Initially, in this first step it tends to look and sound like an off-center, syncopated rock beat but that will change as we stair-step into the more complex versions.
Listen to the sound file repeatedly until you can imagine the sound without hearing it!
Listen again! Now, move that second snare note up to the high mounted tom. Practice until you can repeat the pattern at least as fast as the sound file. Even faster tempos are possible. I've set this sound file somewhere in the mid-tempo range.
WHAT ABOUT FILLS? It may be easiest to play all your early fills off the first bass. You may use nearly any of the routine classic fills you would attach to any rock beat at similar tempos. After all . . . this really is a glorified, syncopated 8th 4/4 (rock) pattern. Latin drummers tend to incorporate a lot of 'Timbali' type (power) rimshots into their fills. You will get the hang of this quicker by listening and playing along with various Latin recordings.
CHECK-OUT THE VIDEO: Watch and listen to the above techniques. (Use IE and WMP for this video.)
Video: For almost all other handheld devices and other browsers.
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