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MIDI Styles Set 76: Salsa Moderna

This styles set is inspired by authentic Salsa performances by world-renowned recording artist Rebeca Mauleón. We can say for a fact that she wrote the book on Salsa – in fact, her book, The Salsa Guidebook by Rebeca Mauleón, (Sher Music, Inc), is considered by many to be the bible of Salsa.

  • Bomba Fast - Lively Puerto Rican [BOMBFST.STY]

    Lively Puerto Rican bomba rhythm emphasizes 5-note Cuá pattern, here played on the jam block.  The bass and piano typically play Cuban-based tumbao and montuno patterns (respectively), the Cuban clave pattern is insinuated. T=230


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  • Bomba Medium - Puerto Rican [BOMBMED.STY]

    Even 16 Salsa at a slightly slower tempo. Modern Puerto Rican setting, the timbales player handles the cuá on either jam block or cowbells, the conga player plays 2 congas & the bongo player plays the guícharo, maracas or cowbell. T=110


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  • Conga Modern - Cuban Salsa [CONGMOD.STY]

    Even 16 Cuban style w/ timbales in the bombo's role, accenting the 2+ on the low drum. Variety of bell parts and a 2-drum conga part. Piano and pass patterns insinuate traditional montuno and tumbao-playing. T=125


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  • Cumbia Modern - Colombian [CUMBMOD.STY]

    Even 8 Salsa, modern Colombian-style. Minimalist modern cumbias keep syncopated high drum pattern but replace the tambora with timbales playing the fills; repeated jam block pattern playing a 1/4 note followed by two 8th notes. T=190


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  • Guaguancó Modern - Cuban dance [GUAGMOD.STY]

    Even 16 Salsa style.  A typical 3-member Salsa band may simplify and share the Guaguancó clave, palitos, and conga patterns.  A trap set player can play minor patterns and fills to free the conga drummer for basic melody and bongo for the quinto. T=1022


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  • Guaracha with 2-3 Clave pattern [GUARA23.STY]

    Modern Cuban Guaracha with 2-3 clave rhythm, the primary style played in salsa music.  Faster than son, with each beat 4 accented.  Clave is present in timbales patterns such as the cáscara (stick pattern on the sides of the drum) and various 2-bar bell patterns in the montuno.  T=200


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  • Guaracha with 3-2 Clave pattern [GUARA32.STY]

    Even 8 Salsa Style.  Son-derived w/ majority of fills and breaks on the 3-side of clave and accent on beat 4 of each bar.  The piano Montuno outlines the clave; the bass also tends to emphasize the 3-side of the clave. T=180


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  • Latin Jazz Cha Cha [LJ_CHA.STY]

    Even 8 Salsa Cha Cha with a Jazz flavor, more syncopated overall accompaniment style – especially piano and bass.  Better suited to faster tempos than the ChaSals.sty, with slightly more contemporary fills and more modern harmony.  T=135


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  • Merengue Fast - Modern Dominica [MERFAST.STY]

    This fast, modern Dominican merengue features several breaks and stops, and a more on-the-beat feel with the bass.  Piano patterns have changed dramatically from the more traditional merengue típico style, opting for simpler, chordal comping.  T=138


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  • Merengue Slow - Modern [MERSLOW.STY]

    Even 16 Salsa.  Modern merengue at slow tempo is simple w/ 2-drum conga pattern identical to Puerto Rican Seis and the Cuban pachanga.  Commonly played with no tambora - only congas and the guira.  "Restrained" bass and piano. T=115


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  • Mozambique Cuban - Modern Salsa [MOZCUBA.STY]

    Even 16th post-revolutionary Cuban Mozambique style w/ distinctive 16th-note push into beat 3 of each bar.  More elaborate version of Cuban Carnaval conga rhythm.  Bass, piano emphasize Bombo accent on "and" of beat 2 on the 3-side of Clave.  T=118


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  • Mozambique NYC Modern Salsa [MOZNYC.STY]

    The New York version of Mozambique simplifies the bombo parts.  Timbales player plays the Mambo or Cha bell while accenting the "and" of beat 2 of the 3-side of Clave on low Timbal.  Melody played on Congas as in Salsa band formats.  T=118


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  • Plena Fast - Puerto Rican Salsa [PLENAFST.STY]

    Even 8 feel.  This Plena adds contrasting bell patterns, including one that shows the influence of Trinidadian calypso in a constant 8th-note, 2-bell pattern alternating between low and high-pitched bells.  T=240


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  • Plena Medium - Puerto Rican [PLENAMED.STY]

    The simple Plena rhythm is traditionally played on Panderos or Panderetas (frame drums).  In Salsa bands the bass can alternate between an on-the-beat approach and syncopated Tumbao.  Piano patterns tend to be quite simple w/ implied clave. T=200


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  • Songo 4 - Fast Modern Cuban Sal [SONGO4.STY]

    Even 8, busier, faster and more syncopated than the more Salsa-oriented Guaracha, this Cuban Songo style features more variation on the congas and timbales.  T=210


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  • Son Montuno with 3-2 Clave patte [SONMN32.STY]

    Fast even 8th feel.  Cuban son-montuno adds a single conga drum to the rhythm section of bongos/bell, maracas and claves.  The bass and piano patterns emphasize the 3-side of clave, with the piano eventually arpeggiating more. T=170


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  • Timba - Modern Cuban Salsa [TIMBA.STY]

    Even 8th feel.  Cuban timba is more in-your-face and busy, but still rooted in the Son.  Primary instruments are almost continuously ad-libbing!  Bass and piano have roots in the Son, Guaracha, and Songo, with unusual accents and rhythmical play around the Clave. T=200


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