Maraca Madness

By Richie “Gajate” Garcia Published in the May 2006 issue of DRUM!

Let’s have a shake at three popular maraca patterns used in Latin music. Ex. 1 is a salsa pattern that is played at a medium-to-fast tempo. Make sure you hit the accents clearly. Ex. 2 is a son montuno pattern that is played at a slow-to-medium tempo. The dots over the sixteenth-notes indicate a slightly rushed feeling. Ex. 3 is a 6/8 pattern that is played at a medium-to-fast tempo in the styles of a Peruvian waltz and a Venezuelan joropo. Keep in mind that there are many variations to each pattern, so feel free to explore.

Maraca Madness Exercises

Richie “Gajate” Garcia has played with Phil Collins, Diana Ross, Hiroshima, and John Denver, recorded movie soundtracks, taught at Musician’s Institute for more than ten years, and performs clinics worldwide.