Casual Date “Must-Know” Grooves: Intro to Afro-Cuban Grooves

Russ Miller's "Working Drummer" series of packs will teach you practical ways to play practically every style of groove that you might encounter on a casual date or recording session. This pack covers a way to approach Afro-Cuban music and understand the role of the drummer.

In this “Working Drummers” series, Russ Miller presents the “must-know” that you would be expected to handle on a casual date (sometimes referred to as a “club date”—which could a wedding gig, corporate event, etc.) or a recording session. With extensive experience on every kind of gig from film soundtrack sessions to rock recordings to concerts and casuals, Russ provides these examples from his own experience. You’ll find all these grooves to be useful in many everyday playing situations.

This pack will show you a practical and stylistically accurate approach to the Afro-Cuban substyles, along with clear explanations of the construction of this music.

Here are the lessons that appear in this pack:

  1. The Clave and the Bombo
  2. “Salsa” drumset groove
  3. Son Clave Basic Groove (Palito/Cascara)
  4. Songo (Drumset enters Afro-Cuban)
  5. Guaguanco (modern drumset groove)
  6. Assigning Afro-Cuban percussion to the Kit
  7. Performance Example: Afro-Cuban

To learn more from Russ, check out his DVD, Arrival: Behind the Glass, available from Hudson Music, and The Drumset Crash Course (DVD and book/CD package, available separately), from Alfred Music Publishing, Inc.




  • Russ Miller


  • Drums


  • Afro-Cuban
  • Latin

Skill Level

  • Advanced
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
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