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Cabasa Lesson

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so believe it or not the Cabasa is

actually a modern-day instrument well

not so modern anymore it was actually

invented in the 1950s by Martin Cohen I

believe in his garage or basement he

Martin was the owner and developer of

Latin percussion the company that really

developed a lot of the instruments we

have and popularized Latin percussion

made the instruments accessible to a lot

of people so we really owe Martin a

great debt and and thank you thanks to

Martin Cohen for doing that now we have

this instrument which I'm sure you guys

have seen sometimes it's called a

Fouchet Cabasa CA ba si si is the

popular name it is basically emulating a

gourd with beads around it and it of

course is a modern design so it's got a

canister around which is is placed a

serrated metal cylinder I'm not sure how

well you can see this but around the top

you can peek in behind the beads and

then of course these beautiful metal

beads similar to what you might see in

some bracelets or necklaces around it

and so we get this wonderful kind of

rich scraper sound it's kind of an

interesting sound it's not really like a

rattle but it's not really like a

scraper either it's really in between a

scraper and a rattle sound so it's not

super bright to me it's got a real sandy

quality obviously it's got this abrasive

quality and it's a really nice sound so

the basic way you can play these is just

hold it in your hand like this cradle it

with one hand and then you're just going

to turn the handle with a twisting

motion like you're turning a doorknob

all right so that's the basic technique

another technique I like to incorporate

is shaking the Cabasa like a shaker and

you notice this is our percussive action

again same stroke got that it does back

and forth maybe with a little accent to

make it interesting then you can strike

the body of the cabassa on your palm or

your hand so kind of like we did for the

keshite not too different instead of

turning though like we did for the kashi

we're just going to strike our palm for

the Cabasa now if the handle gets loose

like mine just did you're going to have

to get a allen wrench or torques and use

it in the top to tighten that up a

little bit this is brand new out of the

box sometimes when you get a new

instrument it needs a little bit of

tightening up so I'm going to do that

and be right back another way I like to

play the cabassa is to shake it like a

shaker and again we're going to use our

percussive stroke a regular

reciprocating hand movement back and

forth and then you can strike the

cabassa on your palm or your fingers I

think my palm works better so I'm

getting a little tiny bit of scrape but

I'm also getting that impact now what

did I do just there I struck it on the

down stroke and then I struck it on the

upstroke so just like we did for the

keshe sheet we had down and up motions

you can do the same thing with the


now the biggest thing where people get

thrown off with this is they hear the

syncopated accents and they think that

they need to change the movements of the

Cabasa so just like with the keshe she

and a lot of other instruments I show

you guys your hand movement stays the

same it's kind of like down and up

strokes on and Glalie or guitar your

movement doesn't change the way you

strike the instrument changes your basic

movement doesn't change so what I am

changing is my hand from opposite the

Cabasa to on my side of the Cabasa I'm

rotating my playing hand back and forth

this doesn't change stays the same here

it is at an angle okay so I'm going to

leave you guys with this but those of

you who are world drum Club members are

going to see a really cool trick I'm

going to show you how to do this on the slash Kalani page alright so

thanks for watching you guys hey guys so

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extra lessons extra video some notation

some audio files whatever I think is

going to make that lesson even better so

let's do it alright thanks for watching

you guys I'll see you in another video