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Timing help!

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Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 418

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:07 am    Post subject: Timing help! Reply with quote

I just received this info from Shahab - our student - for all those who are struggling with timing. Hope it helps!!

"Timing seems to be the challenge for a lot of beginner/intermediate dancers including myself. I did some research and found this webpage that has useful info about the range of BPM (Bars Per Minute) for Salsa songs:

Also, there is a very good beat counter kind of app called "BTAP" ( on iTunes that letís you set the BPM; the samples (how many beats 4 or 8 so it works for Bachata and Salsa); accent the first beat; or only play the first beat.

Combining the info on the webpage and this app, people can practice with slow/fast/very fast beats and improve their timing. When they get better, they can set the app so it only plays the beat on the first beat and see if they have stayed on beat between the first and the fourth/eight (for Bachata/Salsa) beat.


Thanks Shahab!!
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Joined: 18 Sep 2012
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:39 am    Post subject: More timing help.... Reply with quote

Thanks Sharon!

One thing about the website I gave you is that they seem very conservative in terms of how fast Salsa songs are! They say 50-60 BPM is very fast but I found that a lot of Salsa songs have 150/160 BPMs and these are not super-fast songs. Anyhow, I guess people would know where their comfort zone is when they play around with the app.

Here is another great site!

Videos on this site are free and awesome if you wanna practice your timing! There is a voice-over that counts plus they have both On-1 and On-2 videos.

They have a software as well as a great iPhone/Android app to practice your timing. You can download the software after a donation (min. $10) or get the app for (I guess) $1.99 for iPhone Ė not sure how much the Android app is.

The app is so cool because it works for someone who is just a beginner and for someone who is more advance and wanna mess around with different instruments (turn them on/off, change their scale, their speed, etc.) and kick it up a notch! IMO, it is damn worth the few dollars!

Hope this helps.

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Joined: 27 May 2010
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is my experience...

The single most useful video that I found was this one:
along with this comment:
The best way to understand this is by saying, "Tucu 1, 2, 3, tucu, 5, 6, 7, tucu, 1..."

After I learned how to recognize the "tucu" (i.e. the congas), other instruments followed. Why are the congas so crucial?

1) Many songs have it - so once you learn how to recognize it, you will be able to find the beat on many songs.
2) It introduces the idea of looking for the "1" and "5" beat in the "silence" (i.e. the beat you are looking for is not accented - something that is typical in salsa)

The next most important instrument I found was the clave (also in this video).

Then I watched this video:

And this guy explains it well as well:

And this is a useful app that lets you turn off an on inidividual instruments, that was also used in the TDS timing workshop (Tracy and Lucky did a great job):
The bass in this particular app is the trickiest, IMO.

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