Afro-Cuban Concepts

Dafnis Prieto provides challenging Afro-Cuban concepts culled from his own background and musical compositions.

In this pack, master drummer and composer Dafnis Prieto provides a unique insight into Afro-Cuban drumming concepts. Filmed backstage at the 2008 Modern Drummer Festival, Dafnis discusses several major Afro-Cuban substyles, all of which are drawn from his own musical compositions. This interview occurred after Dafnis performed the compositions with his band at the festival. This performance is available on the Hudson Music DVD of the event.

Each of the concepts here are explained clearly by Dafnis and accompanied by transcriptions to assist you with the exercises, however, it is highly recommended to see Dafnis apply these ideas in musical performance. His explanations given insight into what he’s doing, but in performance he weaves together different ideas and challenging polyrhythmic concepts with true touch of a master. Begin with these examples and get an insight into these various Afro-Cuban concepts. Pay careful attention to your coordination as you practice the exercises.

Here are the lessons that appear in this pack:

  • Afro-Cuban/Rhumba Concepts
  • Cascara with Different Subdivisions
  • Bass Drum Idea with Cascara
  • Cascara Variations on Bells
  • Switching between Afro-Cuban and Jazz
  • 6/8 in a 4/4 Pulse
  • Abakwa Groove
  • Songo Groove




  • Dafnis Prieto


  • Drums


  • Afro-Cuban
  • Independence
  • Jazz
  • Latin

Skill Level

  • Advanced
  • Intermediate
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