Cha-cha-cha Drum Lesson

The Cha-cha-cha developed in Cuba during the early 1950s and became popular in New York during the 1950s and 60s. It was developed from danzon music and played by charangas, small Cuban orchestras that played to the upper class.

The creator of cha-cha music, Enrique Jorrín noticed that syncopated mambo rhythms confused dancers. He deliberately designed the cha-cha with minimal syncopation emphasizing beat one to make it easier to dance to. Cha-cha-cha takes its name from the sound of dancers feet. Unlike other Cuban music, cha-cha music does not use the clave since it does not have a strong son influence.

Like the mambo, the cha-cha drum beat adapts the timbale and conga rhythms to the drums. The quarter note bell pattern is taken from the rythm the timbale player plays on the cha-cha bell. The bass drum pattern comes from the conga part and the snare drum and Tom Tom parts mimic he congas and timbales. The basic cha-cha beat is shown below.

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  1. Lesson Cha-cha-cha Drum Lesson Exercise 1
  2. Lesson Cha-cha-cha Drum Lesson Exercise 2
  3. Lesson Cha-cha-cha Drum Lesson Exercise 3
  4. Lesson Cha-cha-cha Drum Lesson Exercise 4
  5. Lesson Cha-cha-cha Drum Lesson Exercise 5
  6. Lesson Cha-cha-cha Drum Lesson Exercise 6
  7. Lesson Cha-cha-cha Drum Lesson Exercise 7
  8. Lesson Cha-cha-cha Drum Lesson Exercise 8