learning rumba vs other music

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Re: learning rumba vs other music

Postby roberthelpus » Wed Apr 24, 2013 12:02 pm

Alas, I wish I had a Rumba to go to so that some one could yell at me. :( :D
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Re: learning rumba vs other music

Postby onile » Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:34 pm

"EAT YOUR VEGETABLES!" "SIT UP STRAIGHT!" "STOP PICKING ON YOUR SISTER!" "I BEFORE E EXCEPT AFTER.....OH HELL, NOW GO OUT AND FIND A RUMBA TO PLAY IN!"


Hope this helps get you in your special mind set brother!

:D :D :D
Que Nsambi les acutare pa' siempre!
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Re: learning rumba vs other music

Postby roberthelpus » Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:37 am

onile wrote:"EAT YOUR VEGETABLES!" "SIT UP STRAIGHT!" "STOP PICKING ON YOUR SISTER!" "I BEFORE E EXCEPT AFTER.....OH HELL, NOW GO OUT AND FIND A RUMBA TO PLAY IN!"


Hope this helps get you in your special mind set brother!

:D :D :D


Man, you're good at that. Can I get you to cajole the other congueros in my little town in to getting together on a regular basis? Lord knows I've tried.
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Re: learning rumba vs other music

Postby davidpenalosa » Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:39 pm

The rudest drummers I've encountered were North Americans, who also tended to be into one-ups-manship. I learned to play in "mellow" Northern California, so I can understand why my experiences may be somewhat different than others. The Cubans have always been cool, but I never tried to incorporate a "unique style" when playing with them. Yes, I have my own style, but it is all within an understanding of the genre. If you can demonstrate that you have put the time into playing their music, Cuban drummers tend to give you the benefit of the doubt.
-David
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Re: learning rumba vs other music

Postby rhythmrhyme » Thu Apr 25, 2013 5:17 pm

davidpenalosa wrote:The rudest drummers I've encountered were North Americans, who also tended to be into one-ups-manship. I learned to play in "mellow" Northern California, so I can understand why my experiences may be somewhat different than others. The Cubans have always been cool, but I never tried to incorporate a "unique style" when playing with them. Yes, I have my own style, but it is all within an understanding of the genre. If you can demonstrate that you have put the time into playing their music, Cuban drummers tend to give you the benefit of the doubt.
-David


I'm even further north on the west coast, and off on the island, we're a pretty chill bunch over here.

In terms of cuban drummers giving you the benefit of the doubt, that's been my experience for sure. There was a cuban rumba group here a few years ago doing a show and workshop. During the workshop the band lead picked me out of a group of 50 people and pointed me out to the band and said "hey, that guy can play!". There was some debate in the group about my chops, with one member saying my hands were stiff - which is a fair critique. Then they agreed I was worthwhile and invited me up to play cata. I thought that was pretty cool.

Humbolt in northern cali sound better and better
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Re: learning rumba vs other music

Postby jorge » Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:23 pm

Like my mother says, there are Cubans and there are Cubans. You cannot generalize. One observation I have noted is that the situation and attitudes are very different when the drummers are being paid (eg a workshop or show) or it is a family rumba, vs when it is an open or street rumba. The open rumbas tend to be highly competitive, and North Americans certainly have no monopoly on rudeness. Family rumbas or paid rumbas both tend to be more tolerant of clave transgressions, out of place floreos, lack of swing or other screw-ups, especially toward the ones who are paying. Also, Cubans in Cuba and expat Cubans living in the US often behave differently.

Abakua or others, what are the vibes like at the Callejon de Hamel rumbas? I would imagine attitudes are more like a street rumba than a family or paid rumba and people who can't play at the level of the drummers there don't get much benefit of the doubt. Right or wrong?
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Re: learning rumba vs other music

Postby davidpenalosa » Sat Apr 27, 2013 12:56 am

jorge wrote:People who can't play at the level of the drummers there don't get much benefit of the doubt. Right or wrong?


RIght. It's important to be self aware enough to know if you are at that level or not.
-David
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Re: learning rumba vs other music

Postby jorge » Sat Apr 27, 2013 1:51 am

David, are you responding to the question about the rumbas at Callejon de Hamel or making a general statement?
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Re: learning rumba vs other music

Postby davidpenalosa » Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:30 am

hi Jorge,
I was responding to your comment, which I understood to be a general statement about rumbones. However, at second look, I see now that you were referring specifically to Callejon de Hamel rumbas. Sorry for my misunderstanding. I cannot speak knowledgeably about playing at Callejon de Hamel rumbas, since I have never played there.
-David
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Re: learning rumba vs other music

Postby pavloconga » Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:11 pm

jorge wrote:Abakua or others, what are the vibes like at the Callejon de Hamel rumbas? I would imagine attitudes are more like a street rumba than a family or paid rumba and people who can't play at the level of the drummers there don't get much benefit of the doubt. Right or wrong?


