Salsa > Listening to Salsa music - how often? helpful?

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by africana, Apr 21, 2005.

  1. africana

    africana New Member

    Just curious, how often do dancers listen to salsa music OUTSIDE of social dancing? Does it improve your dancing if you listen to it frequently?
    Or (as in my case) does it tire you eventually, having "excessive" intake of salsa?

    I guess it all also depends on what music one purchases/owns (whether or not the DJs play it often) but I'm curious as to why some teachers recommend knowing the songs well in order to improve some aspect of social dancing like timing

    for me it's the complete opposite: I can't stand listening to salsa often, and yet it feels like the music is embedded in my DNA :lol:
  2. squirrel

    squirrel New Member

    I only listen to Salsa music... :)

    And it might help, if one cannot hear the beat...
  3. Lucretia

    Lucretia New Member

    Listening to salsa music improves my dancing. But I do not only listen to salsa. I try to listen to son, afrocuban, hip-hop salsa (Clan 537 for example) and all kinds of music related to salsa. It helps.

    In the car I mostly listen to son and/or other early kinds of latin music.

    When I clean the house I prefer merengue - it helps a lot.

    When I feel bad I put on my favorite Clan 537. The son singer starts very gently - like stretching your body awake. The they adds on the basic beat - a mixture of salsa /hip hop/funk and builds up a musical sensation that always make me feel good.

    Yesterday I listened to Shakiras latest (cumbja I believe it is) If you are curious ..go to her web (

    Different kinds of music....different purposes. But they all improves my dancing ability.

    One example: I never have to count in if I loose the beat. I just know what foot to put down next.

  4. MacMoto

    MacMoto Active Member

    In my case,
    - As often as I can -- whenever I'm on the move (I take my portable CD player everywhere), and also when I do chores like cleaning, ironing and weeding.

    - Yes I believe listening salsa music a lot improves your dancing. Your timing improves, and you also get a feel for the way salsa songs are structured -- you can tell instinctively when a break is about to come, etc. The attribute I appreciate most in salsa dancers is musicality, and you cultivate musicality through listening to music.

    - So far I haven't got tired of salsa yet. I carry around a few of my compilations with different moods, and if I feel too tired to handle hard-core stuff, I put on my "mellow selection".
  5. Vin

    Vin New Member

    I listen to salsa music alot while I am not dancing, not because I am trying to improve my dancing but because I love listening to it.

    Does it lead to an overdose of salsa? Sometimes, the last couple of days in fact the last thing I have wanted to listen to is salsa, but at those times I just don't listen to it, problem solved.

    Has it helped my dancing? I am certain it has. Technically my dancing has not improved but my sense of the music is better because I listen to it often.
    It is rare that I lose the sense of the timing in a song(although it did happen the other day).
    I am often amazed when I talk to some excellent dancers and they tell me that they don't own any salsa music, for some reason it always surprises me.
  6. Ms_Sunlight

    Ms_Sunlight New Member

    My comfort level with dancing increased immediately I got myself a few salsa CDs that I really like. Also, I've noticed that playing them around the house has really helped the husband find the beat. He's not as musical as me and doesn't have as much training either so I got it straight away but it took him a little longer :)

    But then, I don't want to listen to salsa all the time. Just a lot of the time!
  7. tj

    tj New Member

    I listen to it a lot while driving in my car (for my own enjoyment only, not to work on anything). There are times when I don't feel like it, so I'll just listen to the radio or pop in something else into the CD player. I guess sub-consciously I'm memorizing breaks, etc., but it's not something that I purposefully concentrate on.
  8. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Listening to the music outside of dancing to it helps. In fact I am a constant advocate of doing this everywhere to everyone, including these forums. By listening to it I have noticed significant improvements in my sense of music, as Vin said. I also have got tired of the same songs that are played at dances and want more variety. :cry:
  9. alemana

    alemana New Member

    i was interested in latin music before i became interested in latin dancing, so yes, i listen to salsa even when i'm not dancing. terribly important to my sense of rhythm, i believe.
  10. gte692h

    gte692h Member

    i agree. i did the same when i started off. the first 6-8 months when i started learning, i would listen to a couple of salsa cds non-stop, and i got sick of those songs. I rarely listen to purely salsa music outside of clubs now.

    that being said, i'm listening to latin music all the time. perhaps it's a cultural consequence of dancing salsa. But the stuff I listen to is more a combination of reggae, and other influences. with a very strong element of salsa beats ( i dont' know the spanish terms for these beats). I would highly recomment Sergent Garcia to you. I have 3 of their cds, their lyrics are great, the songs aren't fluffy like some of the club salsa songs. In fact, in an album of 14 songs, maybe 2 are salsa, 1 cha-cha, the rest are reggae, with a lot of subtle salsa, cumbia etc mixed in. The best part is that there is a lot of energy in the songs. Its not bob-marley style reggae. also Manu Chao.. both of these guys are french-cuban, and they have a huge following in europe and southamerica. they talk a lot about social injustices in their songs, so there is a lot of substance in what they have to say.

