Maraca Madness

By Richie "Gajate" Garcia Originally Published in DRUM! Magazine's May 2006 Issue

Let’s have a shake at three popular maraca patterns that are 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.


RICHIE "GAJATE" GARCIA has played with Phil Collins, Diana Ross, Hiroshima, and John Denver; recorded movie soundtracks; taught at Musician's Institute for ten years, and performs clinics worldwide.