How to Play Salsa on Piano
Salsa is a great style of music for any piano player. It is considered Latin music
and an understanding of its history is necessary in order to fully appreciate salsa music. If you are
unfamiliar with Latin music, begin by surrounding yourself with popular Latin music. Salsa itself encompasses
many genres of piano music including blues, funk and rhythm.
Various instruments can be used when playing salsa, but mostly percussions. A guitar or piano will usually
accompany these percussions giving it a rich sense of Latin culture. There are many ways to learn to play Salsa and
this article will break down the essential elements of salsa music.
Salsa is often used to dance. While there are no lyrics, the heavy emphasis of rhythm and beat make it a perfect
accompaniment for any dancer. In order to successfully play salsa on your piano, you must understand its general
structure. Salsa is played at a beat of 4/4 on the piano and includes the A clave.
The A clave is constructed using 8 synchronized beats, positioned at either 2-3 or 3-2 clave. Repeat the pattern
over and over again, creating a pattern of beats from beginning to end. Claves are often the foundation in many
piano pieces and generate the backbone for salsa by creating a motif of rhythm. Once you have mastered this key
component it is time to include your left hand.
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Begin by learning and practicing the walking bass lines. You create this
affect by measuring the even notes played over and over again, creating an
arpeggio. An arpeggio is when you play each note of a chord separately, rather than all together.
This creates an overall affect which is necessary for the construction of salsa music. It is now time to combine
both hands together in order to create a fluid piece of music. Your right hand will be in charge of the melody.
Play the progression while inserting licks into the holes. By combining both hands, your left hand will be
playing the arpeggio and your right hand will play the melody, creating salsa music. These two elements combined
together give salsa music that unique style and flavour.
Hopefully, you are now on your way to playing salsa music for all your friends. Salsa is a wonderful piece of
music to share with friends and family as it is primarily a dancing style of music. Do not be frightened to share
your music. You might make a few mistakes on the first time around, but practice will improve your chances of
Take your time when you first start, paying close attention to each note and chord. Once you have the correct
key selection, you can increase your speed. Listen to Latin music, especially Salsa; it will train your ears to
hear important chords and progressions necessary to create unique sounds.
Listening and watching others play will be very be very helpful when trying it out for yourself. It will give
you a good understanding of proper hand positioning and movements. All
young pianists should learn how to play salsa on piano, it is a rewarding experience.