Guitar - Cuban

Instructor:   Michel Rivero

Guitar - Cuban

Instructor:   Michel Rivero

Course Description:

Level: 3 – 4  (see Playing Experience Level descriptions at the bottom of the page)

For such a small country Cuba is large when it comes to music, and the diversity of its rhythms.  Get ready to explore the musical styles of Son, Bolero, Cha Cha Cha and learn some popular Cuban songs that are internationally known.

You will find this class most enjoyable if you are comfortable playing at Level 3 or 4. Our main focus will be to learn about contra tempo and the different strumming patterns that are used to play alone (without percussion and bass) and still have all the elements that encompass these styles of guitar accompaniment. .

Michel Rivero

Michel Rivero, a recent newcomer to Canada was born in Cuba.  He grew up in the musical city of Havana, where he was surrounded by the poly-rhythmic Afro-Latin sounds Cuba is renowned for.  These rhythms are the roots of his guitar style.

Michel Studied music at the Art Instructor School in Havana where he studied Guitar, Choral Direction, and Cuban Latin Percussion.  He has played with an eclectic array of musicians from the vocal group Novel Voz, the traditional quartet Confusion and the choir Voces de Ebano.  Now in Canada, Michel is getting to know the musical community here where he is giving percussion and guitar workshops, arranging music for choirs, singing in the Just in Time choir, as well as playing his original works with his duo Sweet SantaFe. 

Website: Sweet SantaFe

Playing Experience Levels

These guidelines aim to ensure that all camp participants have an enjoyable experience. They represent what your playing capability should be before you take the class (prerequisites).

Classes are generally designed to pace themselves to match the participants' abilities. Level 1 classes aim to proceed at the pace of the slower students in the class. Level 2 and 3 classes aim to move at the pace of the majority of students in the class. Level 4 classes are designed to push the capabilities of all students and will target the pace of the more capable students  Class descriptions that show a range (Levels 2-3) means the material presented is broadly applicable across that range.

LEVEL 1: You are new or relatively new to your instrument. You may be able to play basic chords or scales slowly. You want to learn the basics of the instrument. You have very little experience playing with others.

LEVEL 2: You are competent with basic chords and/or basic scales. You can keep rhythm and/or play basic melodies and/or sing and play at the same time if the song is familiar. You generally need the chords or melody to be written out in order to play along. You have some experience playing with others.

LEVEL 3: You are reasonably comfortable with most chords, basic major and minor scales, and can play at an appropriate tempo for songs. You are aware of time signatures, song keys, and know that there are chords called 6th, 7th, 11th, etc even if you can’t play them all. You are comfortable maintaining good rhythm and are willing to taking breaks while jamming with others, even if the breaks don't always turn out the way you planned. You may be hoping to take your playing up to the next level of performing with a group or band (beyond jamming) and you want to further improve your technique and speed.

LEVEL 4: You are skilled on your instrument and have a good understanding of musical concepts including scales, arrangements, harmonies and some improvisation. You play lead and back-up with a steady rhythm and can play skillfully with others. You know there is life further up the neck on your instrument and have some capability in that world. You have performing experience, can hold a tune, and can harmonize.