the Slap stroke accent: Core
and pay particular
attention to the sharp dry crack sound of the slap stroke
(To hear the slap stroke on its own, play the sample: conga_slap.wav,
106 kb). The slap stroke tends to decrease in prominence
as tempo increases (listen to the other tumbao_without_clave
tracks). The more relaxed you are in listening to the pattern, the easier
it is for you to tune in to the slap stroke at higher tempi.
The short answer is yes.
The two rhythmic markers in the tumbao moderno are the double open tones, and the slap stroke. As you have already learned, the double open tones are a negative marker i.e. you should not step while they sound. Conversely, the slap stroke is the positive rhythmic marker i.e. you should step while it sounds.
It helps if you
think about the slap stroke as a rhythmic anchor:
it prevents your (group of three) steps from drifting too close to either
set (preceding or following) of the double open tones. You do so by
calibrating your second (middle) step with the slap stroke. Timing your
second step to coincide precisely with the sound of the slap
allows your dancing to be more fault-tolerant. Variances in step duration
are distributed across two sets of double open tones (i.e.
the nul beats), where they cause the least disruption (see Extras).
The partnered exercises are crucial because it develops:
Reminder: when you have mastered this content, practice it with the addition of the teaching points from the previous tutorial.
©1999 Salsa & Merengue Society