How do you solo on congas??

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Re: How do you solo on congas??

Postby GuruPimpi » Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:05 am

Me and my girlfriend just watched this video 2 days ago and yeah, i like his playing... Also Yoel Del Sol's on lp video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbAKM_8dyP0
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Re: How do you solo on congas??

Postby JohnnyConga » Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:03 pm

Soloing is something that takes years to develop..Basically it is a call and response approach..I was taught about the '2's and 3's...in soloing...see prior posts about this and conga soloing... I would not be in such a hurry to learn to solo before you master all your approaches on the drum, including styles, techniques, the use of the "5 points of the Hand". Soloing should have a beginning a middle and an end to it, slowly building the solo as it goes along....Me personally I can create a"standing ovation' for my soloing because I have learned how to affect an audience with my playing, an art form that is very hard to learn to do and takes years to do..I have learned how to 'effect' an audience and bring them into the solo with me...by building excitement and uses of speed and complicated riffs,...remember a beginning a middle and an end to the solo...you don't start high and then go low you start low and easy and then build it along the way..Most of the videos you are looking out are about "Improvisation" not a conga solo in a band setting...that is totally different...anyone can sit with 3 4 congas and just go at it, but that doesnt mean it's a conga solo...
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Re: How do you solo on congas??

Postby JohnnyConga » Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:47 pm

" Now a "conga solo' in a band setting once again is different...that means at a a point in the arrangement you get to show off your skills on your drum for however long the arrangement allows, or until Cue to come out of it..


btw Latin/Cuban music in most cases the band is still playing during your "conga solo"...when Mongo Ray Patato soloed the band never stopped playing ...so this thing today where bands stop playing and then there is an "improvisation' of a percussionist in the band, is something that started back in the 80's for some reason...I used to have a hard time with it because there was no montuno for me to ride on and I felt awkward. I would argue with the band to 'keep playing' during my conga solo..plus people are on the floor dancing, and your gonna stop the music for a conga solo??? .but today almost everyone does it now..especially with the advent of Timba, but that works on a different principles of 'gears' and concepts for percussion solos...

Ok with this i may stand corrected..on the semantics for me hahahaha

In popular music a solo refers to a "crowd-pleasing" improvised melody[1] played by a single or featured performer and may also refer to a drum solo. Use of the term "solo" appears to follow from jazz and, though they are often pre-composed or originally improvised, the expectation that solos be improvised continues, especially in certain genres.
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Re: How do you solo on congas??

Postby niallgregory » Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:56 pm

JohnnyConga wrote:" Now a "conga solo' in a band setting once again is different...that means at a a point in the arrangement you get to show off your skills on your drum for however long the arrangement allows, or until Cue to come out of it..


btw Latin/Cuban music in most cases the band is still playing during your "conga solo"...when Mongo Ray Patato soloed the band never stopped playing ...so this thing today where bands stop playing and then there is an "improvisation' of a percussionist in the band, is something that started back in the 80's for some reason...I used to have a hard time with it because there was no montuno for me to ride on and I felt awkward. I would argue with the band to 'keep playing' during my conga solo..plus people are on the floor dancing, and your gonna stop the music for a conga solo??? .but today almost everyone does it now..especially with the advent of Timba, but that works on a different principles of 'gears' and concepts for percussion solos...

Ok with this i may stand corrected..on the semantics for me hahahaha

In popular music a solo refers to a "crowd-pleasing" improvised melody[1] played by a single or featured performer and may also refer to a drum solo. Use of the term "solo" appears to follow from jazz and, though they are often pre-composed or originally improvised, the expectation that solos be improvised continues, especially in certain genres.


You raise a very valid point jc . I have had the same issue with groups the past where all the musicans would stop playing leaving me nothing to play off so to speak . You cant beat having a montuno of some nice juicy vamp to riff off , everybody would either stop or play so quiet its impossible to hear them :roll: we have since sorted it out though .
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Re: How do you solo on congas??

