Instant Afro – Make Clave Beats Like an Expert (Afrobeat/Reggaeton/Dancehall)


We can find influences of Afro-Cuban and Latin rhythms in all styles of music. The main rhythm that inspired other cultures all over the world was the clave rhythm. Interestingly enough, the African rhythms they were inspired by came back to Africa. Today, we can hear the clave rhythm in modern African pop music, Dancehall, Reggaeton, and even dance music like big room house and tribal.

Clave rhythms and its variation are the backbones for all these beats. Let’s first check out the main clave pattern.



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This pattern is extremely popular in modern African pop music with artists like Maleek Berry, WizKid Burnaboy & Mr. Eazi.


Maleek Berry – Love U



Mr.Eazi – Supernova





From there we can start making some variations to get other styles. For example, let’s loop just the first section of the Clave Rhythm to get a dancehall beat.



Check out this tune from Koffee. The synth pattern at the beginning of the song is the Dancehall rhythm we saw above and then a 4/4 kick is coming. But in the chorus, the full Dancehall beat comes in.


Koffee – Toast


Here is another beat with an interesting approach to programming the Dancehall beat.


Mavado – Fresh Paint





Now let’s put a kick on every beat while keeping the syncopated pattern from the first half of the Clave rhythm to get a Reggaeton vibe.



We can hear this pattern dominantly in artists like J. Balvin, Bad Bunny and Daddy Yankee.


J. Balvin, Bad Bunny – LA CANCIÓN


The beauty of programming all these beats is in the variations and the sounds that you use. To make it easier for us we made a Max for Live device to instantly make these types of beats.



Instant Afro



We took the Instant Haus Max for Live device that comes with the Max for Live Essentials pack and modded it to include all kinds of clave rhythm patterns and multiple variations.



Like the original Instant Haus, this device features 4 sequencers. Each is pre-loaded with different drum patterns.



You can choose which MIDI note is being sent out through each sequencer.





Manually Drag the Instant Afro.AMXD file to your User Library/Presets/Midi Effects/Max MIDI effects.

To check where your User Library is located, Go to Ableton’s Preferences and check the Library Tab



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