There are certain fundamentals that anyone playing Cuban music must understand. These go beyond clave and montuno.
You must learn about the role of hand percussion and how the singer phrases his melody and inspirations. Don’t skip over this material simply because you may feel that you don’t need to know it.
Even if you never plan to play the claves, güiro, or campana, you should still understand the parts and strive to listen to them. As you will see, there is a reason that these musical instruments are still prominent in Cuban music today. Think of them as the glue. Without them, it would be very hard to hold some of the syncopated grooves together.
La Campana (Cowbell)
Las Maracas (Maracas)
El Güiro (Gourd)
Also includes ensemble examples: