The Clave Rhythm

This clave rhythm is used in many different musical styles including, Samba, Salsa and American Rock and Roll. 
Teacher Note: The students must clap the syllables of the words to create the rhythms. This activity is more advanced and should be tried after the music notation lesson.

step 1

Have the students echo the sentence, “These are the claves.” After the students have repeated the sentence 3 or 4 times, the teacher/conductor changes the rhythm of the sentence by placing a rest between the word “the” and the word “claves”. Example: “These are the [rest] claves.”

step 2

Create a samba piece by combining multiple rhythms created by the students. There are the three parts to the samba piece.   Clap each part out for the students to hear.

Part 1: Fi-re-crac-ker /Drum/ Ban-jo/ Drum

Part 2: These-are-the—cla-ves

Part 3: Fi-re-crac-ker / Rest/ Ban-jo / Rest

step 3

Separate students into three groups and have each group clap one part continuously.  (It may help to have each group practice their part separately from the other groups to allow for focus.) Bring groups together, have them close their eyes and simultaneously clap their part.  As each group is clapping their own part help them stay on the beat (making sure they don’t speed up or slow down).  The combined rhythm of the three parts creates a samba piece. 

Art Making