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At last, you can take a lesson from a Cuban piano master. Emilio Morales, along with musicologist Jon Griffin, will guide you through the full array of Cuban styles. From traditional Cha-cha-chá and bolero to son moderno and timba. This book will show you actual examples of Cuban music, not just a bunch of exercises to practice.
I think the piano is the most complete instrument. It is rhythm, melody, and harmony plus its construction is that of a percussion instrument. For these and more reasons, it has always transcended as the instrument par excellence.
The piano can be used to play boleros, or to play ballads You can use the piano to play merengue a classic style from the Dominican Republic. You can use it to play son, like I demonstrated. You can use it to play music including effects like harp. You can also use it to play percussive effects like this: The effects you create have a feel of percussion.
You have to know where to apply the piano and how you will use the piano. If the piano is going to be inside a group playing dance music, it will be heard rhythmically, harmonically and melodically. Why? Because the tumbaos are going to have rhythms that correspond to a harmony and melody, but inside the tumbao there are times when the piano plays: At this moment the piano is playing harmonically
The piano can do this: At this moment it is playing harmonically but it is also playing rhythmically with that figure.
I think that the important thing to know is a question of the percussive utilization in the tumbao that binds the melodic effects and the harmony. You can't play tumbao without thinking of the harmony. You have to think in your mind what kind of tumbao you will play, chords... or like Cuban montunos, or like American swing .
For example I can play in Latin jazz[br]this take on A Train. Here we combined the harmonic and rhythmic inside the improvisation some elements of jazz improvisation. Other elements from Cuban music improvisation. All of this depends on the skill and knowledge of the player.
Understanding the clave is very important for playing Cuban music or Latin jazz. In Cuban son it is the internal clave that needs to be internally developed and mastered. You can have have a more open harmony. You can add different tonalities either richer or more simple.