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  • Hot Licks: Guaguancó Quinto Solo by Joseph Goglia

    by Rhythm Scene Staff | Mar 16, 2020

    Guaguancó is one of the styles from the Afro Cuban popular music genre called rumba. It is often played at a medium to fast tempo. Like all forms of rumba, guaguancó has drummers and singers, and often is accompanied by dancers. The songs are secular in nature, yet often find themselves weaving through references to Orishas or Christianity. 

    Instruments that are important to the sound of guaguancó as well as other rumba styles include the following:clave—wooden dowels for timekeeping; cata—hollowed log or bamboo played with sticks; salidor—large tumbadora; tres dos (3/2)—medium tumbadora; quinto—small tumbadora; shekere—gourd with beads attached.

    This Hot Lick is written as a quinto solo practice tool. The phrasing is based around rumba clave and will create a sense of tension and release. I like to think of the tension as floating (upbeats) and the release as being grounded (downbeats).

    Here are a few listening suggestions to get a better sense of the style: Los Muñequitos de Matanzas (Cuba); Irosso Obba (Cuba); Osain del Monte (Cuba); Clave y Guaguancó (Cuba); Yoruba Andabo (Cuba); Yuba Ire (Puerto Rico); Totin “Arara” Agosto y La Liga Rumbera (Puerto Rico); Cachete Maldonado y Los Majaderos (Puerto Rico).

    Quinto Solo Hot Lick Notation

    Quinto Solo Hot Lick 



    Joe Goglia HeadshotJoe Goglia 
    holds a master's degree in Music Education with an emphasis in Jazz from Arizona State University. In addition to formal education, Joe has had the opportunity to study with a variety of instructors in the folkloric field, including Scott Kettner, Mark Lamson, Julie Hill, Beto Torrens, Rafael Maya, Ruy Lopez-Nussa Lekszycky, Ailton Nunes, and Dudu Fuentes. Joe is the Director of Instrumental and Digital Music at Camelback High School where his duties include Band, Percussion Ensemble, and Music Technology. An active PAS member for many years, Joe has served as Arizona PAS Chapter Vice President and President.

  • Hot Licks Throwback: Two-Mallet Exercises by Dick Sisto (December 2001 Percussive Notes)

    by Rhythm Scene Staff | Feb 17, 2020

    These two-mallet exercises are inspired by the work of vibraphone great Bobby Hutcherson. They should be played in all 12 keys using a variety of scale qualities (major, minor, diminished, etc.). Exercises A and B are normally played only in an ascending fashion. Exercise C may be adapted to other styles of music by changing the triplet subdivisions to eighth notes. Each exercise should be played using a legato articulation.


    Sisto Exercise A


    Sisto Exercise B


    Sisto Exercise C

  • Hot Licks: Drive Time Rhythmic Development by Josh Gottry

    by Rhythm Scene Staff | Jan 20, 2020

    By a show of hands, who regularly drums on their steering wheel while driving—or at least while sitting in rush-hour traffic or at a red light? My guess is that every percussionist reading this post has his or her hand in the air. Of course you do! Whether drumming along to the song on the radio, working out licks for a cadence or show book you are writing, or just mindlessly tapping as we all tend to do, the steering wheel is a practice pad ready and available for us when we are captives of our car getting from point A to point B.

    In an effort to use that time a little more intentionally (during commercials on the radio, perhaps), I offer an update to the Phone Book exercise. For those of you who don’t know what a phone book is, let me start there. About 25 or so years ago, when most phones were connected to the wall and dial-up took a minute and a half to connect to whatever was on the internet prior to social media, countless numbers of trees each year were cut down to deliver a thick book to every house with a list of phone numbers for all the people you didn’t know in your city. You could open that book to any page and have literally thousands of randomly sequenced digits to use for practicing rhythmic groupings. Presumably, now you could still use the contact list on the phone in your pocket to do the same thing, but since we’re talking about drumming while driving, adding a mobile device to the mix is probably not the safest option. Instead, look at the license plate of the car in front of you. Here’s mine as an example:

    License Plate Drive Time HotLicks

    Most license plates are a combination of letters and numbers. Ignore the letters and check out the numbers. For however many numbers you see, make that the number on top of your time signature. If three numbers, you are in 3/4 time; if five numbers, you are in 5/4 time, etc. In this case, we’re obviously in a nice and comfortable 4/4 (or common) time. Give yourself a steady pulse and play the number of notes represented by the digits you see. My license plate would play out as follows:

    Drive Time Example

    To borrow an instruction from Stone’s Stick Control, practice each pattern 20 times before moving on to the next one—in this case, the next license plate. Hopefully you can enjoy your drive time a little more with this handy (and productive) trick. Radio commercial is probably over now; back to the rock beat!

    Josh GottryJosh Gottry is a respected educator, accomplished percussionist, and internationally recognized composer who has been working with, and creating music for, the next generation of percussionists for over twenty years. He has served as part of the music faculty on college and university campuses around the Phoenix metropolitan area, works regularly with ensembles and students at all grade levels as a clinician and within his private lesson studio, and his performance record includes professional orchestras, musical theater, worship teams, jazz combos, community and chamber ensembles, as well as solo performances and recitals. Gottry is an ASCAP award-winning composer whose works have been performed at universities, junior high and high schools, and multiple national conferences, and he serves as editor for Rhythm! Scene.

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