Transcription of Chick Corea on Armando’s Rhumba

Transcription of Chick Corea’s solo piano playing of Jazz Salsa tune Armando’s Rhumba

Chick Corea did a nice solo piano version of his own composition called Armando’s Rhumba on Legends of Jazz. Here is the youtube video :


Here’s the transcription of the video from roughly 0m44s to 1m33s :


A few points to take note :

Harmonizing Melody

  • We see how Chick Corea manage to harmonize the original melody of the tune beautifully, instead of just playing it with both hands unison.
  • The melody need not always be harmonize a third away. From the transcription, we see a mixture of fifths, and thirds and many others.  What’s more important is the chord at that instant you plan to harmonize.

Salsa Groove

  • The tune should be played with a strong salsa groove to it. With the clave beat in your head, even though there’s no salsa drumming or a steady bass tumbao to guide you.  This will strongly effect your phrasing, and accents.
  • Check out this video when Chick Corea is playing with Bobby McFerrin. Note how McFerrin was doing the bass tumbao when Chick Corea was improvising a solo.

Bar 9 – 12

The left hand part of these four bars were very blurry, my best guess was a rolling of left hand with two C notes an octave a part, with the intention of a C pedal tone through these four bars.

Have fun and Enjoy …… 😀


  • viktor

    Reply Reply July 26, 2009

    Would like to buy the transcription the whole vertion ofarmando´s rhumba
    how could i do it.

  • Mooney

    Reply Reply November 6, 2009

    I really appreciate your work. Curious as to when we might be able to see part 2 of the Armando’s Rhumba transcription?

  • jimmy kreutzer

    Reply Reply October 11, 2011

    i was SO happy when i found your armando’s rhumba transcription! ive been listening to that youtube video for years. thanks so much dude!

  • peter

    Reply Reply January 22, 2013

    I can’t found the PDF ? Has it to do, that I work on a Mac?

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