Posts in category: Clave

Want to Groove While Playing Clave?

I’ve been making my own clave exercises for years because I couldn’t find a lot of existing material that would help me. The one book that I did find helpful was Ignacio Berroa’s Groovin’ in Clave. Yes, I did borrow his title for the name of this post. Since I’ve finally come to a point […]


Clave Independence with Ted Reed’s “Syncopation” Part 1

clave independence with "syncopation"

Regular readers of this blog know that I’ve been writing exercises for developing independence with clave as a cymbal pattern for years now. Why is that? Playing clave as a cymbal pattern and playing against it freely is extremely difficult at first. In fact, it seemed almost unattainable to me. Similarly, when Jim Chapin’s classic […]


The Benny Greb Clave Challenge

Benny Greb Clave Challenge

The other day I saw a crazy video on Benny Greb’s Instagram page. He was playing Son Clave by making clicking noises with his mouth. And then he used his voice, while maintaining those clave clicks, to play rhythms based on 3, 5 and 7. All of those rhythms go over the barline. And if […]


Clave Independence using Kim Plainfield’s “Advanced Concepts”

Kim Plainfield Advanced Concepts

Yes, I’m still obsessed with clave, among other things. In this post, I’m continuing the work with clave in the cymbal hand and the baiao pattern with the bass drum. The goal is independence; I’d like to be able to play anything I want with my left hand. By the way, there is much more […]