I find the the grooves of Cuba as applied to the drum kit to be very challenging. I have a functional Mambo that I got from Chuck Silverman’s Practical Applications book. A student of mine contacted me ans warned me he wants to learn to play a Mambo for an upcoming performance and I thought it would do me good to brush up and maybe stretch my facility some.
This video by Bobby Sanabria is a basic Mambo pattern which includes a left foot clave played on the hihat. It’s a great place to start and is a little more complicated than the version I’m familiar with. Learn this and then learn it in the other direction (2nd bar first). Then try to play along to some Mambo music (see below).
Here’s my skanky, hand written transcription of the groove (play the cowbell or ride bell):
Now watch Bobby and learn: