Learn African Rhythms with It’s All About Rhythm’s Kevin Nathaniel


In this rhythm tutorial we show you everything you need to level up your rhythm by learning syncopated rhythms known as claves. What is a clave? A clave is a short rhythmic pattern which get repeated and lends itself to many other rhythmic variations.

This video is from It’s All About Rhythm, a course for musicians at any level. It is the best rhythm tutorial you can take if you are struggling to keep the beat or play with other musicians. Check it out at didgeproject.com/rhythm.

Rhythms featured in this video:
  • The Carribbean Clave, found throughout the Caribbean, Africa and Latin America
  • The Son Clave, also known as the “salsa” clave
  • The African 6/8 clave, found in African music, funk music, and others

Why learn from a rhythm tutorial video?

No matter what instrument you play, or even if you are a vocalist, learning clave patterns will help you bring your music to the next level. By practicing these relatively simple patterns, you will gain a better rhythmic feel and improve your sense of musical timing.

A clave is a short rhythm that actually tells you how a whole rhythm structure moves. Often times, when you hear rhythm, you hear it as moving but you don’t quite know how it moves. The clave tells you how it moves.

Again, if you are looking for a great rhythm tutorial, It’s All About Rhythm is a wonderful study tool that can help you take your playing to a higher level. Check it out at:


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My name is Kevin Nathaniel and I was born in Detroit, Michigan, which is Motown, a musical mecca. Growing up in Detroit I heard music everywhere, but I didn’t think I was going to play music because there were so many incredible musicians around at the time and I didn’t think I could do what they were doing. It wasn’t until I was practically out of college where I had some experiences listening to music coming out of Africa, and something told me I need to play music, I need to start playing, I had to start learning and get involved with instruments and making instruments. So the first instruments I got involved with playing and making were mbiras, aka kalimbas. I started building and playing these instruments and that was a path for me. From there I began to learn more about other instruments. I played many different instruments throughout my reach so far, but it started out with what sort of door opened when I got involved with mbira music and especially mbira music out of Southern Africa and Zimbabwe which took me into all sorts of other kinds of music. So that's where I started. Check out Kevin’s personal website at kevinnathaniel.com