Mambo Drum Lesson

The mambo grew out of Cuban danzon and Son music, which began to merge at the end of the 19th century. Mambo originated in Cuba and became popular in New York in the 1950s, incorporating big band instrumentation.

Danzon is a style of Cuban music which evolved out of the French Contradanse (country dance), brought to Cuba by slaves fleeing Haiti. The montuno, a repetitive, energetic, open section, was taken from Son music and incorporated into danzon music. Originally called "ritmo nuevo" by the Lopez brothers who introduced it, this improvised vamp section came to be known as the mambo section.

The mambo groove uses the rhythms played by timbales and congas in mambo bands and adapts them to the drum kit. The rhythm played by the timbale player on the mambo cowbell is played on the ride cymbal bell or cowbell. The timbale cross stick and open notes are played on the snare drum and Tom toms. The conga part is captured by the bass drum and tom toms. The hi-hat is added on beats two and four. The basic mambo drum pattern is shown below.

2:3 Mambo Drum Beat

2:3 Mambo Drum Beat

3:2 Mambo Drum Beat

3:2 Mambo Drum Beat

These mambo exercises include many variations of the mambo drum pattern. The right hand part is written here on the ride cymbal bell but can also be played on a cowbell.

As a general rule, the last note of adjacent right hand eighth notes should be accented. On the ride cymbal bell this is achieved by playing the bell with the shank of the stick. Similarly cowbell accents are played by striking the mouth of the cowbell with the shank of the stick. In traditional Cuban music, the distinction between accents and non-accents on the cowbell is quite subtle. When playing with a conga player, the tom-tom note on the "&" of beat 4 should be left out.

Star allStar none

  1. Lesson Mambo Drum Lesson Exercise 1
  2. Lesson Mambo Drum Lesson Exercise 2
  3. Lesson Mambo Drum Lesson Exercise 3
  4. Lesson Mambo Drum Lesson Exercise 4
  5. Lesson Mambo Drum Lesson Exercise 5
  6. Lesson Mambo Drum Lesson Exercise 6
  7. Lesson Mambo Drum Lesson Exercise 7
  8. Lesson Mambo Drum Lesson Exercise 8
  9. Lesson Mambo Drum Lesson Exercise 9
  10. Lesson Mambo Drum Lesson Exercise 10
  11. Lesson Mambo Drum Lesson Exercise 11
  12. Lesson Mambo Drum Lesson Exercise 12
  13. Lesson Mambo Drum Lesson Exercise 13
  14. Lesson Mambo Drum Lesson Exercise 14
  15. Lesson Mambo Drum Lesson Exercise 15
  16. Lesson Mambo Drum Lesson Exercise 16
  17. Lesson Mambo Drum Lesson Exercise 17
  18. Lesson Mambo Drum Lesson Exercise 18
  19. Lesson Mambo Drum Lesson Exercise 19
  20. Lesson Mambo Drum Lesson Exercise 20
  21. Lesson Mambo Drum Lesson Exercise 21
  22. Lesson Mambo Drum Lesson Exercise 22
  23. Lesson Mambo Drum Lesson Exercise 23
  24. Lesson Mambo Drum Lesson Exercise 24