Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Developing a Kiko Freitas-style left hand samba ostinato

I've been working a lot with the Kiko Freitas idea that I posted last week, wherein Kiko plays the underlying samba rhythm... his left hand, and teleco teco... his right hand.

Put together it looks like this....

Of course, to work up this particular pattern up one needs only to take it in small chunks and piece it together.  But if we think of this as a concept, rather than just one groove, we can make so much more out of it.

In this idea, our left hand plays an ostinato, essentially doing the job that our right hand generally does; it becomes a ride pattern.  So, if we can make this left hand pattern second nature to the point where we can improvise (i.e. comp) with our right hand, we'll have opened up a whole world of possibilities.

The best way to attack this is the same way you learned to comp with your left hand while playing a swing pattern on the ride cymbal; practice playing the right hand on each division of the beat, then in groupings of twos, then threes, and finally, add stylistic figures such as partido alto and teleco teco.

If you spend some time with this sheet it shouldn't be too long before you feel comfortable enough to start improvising with the right hand on the ride cymbal or a tamborim.  In an upcoming post we'll talk about how to improvise with these rhythms in a stylistically accurate fashion.

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