebelion” by Joe Arroyo y La Verdad.