Songo Drum Set Style Essentials

Songo Drum Style is the seventh in the series: Essential Latin Drum Set Beats. The challenge is to try and duplicate the patterns traditionally played by 3 drummers (bateristas): Timbales (timbalero), Congas (conguero) and Bongos (bongocero). Over the years, I have collected a bunch of books that talked about playing various Latin styles on drum set. I kept going from one book to another searching for answers and ideas. Here are simple, stylistically accurate and essential Latin rhythms and patterns to play Songo on drum set.

Songo Style on Drum Set

Songo drum style rhythmic patterns are drawn from various Afro Cuban musical styles. The ride hand plays a steady pulse on the ride cymbal bell or a cowbell. You should select an LP Songo Bell or use a Timbale, Mambo or Bongo Bell. See: Basic Multipurpose Cowbells and Cowbell Recommendations for Drum Set. The bass drum plays a syncopated Tumbao rhythm characteristic of the Afro Cuban style. And the snare drum fills in syncopated notes around the other parts to create a linear pattern. Songo is its own unique style the grooves can be used in several other Afro Cuban styles. Songo patterns are loosely based on a 2-3 Rumba Clave. See: Afro Cuban Clave Essentials

First Latin style originating from a drum set rhythm

Songo is a style of popular Cuban music. The group Los Van Van created it in the early 1970s. Songo incorporated rhythmic elements from folkloric rumba into popular dance music. It was a significant departure from the Son Montuno/Mambo-based music which dominated popular music in Cuba since the 1940s. Blas Egües was the first drummer in Los Van Van. The band’s second drummer, José Luis Quintana “Changuito”, developed Songo into the world-wide popularity it enjoys today.

Other Essential Latin Drum Set Beats: 1. Cha Cha 2. Bossa Nova 3. Mambo 4. Salsa Cascara 5. Salsa Campana 6. Samba 8. Bembe 9. Conga and Mozambique 10. Beguine, Bomba, Bolero, Guaguanco, Merengue and Rumba 11. Calypso, Soca, Reggae and Ska

You may also want to see: Three Basic Latin Beats to Cover Your Ass