Question about Mongo for Johnny Conga

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Question about Mongo for Johnny Conga

Postby Doc Washboard » Sun Jun 07, 2015 5:48 pm

JC:

I know that you're familiar with Mongo's style. When I look at videos of his work, it seems that he's not using a lot of heel-tips, even when he's just playing a straight rhythm and not soloing. Am I incorrect in this? Did he just get the job done with muffs and touches when he was playing?
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Re: Question about Mongo for Johnny Conga

Postby JohnnyConga » Mon Jun 08, 2015 3:11 pm

NO Doc..Mongo hit as hard as anyone..he had his own,'style' of playing the conga drum...muffs? Mongo never played any 'muffs' ever...not his 'style'..I don't know which video you saw using 'muffs and touches"//but i'd like to see it please..in the mean time here he is ''killing it" with Armando Peraza...who also didnt play muffs or do 'touches...touches to me is 'tapping' the drum...which Mongo never did hahahaha... so here is my mentor and friend Mongo Santamaria https://youtu.be/JPG7KGa9fsg
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Re: Question about Mongo for Johnny Conga

Postby blavonski » Tue Jun 09, 2015 5:47 pm

I'Ve seen this video before a while back.
And What I always find interesting about it, is the direction in which Mango has his Quinto tilted. The head is tilted towards him an not away from him when playing. I hadn't seen the drums played that way before.
Is that a style trademark of his?
Hier is another more obvious example: https://youtu.be/LV3esqgkWAk
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Re: Question about Mongo for Johnny Conga

Postby JohnnyConga » Tue Jun 09, 2015 11:17 pm

Well I can tell you Mongo first and foremost played 'his way' and yes it was ergonomically not in his favor...he sat low in his chair and played from his chest and shoulders (unlike today, where the hands are down and close to the drums)...he always 'tilted' the drum out...I never asked him why, and never thought to , now that i think about it..Mongo later in life had 'hip' problems because of the way he played...when he 'palmed' the drum he would lift and 'tilt' the drum to his right hip for support while he 'pounded' his palm into the drum..the other reason for the hip problem...this is what i know..hope it helped...I also can play exactly like Mongo himself as i have spent my life studying the man ..beside hanging and jamming with him as well in the 90's here in Miami...his music and drum lives on!...Viva Mongo!...
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Re: Question about Mongo for Johnny Conga

Postby blavonski » Wed Jun 10, 2015 7:38 pm

Thanks JC!
I thought his playing style looked at least uncomfortable, particularly for his wrists.
But aparantly his hips suffered the most from his unorthodox style.
Last edited by blavonski on Thu Jun 11, 2015 8:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Question about Mongo for Johnny Conga

Postby JohnnyConga » Thu Jun 11, 2015 4:48 am

Your Welcome blavonski...Mongo as i said above played from his shoulders and chest....he was very powerful on the drum...his slap was like a mule kick into ur stomach..they all played like that......remember he is from the first school of 'ol skool' and Mongo, Aguabella, Armando, Patato, Candido,Luis Miranda, Carlos Vidal, are from that school, and they all had their own 'personality' and 'sound' that is still distinguishable today...they are the "Godfathers' of the Drum in America.. and played 'their way"....
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Re: Question about Mongo for Johnny Conga

Postby blavonski » Sun Jun 21, 2015 12:28 pm

I here what your saying JC and it is quite umbelievable sometimes how hard Mango would strike his drum.
So, would you say that Tata Guines represents the beginning of technique of having the hands very close to the drum head and less striking force?
I read somewhere once where an interviewer compared Anga to Giovanni and Anga stated that they were very different because he, Anga, comes from the Tata Guines school and Giovanni from the Changuito school of playing. Aside from personal styles, it's difficult for me to see that great of a technical difference between Tata and Changuito. And because I think of Changuito as more of a Timbale player, I'm inclined to assume that Changuito's Tumbadora technique is to a great extent derived from that of Tata's. What are your thoughts on that?
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Re: Question about Mongo for Johnny Conga

Postby JohnnyConga » Sun Jun 21, 2015 9:22 pm

Great Questions!..speaking from my personal experience having grown up on Mongo and Tata..In NYC we heard Mongo first, then we heard Tata....Yes Tata was totally diferent in many ways versus Mongo...it's all in the way 'they' phrased on the drum...and they spoke 2 different languages...Now with Anga yes he came from Western Cuba-Pinar Del Rio, where he also attended La Escuela del Artes to study music not just percussion, and was also a 'follower' of Tata Guines but most of all from "El Nino" in Irakere in the 70's, who really influenced Anga.. Giovanni is from the Changuito school..Changuito came after Tata, in musical eras....Changuito's history is that yes he grew up with the drum,folkloric, but was also a 'drummer'....there is a 'progression' with the drum and we are the witnesses to that and also the participants, that keep it alive and moving forward...now today for me the 'new kid on the block' is Eliel Lazo...New Generation of drummer...progressive, intelligent, split down the middle, and great hands!... Changuito may have developed from Tata's style, but he took it farther with El Mano Secreto.... We also were listening to Patato Valdes who had a different style as well and was more melodic(who lived in the South Bronx on Kelly St.)....I learned from the following because i grew up in NYC with them, and saw, and knew them all...Mongo, Patato, & Ray Barretto..and can also play like them in 'their' way...and some Tata too!...hhahaha..
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NEW EXERCISES!!!...

Postby JohnnyConga » Tue Oct 13, 2015 3:02 pm

NEW exercises for you....https://youtu.be/vuc7ijER8vE https://youtu.be/6xNtYpS0-Xg I am an ONLINE GLOBAL Conga drum instructor for those that are interested in the "New Foundations" of Conga drumming email me at johnnyconga@hotmail.com
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Re: Question about Mongo for Johnny Conga

Postby blavonski » Fri Oct 16, 2015 8:18 pm

Hey JC,
I'm playing Bongó and Conga almost everyday at this point and finally getting arround and playing in different settings of Son, Son Montuno, Charanga etc.
as well as Latin Jazz. I'm developing with every new experience! And I'm loving my Cuban Tumbadora with the Cuban cow skin,
it makes me sound like Tata Guines :wink:
Also, I appreciate your instruction videos, I always pick something up from them, very helpfull!

At any rate, I discovered this video below recently and thought that,
because you're from the "Boogie Down" and knew all those pioneering heavies of the New York scene back in the day,
you might remember the Bongocero or might even have actually attended this concert.
I hadn't heard of the Bongocero or the Timbalero before and they both knock me out. I also like the tune here Fantasia...Great ensemble :!:
Enjoy...

https://youtu.be/HmggpBioLqY
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Re: Question about Mongo for Johnny Conga

Postby JohnnyConga » Sat Oct 17, 2015 3:04 pm

The bongosero is Charlie Santiago who now lives in Miami...and my man Nicky Marrero on timbales.. Thank you for checking out my videos and i hope they help...any questions?..Tks..Andy Gonzales on bass, Charlie Palmieri piano and Ray Barretto congas..
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