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The Cowbell (Campana) in Salsa & Mambo

The basic rhythm of the cowbell (this rhythm is also often played by the timbale player who hits the rim of the timbale with a drumstick) covers two bars of music. It is quite complex, starting with two long notes, and then proceeding with a pattern similar to the guiro but with the accents spaced differently. It can also be played in other forms, so consider the track in our timing DVD and timing CD simply as an example. The easiest way to find the timing is to follow the long notes that mark the fundamental 1,3,5,7 and not to get distracted by the fast notes and accents. The cowbell is very common in contemporary salsa, if you learn to listen to it, it will also help to find the beat in fully orchestrated salsa bands.

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