We will stair-step into this very popular beat pattern. I've heard it called so many different street names that I myself am confused. I welcome the feedback of all professional Latin drummers on this one. What is the classic name for this beat? I've heard it called Lambada, Calypso and several other names.
Initially, in this first step it tends to look and sound like an off-center, syncopated rock beat but that will change as we stair-step into the more complex versions.
Listen to the sound file!
Now, move that second snare note up to the high mounted tom. Practice until you can repeat the pattern at least as fast as the sound file. Even faster tempos are possible. I've set the sound file somewhere in-between.
WHAT ABOUT FILLS? It may be easiest to play all your early fills off the first bass. You may use nearly any of the routine fills you would attach to any rock beat at similar tempos. After all . . . this really is a glorified, syncopated 8th 4/4 (rock) pattern. Latin drummers tend to incorporate a lot of 'Timbali' type (power) rimshots into their fills. You will get the hang of this quicker by listening and playing along with various Latin recordings.
CHECK-OUT THE VIDEO: Click here to see, and hear some of the above techniques. It's about a two minute wait with dial-up. (190 kb)