Learn to play a mambo
In this blog post, you will learn to play a mambo pattern on the drum kit. I’m sharing the worksheet that I use when teaching my students and hope you find it useful.
The mambo is a Cuban dance rhythm that’s typically played by a group of percussionists, each performing their own rhythm line on congas, bongos, timbales, cowbells, etc. Listen to some mambos here.
To play it on the drum kit involves adapting these lines for a single player.
Mambo on the Drum Kit
The worksheet begins by showing a bell pattern that is sometimes played in mambos, where the right hand plays an ostinato on a mambo bell, whilst the left hand plays a cascara rhythm on a cha-cha bell.
This is easily adapted to the kit by playing the ride cymbal bell and cowbell, cross stick or rim of the snare drum, however, you can always experiment with other methods.
Although the foot pattern is simple enough, with the stepped hi-hat keeping time on beat 1 and 3 while the bass drum drops in on 2+, you may find co-ordinating your limbs challenging! But don’t give up, because it’s worth the pain!
I hope you have fun with this pattern. It really grooves at around 100 BPM. Good luck!