Bachata Breakdown

Presented by Carlos Cinta to the music of Joan Soriano, "El Duque".

Includes full songs by Joan Soriano and The Bachata Roja Legends.

Bachata Breakdown demonstrates bachata instrument by instrument, with spoken beat counting. Dance and musicality instructor Carlos Cinta explains timings to bass, bongos, güira, and full instrumental tracks. Carlos illustrates timing for dancing on 1, 2, 3, 4, and 1 with bass syncopation.

Bachata is in 4/4 time:

Each measure can be divided into 4 principle beats. The bachata basic dance sequence of 'step, step, step, tap' falls on each of the 4 principle beats. The sequence can be begun on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th beats, depending on the feel of the song and the mood of the dancer.

Timing Tips:

Bongos: Listen for the low drum, it usually hits on the 4th beat. The high drum usually emphasizes beats 1 and 3 when the güira is in double time and beats 1,2, and 3 equally when the güira is in single time.


The bass plays a long note on 1, pauses on the 2nd beat, and then plays a short syncopated note between the 2nd and 3rd beats before playing on the 3rd and 4th beats : 1.... 'nd, 3, 4, 1.... 'nd, 3,4


The güira alternates between double time - playing on every 8th note - and single time - on quarter notes.
Double time: 1 'nd 2 'nd 3 'nd 4 'nd (8 güira hits per measure)

Single time: 1, 2, 3, 4 (4 güira hits per measure)

The güira usually plays double time when the singer is in the verse or when the guitar is playing the song's melodic theme, and switches to single time behind the chorus and guitar mambos (repeating guitar grooves).


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