1st May 2019 Wil Wainwright

Basic Bembe Variations

Hello and welcome to a fun lesson on the Afro-Cuban Bembe bell pattern.  We will be playing it in a more modern application.  It is a great sounding pattern that will also help tighten up your right hand and right foot in this particular application. 

1) First up, we are just playing the basic Bembe bell pattern on the ride cymbal. 

2) In the second example, we are filling in the left hand in the gaps and adding a left-hand accent on beat 3. 

3) It is at this point that we get to my favourite way of playing this pattern.  Layering the bass drum up with every right hand.  We are now playing the same pattern in 16th note triplets so the accent snares fall on 2 and 4.  Take your time with a metronome before moving on as we will be making small variations to this pattern.  Make sure your foundation is strong before you build on it.

4) In the fourth example, we are playing a bell accent pattern on some of the ride notes.  There are almost countless ways you could accent the pattern on the bell but here is just an example to get you started.  Have fun and try and come up with your own bell rhythm.

5) Next up, we start moving our left hand around the kit.  This once again is a simple example.  Spend some time working on your own ideas and variations

6) Finally, here’s a little exercise to help gain a little more freedom in the left hand.  We have added in some more accented snares.  Make sure the dynamic in your right hand is consistent and doesn’t change when you add in the extra left-handed accents


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