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I'm wondering if some people can point me towards some learning material that they may have enjoyed for learning Cuban style Latin Jazz.

Ideally I'd like something I can learn on my own time -- online resources like PDFs available for download would be great but also some DVD material could be great too. I'd like to at least learn the scales to navigate and get familiar with.

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I think this might interest you.

The most important part in Cuban music/Latin Jazz is the rythmic pattern known as Clave.

Clave, audio examples on the wiki page

This is in essence what defines the music. Harmonically, you often do very simple V-I or I-IV-V-I or II-V-I over this pattern. The piano is essentially used as a percussive instrument and for providing the harmonic background. So when you play a montuno, which is how the part of the piano is called, you often do that in octaves (i.e. left hand imitates right hand). Of course this is all true except for the possibility of improvised solos, or if you want to play an entire song piano solo.

Here's something useful to practice with: a recording of a clave.

  • The document in the scribd link has been deleted. It's difficult for me to understand how to decipher the "I-IV-V-I" chord progression notation for latin music. In C major, I-IV-V-I equals to C-F-G-C. The problem is C-F-G-C does not sound latin, eg I play C maj for a whole note duration, F maj for whole, G for whole and C for whole. This doesn't sound latin obviously. Is there some intrinsic meaning in C-F-G-C? Like "first play the C for a half note, then D and E as quarter notes" (in C major, the first chord) – Artur Tagisow Sep 28 at 9:14

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