I dropped by the Callejon de Hamel rumbas a few times to listen. It was a different vibe there to a rumba in someone's house and it was more closed unless you knew people and a pecking order of sorts. It seemed more like a street rumba / performance. A very high standard of playing, but the level of musicianship in Cuba is usually very high anyway.

The rumbas /performances every Saturday afternoon at the Folklorico Nacional de Cuba in Vedado were great. It was handy staying in a casa just 50 metres from there :)
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Re: learning rumba vs other music

Postby pavloconga » Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:21 pm

davidpenalosa wrote:
jorge wrote:People who can't play at the level of the drummers there don't get much benefit of the doubt. Right or wrong?


RIght. It's important to be self aware enough to know if you are at that level or not.
-David


Definitely important. Sometimes though, in my case I knew for sure I could hold down supporting parts in many rhythms, but also knew I was nowhere near the level it takes to play quinto in that kind of situation in Cuba.

Still a great learning experience just to hold down a part solidly, and there were lesson times for experiencing impro anyway.
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Re: learning rumba vs other music

Postby Derbeno » Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:29 am

Interestingly, come to think of it, Rumba community is a bit like some sports community.

To expand:
In my youth I played Squash at quite a high level. Whilst I would willingly gave lower ranked player a game, the most enjoyment came from intense competition with or against someone at my level. There was an etiquette whereby you never refuse a lower ranked player a game, similarly after a game with someone that wipes the floor with you, you would graciously thank them and do not overstay your welcome.

My coaches advised as follows: play with lower ranked players so you can try out new things on them, try and beg a game from higher ranked players so you know where you need to get at and play your peers so you push yourself competitively to improve. I heard similar approaches from the golf and tennis community.
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Re: learning rumba vs other music

Postby windhorse » Sun Apr 28, 2013 1:48 pm

Derbeno wrote:Interestingly, come to think of it, Rumba community is a bit like some sports community.
In my youth I played Squash at quite a high level. Whilst I would willingly gave lower ranked player a game, the most enjoyment came from intense competition with or against someone at my level. <snip> play with lower ranked players so you can try out new things on them, try and beg a game from higher ranked players so you know where you need to get at and play your peers so you push yourself competitively to improve.


Agreed, good analogy.
We sort of have two levels in our Afro-Cuban study groups here. There's the first tier - the guys who are my teachers and band mates, and the second tier - those who we're teaching and we're working out our chops upon. I can see it in their eyes how amazed they are sometimes with the stuff we pull out. Little of which, mind you, I could probably pull off when surrounded by "real" players. It's easy to show off when you're playing with your admirers that look up to you. But, of course the challenge is to hit it every time with those who you admire. Lately, we're pulling out the bata and working on it in our informal rumba group settings, and they are watching and listening intently, but not understanding with a confused almost downtrodden hanging head, trying to understand these uniquely different and complex rhythms. I remember having that exact body language before I started studying bata in earnest. So, we're sharing as nicely as we know how. Pushing it, but pulling back and letting them play what they can when they can. It's a tough place to be, and we all have to remember that we were in their shoes once. As we work out our bata and progress down this road, our rumba chops are also progressing and we're getting further ahead of them, and they feel it.

Then, there's the advanced players problem of complacence..
I've been bumming out a bit lately because the weather is changing here for the better, and I can't seem to get the "heavies" out to play. They're all doing their thing, and the memories of rumbas past is not enough now to motivate those who've "been there and done that". When we have a teacher from the Bay or an old group member come through, then people will show up. But, just getting folks out to practice, not so much. "Familiarity breeds contempt" So, it takes some organizational energy to pull together all those personalities where some are irritated by others, but if a certain individual shows,, then "Okay, I'll go". That happens all the time here. You have to get the energy above a certain level to make it happen.
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Re: learning rumba vs other music

Postby roberthelpus » Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:20 am

windhorse wrote:Agreed, good analogy.
We sort of have two levels in our Afro-Cuban study groups here. There's the first tier - the guys who are my teachers and band mates, and the second tier - those who we're teaching and we're working out our chops upon. I can see it in their eyes how amazed they are sometimes with the stuff we pull out. Little of which, mind you, I could probably pull off when surrounded by "real" players. It's easy to show off when you're playing with your admirers that look up to you. But, of course the challenge is to hit it every time with those who you admire. Lately, we're pulling out the bata and working on it in our informal rumba group settings, and they are watching and listening intently, but not understanding with a confused almost downtrodden hanging head, trying to understand these uniquely different and complex rhythms. I remember having that exact body language before I started studying bata in earnest. So, we're sharing as nicely as we know how. Pushing it, but pulling back and letting them play what they can when they can. It's a tough place to be, and we all have to remember that we were in their shoes once. As we work out our bata and progress down this road, our rumba chops are also progressing and we're getting further ahead of them, and they feel it.


Sounds like a good way to go. As long as somebody is trying and not royally screwing up the Rumba I don't think there's any need to be so aggressive. Now if somebody is being an idiot and won't take a couple of hints...
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