PercussionTutor is an app I am really excited about. While it is actually designed for percussionists, the app and free ebook combine to offer a huge reference for any musician wishing to better understand rhythms and learning how the different percussion parts fit together to produce the groove.
In other words, this will help you – as a bassist – to better understand how your bass lines should fit into the context of the groove.
Focusing on South American, Caribbean and West African music, this is more than just a play-along app. There is notation, videos and detailed information (in the ebook) about the various claves and how they all fit together.
The music is all real (not midi) and recorded by world class musicians from around the globe. Once you’ve selected a style, you can play the entire groove – adding or removing various parts at the click of a button, as well as look at the notation of all the parts in a score, read about the origins of the groove, listen to the clave with a metronome and watch a video of the performers recording the loop.
PercussionTutor is truly fantastic and a blast to play along with. I even found myself just reading the ebook for my own reference and education.
Money well spent for anyone who wants to explore these rhythms (or “the original funk music,” as Lincoln Goines put it. Check it out!
PercussionTutor is available for iOS devices from the App Store, for $4.99. The app is compatible with iPhone models from 3GS through 5, iPod touch (3rd, 4th and 5th generations) and iPad and requires iOS 5.0 or later.