Character of the Music and the Dance
Salsa is a fast paced dance all about having fun. There are lots of turns, footwork, and Cuban motion. The movements are small and swing like, meaning its well suited for dancing in small spaces. It also tends to have a very relaxed hold in comparison to its sibling Mambo.
congas, bongos, bass, piano, tres, horns, claves, guíro, maracas,
There is a constant light rolling sound followed by two clicking actions in the background. The rolling sound is the same length as the two clicking sounds put together. These subtle sounds are what make up the base beat of the music. However fast those two clicking sounds are, that's how fast the tempo to the music is. Everything else happening can sometimes make that base beat hard to hear, so listen closely.
Click the Samples Below
The rolling sound and clicking is evident here even though there is a lot going on throughout the rest of the music. Try and pick it out.
The horns are the main embellishment in the music here so picking out the base beat in contrast is a little easier.
This song makes the base beat a lot louder and the music is a bit slower. Salsa does not always have to be a fast dance.
Modern Salsa tend to be a remix of the base Salsa beat with some kind of modern embellishment.