    i'd say if someone still can't pick up the basic timing in salsa, then they should listen to a lot of salsa music. But once that's done, I would recommend saving the salsa music for the clubs, and instead listening to other music, and try incorporate their timing and salsa steps in that music. That way, when I go to a club, and hear a salsa song, i get really excited, and it really shows in my dancing. That's better than listening to so much salsa, that I would not appreciate the music anymore.
  11. Vin

    Vin New Member

    All salsa music is not created equal. Some of it sucks and some of it is great. As I have developed more of an appreciation for the music my tastes have changed. If your listening to the same 100 songs all the time then yes, eventually you will get sick of it.

    But the greats, if I had more salsa music you can bet I would be listening to it more than I do now.

    If I had the complete Eddie Palmieri, Tito Puente, Manny Oquendo, El Gran Combo, Celia Cruz, Willie Colon collections, among others I don't think I would overdose on it as often, which right now is about one week every 2 months.

    What I am trying to say here is that, listen to the music if you want to, if you love the music it is not going to lead to any sort of salsa overdose.
  12. volleybgrl

    volleybgrl New Member

    I am almost always listening to salsa music. Initially I listened to it for the timing, but now I've noticed that I enjoy the dances more if I know the songs. Also, if you know the song you can style with the music (snap, a perfect drop or spin, etc).
  13. africana

    africana New Member

    yeah!! my feelings exaclty! it's almost as if I'm afraid of losing that freshness of when I started dancing

    But I've been trying to buy music that is not played often, and also other afro-latin stuff like samba for when I can't go out, to listen to at home (cos some really good songs might get me stopped for driving under the influence ;) )
  14. gte692h

    gte692h Member

    you should try candombe, it is a street music from uruguay. Some albums have vocals, but I would recommend one with just percussive drums. I have this album, and I love this one. It just drum beats, but I use them for working on isolation techniques, shines, and in general, to warm up before going to a salsa night, as a means of getting 'the beat' inside me. My favorite track is No. 4, for isolations

    you can check out samples here.
  15. Big10

    Big10 Member

    I agree with that 100%! Personally, I think I made a quantum leap in the quality of my dancing (as well as the number of compliments I would receive for it) after I started buying more CDs of Salsa music to play in my spare time, rather than just hearing it in the clubs and practicing by silently counting the steps at home. Now, even when live bands are "riffing," I can still predict the improvised breaks coming up more often than not. 8)

    Yes, it's possible to get "burned out" on Salsa music -- just like listening to too much of any other music. However, for me it's usually only temporary. I continue to dance Salsa with the frequency of an addict, mainly because of my love for the music first....although the excitement of the dance is a very close second.
  16. cocodrilo

    cocodrilo New Member

    Same here! I have a huge collection of music, and like to listen to different CDs all the time. While driving, though, something upbeat and cheery is good(& prevents slumber!) so salsa & other latin music are good choices! :D
  17. africana

    africana New Member

    cool it's interesting to see the variety in effect of music...I've always been told that I mirror the music in my dancing, and somehow I always seem to connect to the instruments and feeling in the songs. that's pretty much why I first loved dancing salsa, it was just really natural for me
    BUT I've been pretty ignorant about WHO the musicians and artists are that I'm dancing to. Can you imagine listening and dancing to Pupy and having NO CLUE that you're enjoying the world's best?? yeah, I've done that a few times with other artists too :oops: so I want to know more about who sings what, and so on, enough to appreciate it all on a different dimension

    gte thx, I've been trying to find more percussion dominated stuff as they aren't too mainstream, so I'm gonna get that album :)
  18. TheLetterJ

    TheLetterJ New Member

    I think listening to a lot of different kinds of salsa music made the biggest difference in my dancing. I hit a plateau when I learned some moves, and then was just dancing the moves to music (on time btw) dryly. But after I listened to salsa music outside of clubs (like a little everyday during lunchbreak), my rhythm got better, I got complimented on my timing and musicality when I danced again with people I haven't danced with in a few weeks. After listening to a lot of salsa music, I feel the music fuller, as if I have more time to improvise and express myself.

    The only downsides are (if I were to name any), you'll notice when the band messes up more often, when your partner is off time, or you become more critical of what kind of music you like to dance to, and others might perceive you as a salsa snob. :)
  19. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    I'll agree about the being critical about teh music being played part. :cheers: :)
  20. aragonh

    aragonh New Member


    Im also like that. I also like to sing to the songs Im dancing

    Here are some of my favorite songs I like to sing to (and dance along with):

    Guarare - Ray Barretto
    Siempre Sea - Joe Cuba
    Mi Gente - Hector Lavoe

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