This instrument is made by two medium-sized long piece of hard and resonant wood (8 inc. long and 1 inc diameter) which are strucked together to produce a sharp cutting "wood click" sound.

The claves play a simple two measures rhythmic figure which is considered the foundation of almost all Afro-Cuban and Latin rhythms: singers and musicians are generally guided by the beat of the claves.

This two measures pattern consists of two parts: a "three notes" measure and another of "two notes"; can be played two ways: "3-2" or "2-3" according to the number of strokes in each measure and their sequence.

Once the clave begins it doesn't stop or reverse itself; this establish a unique relationship of the claves to all other instruments. In Latin music the "concept of clave" is a must for any musician to prevent the risk of being "on the wrong side". A good exercise while playing congas (or other instr.) is tapping the clave with your foot or singing it.

The main clave patters are 3:
- 6/8 CLAVE


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