What is the course about?
The course will focus on playing Latin piano styles including common montuno patterns, and you will learn how to develop your solos with a particular emphasis on rhythm and harmony. You will be taught online playing your own piano or keyboard, accompanied by the tutor or playing to bespoke backing tracks set by the tutor.
This is a live online course. For more information please see our guide to online learning.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
- Introduction to Salsa, Son Montuno, Mambo, Cha-cha-cha and Bolero and Afro-Cuban piano styles.
- Approaches to soloing in these styles.
- Classic montuno patterns and how to play them including common variations.
- The percussion instruments used in Salsa (congas, bongos, clave, guiro and cowbell) and their associated rhythms
- Understand how the piano interacts with and fits into a traditional Latin rhythm section.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Understand the function of the piano in Afro-Cuban and Salsa music and learn how to play in these styles.
- Be familiar with the most common Latin music styles and be able to distinguish between them : Son, Mambo, Cha Cha Cha, Bolero and more.
- Solo in these styles of music with competence incorporating idiomatic harmonic and rhythmic features.
- Have a better understanding of how to improve your music reading in this style including exercises to help you improve your sense of rhythm, a vital partt of playing Latin music.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
The course is designed for intermediate players at Grade 4 (ABRSM) and higher grades with sight-reading skills at a similar level. Ideally you will have a minimum of 4 year’s regular playing experience to get the most out of the course.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be taught through practical online sessions playing your piano with direct feedback from the tutor as well as listening to musical examples. You will be set rhythmic and harmonic exercises to help you play in this style and you will be provided with backing tracks with which to practise between weekly sessions.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
A notebook and some manuscript paper.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Latin piano 2 follows this course.
There is a range of Pop, Jazz and Classical piano courses, Latin percussion, and Afro Cuban ensemble. You may also be interested in Township jazz and other practical World music courses.