Postby Herbal » Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:10 pm

Less is more. Most young percussionist seem to like to blow their nut non stop and when it is time for their "solos" or "fills" they have no where to go. I was guilty of the same thing when I was younger - I cringe when I hear some old recordings.

Music is about the empty space. Fast is okay. at times, but it should still remain musical. It isn't about you - it is about the whole composition. A lot of percussion is accents and background with fills and "solos" thrown in.
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Re: How do you solo on congas??

Postby Dicemanb » Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:22 am

Niail,

I know where you are coming from, if you play with jazzers they will stop completely for the drum solos and expect the exact number of bars as the verse/chorus. There may be the occasional few chords over the major changes, but otherwise you are on your own. It only seems to be musicians with a latin background and a bit of sabor who understand the idiom and will give you something to play off and not count bars.

Interesting thread

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Re: How do you solo on congas??

Postby ABAKUA » Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:27 pm

How do you solo on congas??


I usually use these, found at the ends of my arms...

Image

Speaking of solos... Dayem, some of the stuff Richie gets into makes my heart stressed and makes me short of breathe! hahahahaha. Talk about dedication...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvkzZiwlbDc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VW-_iQ_ZW1k


All valid points by JC, totally agree there! I play mainly in the 'Latin/Salsa/Cuban/Timba' scene, so solos are taken within the song, open solo til I give the timbalero/drummer the signal. Now just myself soloing without the band supporting is rare, mostly saved for large shows where I do an open improvisation, involve the crowd etc
You need to try and think of the solo as an arrangement, you have your intro, mid section, perhaps a bridge, and an outro/ending. Try to join and let out your chops/rolls feels etc, begin small, lead up and be able to finish without being left stranded without ideas mid solo cause u threw down everything too fast!
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Re: How do you solo on congas??

Postby b0ng0 » Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:49 pm

its funny, a lot of the responses to this question are helpful, others are sarcastic, i personally know & gig with yayitoconga, hes a great conguero, real dry slaps & etc..
why he would ask this question idk, maybe he was just curious to see the responses.....ive seen him "solo" a few times..good stuff..
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Re: How do you solo on congas??

Postby ozrivera » Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:05 am

Pa-tra ni-pa cojer impulso.
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Re: How do you solo on congas??

Postby Ernesto Pediangco » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:14 am

I will embellish on what JC/ Johnny Congas has already expressed : My first experience as a musician was dance music, which is where American Jazz derives from and other cross cultural fusions also evolved from. As a percussionist, I prefer to solo much as a jazz instrumentalist approaches a solo. I let the songs melody and chord progressions frame my phrasings and dynamics. I let my drumming experiment like a dancer doing improvised dance in rhythm lock w/ the music. I can use phrasings of rhythm figures and time signature divisions like putting 6/8 over 4/4, stating some rhythms like parts from Mozambique over Salsa and some call & responce of identifiable cliche or cue calls that musicians / drummers in the band can respond to in a community fashion. Like Jazz combos do ! I prefer my solos to be complimentary to the music underlying my solo so the listener & fellow musicians can hear me doing interpretations of the actual song form and other content in the music I am soloing to. A solo...is not an etude ( study of rhythm excersizes ). Technical pizzaz & dynamics still have to make musical sense in relationship to the music & rhythms that are being played for the particular music at the time. Its a challenge to keep solos fresh and all musician struggle with trying not to over use the licks and phrases that easily come to mind and tend to be used like a basic spice rack in the kitchen. I once read from Michael Spiro, that he ( he can read & write music ) would construct solo ideas and phrases and add his creativeness in a structured way, write down and practice these scripted ideas in preparation of doing several solos in one show. This way, he was not repeating his ideas, he could still be spontanious but also structured so every solo told a distictly different story. This is not a new concept of course but he was the first to bring the issue to my attention re: conga solos. " The difference between noise & music is organization of sound " ~ Some one once said ? Organized solo ideas is far more interesting than aimless noodling around. It takes years to develope a knack of what is interesting to listen to. Its not as much about flash, its more about substance ! We all have basic vocabulary, but some are poets and others just spout a lot of B.S. !
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