Talking Style: Flavoring the 3:2 Clave

In this episode, we’ll continue to explore the Afro-Caribbean influence on the music that we know as Rock and Roll and R&B. I’m going to show you just a few ways that I use note length and some other “flavor packets” to spice up the 3:2 Clave and give it my own style and personality. 

I’ve included some transcriptions of the first five examples and an improv groove at the end of the video presentation that will give you some ideas that you can take or use as launch pads for your own ideas. 

Download the transcriptions.


Follow along with the videos below.

  1. Dr. John explaining how the “Bo Diddley” Groove fits into the Second Line groove on “Iko Iko”.
  2. Bo Diddley: “Bo Diddley”
  3. U2: “Desire”
  4. Bow Wow Wow: “I Want Candy”

Ted Gould III, also known as “Blyss”, is a bassist and music educator originally from New Orleans now based in the Bay Area. Connect with him at and check out his new Slap Bass course.

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Share your thoughts

  1. Paul

    Maybe, you should plug your bass in to something, so we can hear what you’re doing… ?

  2. Rob

    great lesson, one of my favorite types of Music is New Orleans style. From George Porter on electric bass to Kirk Joseph on tuba, that bass style is hard to beat.

  3. Thanks for the lesson. A groove can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. Cool.

  4. dennis

    very well done.

  5. Bob DeRosa

    Outstanding! Both your musical style and your teaching style are first-rate. Thanks.

  6. Mark S Beretta

    I want Candy !!!!

  7. Mark S Beretta

    Didley this , didley that , Bo Diddley was best from the past.

  8. Mark S Beretta

    Ted thanks’ that gave me some really good ideas.
    I listened to Bo Diddley when I was 9 years old.
    That type grove stayed with me all these years.
    The first thing I hear in any given song is the bass line.

  9. Flavor packets :)
    Some sweet and some spicy! Thanks, Blyss!

  10. Eric

    Heh. And my mind went immediately to the Escape Club’s “Wild, wild west” as soon as I heard that pattern… And “flavor packets,” huh… Have to remember that. :)

  11. Jay

    Such a great lesson, and well, well taught. Very natural and easygoing with a lot of great information. I’ll definitely be coming back for future lessons :)

  12. Pete C

    Brilliant! Well explained, very well played, and to the point.
    And such a great groove, makes you want to dance! Many thanks Ted