You play congas...but do you know how to Sing?

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You play congas...but do you know how to Sing?

Postby windhorse » Wed Dec 16, 2009 1:33 pm

Well, I thought about it for a while,, "do I hijack the thread on congas and dancing? Or do I start another about singing?" BTW, I think the whole package of the folkloric arts is every bit as valuable as just the conga or the percussion in general.

But, I do wonder how many are working on the song?

My main teacher and band-mate David has a mantra that a percussionist that sings is much more valuable than one who doesn't. And when he would sing during our rumbas I began to believe him. I remember, like it was yesterday, when I would stumble all over the rhythm if I attempted to open my mouth and talk, or even if someone said something while we were playing.. The tiniest shift of focus would send you reeling! But, I stuck with it over the years..

I've certainly opened up to working on singing. I've been trying to micro-adjust the inflection, the resonance, the volume, the control, and the lyrics to several of the songs.
Somehow, a few years back, I realized that the song was this really cool extra value in the percussion. Not separate from, but part of the percussion. If you study the song and work on the percussion at the same time you realize that it goes to the same place in the brain. The song IS percussion, so you're expanding the instrument you play with another depth. It's another level that 3 dimensionalizes what you're doing already..

Admittedly, I've become an addict.. I can't stop practicing and working on songs. The amount of my conga practice has lessoned,, but some of my ability to converse with conga tones during a rumba has benefited! Maybe it's the bata and not the song.. But, it sure is helping my overall ability to fill the role as a player!

What about the rest of you?
Sorry if this thread is already out there in another form, but if so, I haven't seen it in a long time.
Dave
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Re: You play congas...but do you know how to Sing?

Postby vinnieL » Wed Dec 16, 2009 3:21 pm

Unless frying brains and ear drums is m intent I am one person who should not be singing lmao
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Re: You play congas...but do you know how to Sing?

Postby willie55 » Wed Dec 16, 2009 3:58 pm

when i play at the Rivermarket as a street performer, i will sing things that i make up on the fly, like, Rivermarket got mambo and repeat that then i will sing potatoes, tomatoes, rivermarket got mambo. playing tumbao to this.. the people like it and the tips are better
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Re: You play congas...but do you know how to Sing?

Postby KING CONGA » Wed Dec 16, 2009 4:56 pm

vinnieL wrote:Unless frying brains and ear drums is m intent I am one person who should not be singing lmao

vinnie when did you become a moderator? congrat's.
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Re: You play congas...but do you know how to Sing?

Postby niallgregory » Wed Dec 16, 2009 5:03 pm

Great topic windhorse .Its something i have been working on and performing for years . No through choice at the beginning as i just couldnt find a singer interested in afro latin music where im from .You really get to know a rhythm inside out if you can sing and play at the same time , it really helped my drumming also and purely from an enjoyment standpoint its great to be able to do .You can really loose yourself in a performance if your drumming and singing . It gave me a much better understanding of clave and its relation to both the drums and songs . Its also a valuable asset to have if your a gigging musician looking for work in different genrers like pop etc .
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Re: You play congas...but do you know how to Sing?

Postby bongosnotbombs » Wed Dec 16, 2009 5:41 pm

In rumba and folklore I have begun to think the singing is more important than
the drums themselves. Without song it's just rhythms going on and on in circles.
The singing adds progression and energy.

The other day I brought the drums to the rumba, but I had to leave right
at 6, but the rumba was still going. So I grabbed the quinto and put it
away, and they kept playing, then I grabbed the tres dos, and the rumba went
on, then I grabbed the claves, shekere, tumba and the rumba kept going
because people were singing and clapping clave. Someone pulled out another
pair of claves, a different shekere and an extra tumba and the rumba never missed
a beat.

I've moved up to singing coros while playing a drum or shekere, sometimes that extra
voice and energy really helps. It's a little harder for me to sing while on claves and palitos,
so I'm careful about singing coro then, but sometimes I can pull it off.

No full songs as of yet, but soon.
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Re: You play congas...but do you know how to Sing?

Postby Congadelica » Wed Dec 16, 2009 5:47 pm

+1 on above coment , if you can sing and play you get to understand more of the poly rythm , Singing is something i have been working on as much as percussion . I am learnig to sing in our Rumba group and I must say I find it equally as enjoyable as playing .
Having a good teacher of Rumba songs has helped also , I feel privaliged to be learning with a True Rumbero .

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Re: You play congas...but do you know how to Sing?

Postby vinnieL » Wed Dec 16, 2009 8:28 pm

KC thanks it's been less tham 24 hours
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Re: You play congas...but do you know how to Sing?

Postby Congadelica » Thu Dec 17, 2009 9:50 pm

Well done Vinne . new mod cool 8)
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Re: You play congas...but do you know how to Sing?

Postby ABAKUA » Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:42 pm

His cowbell is smaller than mine though. 8)

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Re: You play congas...but do you know how to Sing?

Postby windhorse » Fri Dec 18, 2009 12:56 am

I should have just hijacked that other thread.. :D
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Re: You play congas...but do you know how to Sing?

Postby ABAKUA » Fri Dec 18, 2009 2:01 am

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Re: You play congas...but do you know how to Sing?

Postby windhorse » Fri Dec 18, 2009 3:03 am

:P :)
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Re: You play congas...but do you know how to Sing?

Postby ABAKUA » Fri Dec 18, 2009 3:23 am

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Re: You play congas...but do you know how to Sing?

Postby umannyt » Fri Dec 18, 2009 9:36 am

KING CONGA wrote:vinnie when did you become a moderator? congrat's.

vinnieL,

Sorry, I even didn't notice your new title indicated below your avatar until KING CONGA mentioned it.

This may be off topic, but having talked to you at length on the phone at least a couple of times and based on your many written contributions here in CongaBoard that I've read, I know that you're a good choice to be moderator and that you'll be fair in exercising your new role.

Congratulations,
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