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Pierre Bensusan's Etude Salsa

July 14, 2011

imgThis “Étude,” or study, is an excerpt from the composition “Agadiramadan” from my album Intuite (which is also published in The Intuite Guitar Book).

imgThis lesson will help you acquire rhythmic independence of each finger of the picking hand. In salsa music, every actor in the band has a precise rhythmic role. I have condensed those roles to one part, to make it work as a guitar arpeggio, in which you will find a melodic arpeggio (Am-Em-D-GAm)— a cyclic melody from within the arpeggio, (in which only the G note changes to F#, back to G)—and a bass line that falls on the fourth sixteenth-note of beat one, third sixteenth- note of beat two, fourth sixteenth of beat three, and third sixteenth of beat four.

imgThis is only one way of approaching this. The idea is to acquire the freedom to be able to change the bass line, play some chords, and improvise while always remaining faithful to the way the bass accents fall. It’s challenging, but highly entertaining. At the end of the day, you should feel so comfortable and smooth that you will never want to stop it. Enjoy!

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