I was introduced to a new cuban piano pattern this weekend while I was at a cuban pig roast. Leave it to me to disappear into a basement piano room with another pianist while the rest of the party is happening outside.
Learning new rhythms is a true labor of love for me. When we attempt something like a new rhythm, neurons in our white matter brain tissue send electrical signals to each other for the first time. This series of connections becomes the neural pathways that will carry the entire musical pattern through from our imaginations to our fingertips. Like sledding down a snowy hill – the path is difficult to create, and the result is slow moving at first, but the more we use the pathway, the slicker it becomes. When the sledding trail is super icy and slick, the fun really starts. After practicing slowly and deliberately for some time, the myelin in our brains creates suitable support for our new neural pathway, and our neuron signals can fly down that pathway like lightning – allowing our bodies to play cuban music lol…
If you’re a pianist who loves deliberate practice, and you’ve never tried playing anything like this before, I’d love for you to give it a try. You can download a .pdf of the Cuban Piano Pattern, or just check out the image provided in the post.
Here’s a video of me at 7:15 AM trying to practice this thing. This was a huge challenge for me, and I’m really proud of the progress I’m making. I hope this pattern brings you as much joy.
Have a groove you’re trying to work on? Share it with me in the comments section below!