Welcome to the ERSKN Afro-Cuban Essentials Play-Along app, featuring Aaron Serfaty.
I have known Aaron for many years, and he is the “go-to” guy for Afro-Cuban and Brazilian drumming in Los Angeles. He is also my trusted colleague at the Thornton School at the University of Southern California. We are delighted to present this app to you.
It has been designed and created for use by all musicians who are interested in increasing their understanding of listening to Afro-Cuban music and raising the level of their skills and artistry when playing this music.
The heart of Afro-Cuban music is understanding clave and the role each instrument plays, all while being able to play the “standards” of this music in common keys and at different tempos. With the combined professional and pedagogical experiences between the three musicians, these tracks target and explore an essential variety of requisite Afro-Cuban modes and styles.
Using the built-in mixer, the user can create their own combo: full rhythm section (trio), music-minus- piano, music-minus-bass, music-minus-drums, or solo tracks of drums-only, bass-only or piano-only PLUS any combination of congas, bongo and timbale percussion tracks. There are click-track and count-off options, too.
PDF lead sheets are included for the rhythm section. These charts can be printed or emailed from the app. There are also transcriptions of some of the piano montuno patterns as well as all of the relevant beats and patterns Aaron plays on a variety of instruments (drum set, congas, bongo and timbales, etc.)
We suggest you listen to the full band mixes at least once in order to hear how the musicians are playing this music — you now have a world-class Afro- Cuban rhythm section at your fingertips!
I asked Aaron what he wanted to say in these introductory remarks, and this is what he told me: “I'd like you to insist on the fact that we don't need to be fluent in Spanish to play this music. Nurture Vs. Nature. No genetic code needed, just homework.”
There’s no better musical homework than listening and playing...and now, you can do both, any time and anywhere!
-- Peter Erskine
Fix a bug related to Apple's inclusion of PDFKit in iOS 11.
Ratings and ReviewsSee All
Doesn't work well on iPhone 4
This should be clearly stated for an app this pricey. It stutters on the iPhone 4 which works perfectly well with other music apps I own. Very disappointed.
App doesn’t really work
The email chart option doesn’t work, the app freezes and shuts down randomly during playback on different songs. Was also under the assumption that the charts were fully notated (was advised this by the creator of the app) however, the charts are not fully notated. Just a chord chart with a few guide tones. To be honest, very dissatisfied with it. Shouldn’t have purchased it.
Effort falls short
I'm a huge fan of the idea of play along apps for percussionists to learn how to play over changes and get a feel for phrasing. This current offerings falls short of the previous two play along apps from Fuzzy Music as some of the play along tracks have either been sped up using Pro Tools and show glaring tempo problems in the accompanying ensemble (not to mention feeling a wee bit off the click). I have an enormous amount of respect for the musicians here, but this offering yields a modest effort, at best.
Revision: the more I try and work with this app, the more it's clear that this is just not something that is of a professional, nor even semi-pro, quality. Complete rubbish.
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.