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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 11:02 pm
by JohnnyConga
OK ...hey have you run into my man Dave Pattman recently? What's he up to?...."JC" Johnny Conga.... :D

PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 12:58 am
by koolbreeze76
dude i need a better explaination on how to tune three drums i have a 11 inch quinto and a 11 3/4 conga and a 12 1/2 tumba if i had a guitar tune which way would i go?

Edited By koolbreeze76 on 1129337971

PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 4:49 pm
by Diceman
Hiya Koolbreeze,

Tumba 12 1/2..................G
Conga 11 3/4..................Bb
Quinto 11.......................C

Play 'Oye Como Va' when you have them tuned

Hope that helps


PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2005 8:28 pm
by Isaac
FROM LATINJAZZ GROUP on Yahoo, Oct. 30/05

Bobby Sanabria <nujackrican@...>
Date: Sun Oct 30, 2005 11:43 pm
Subject: Re: [latinjazz] Re: Question to all congueros and bongoceros nujackrican

Candido utilizes the tuning D, C, A with his lowest
tuned drum, the D to his left with the C in the middle
and the A to the outside right. He always plays
standing up and does not use drums of different sizes
but rather three congas/llamadoras (the middle sized
drum) and tunes them accordingly. He has experimented
utilizing up to six tuned drums in concert.

Patato utilizes F, G, Bb, C. The lowest drum to the
outside left is the F. Then to the extreme outside
right he utilizes the G, then the Bb to the inside of
that with the highest note, C to the inside of that.
Patato utilizes two tumbadoras, a conga and a quinto
and occasionally even a requinto, a 9" drum. He has
experimented utilizing up to 12 tuned drums which he
did many years ago at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe' in

Jerry Gonzalez tunes his lowest drum to a G or an F
and then tunes the other drums in intervals of fourths
or fifths up from that depending on how he feels.

Chembo utilizes the same tuning as Patato but with the
F tuned drum directly in front of the C tuned drum
which is between his legs. The drum to the right of
the C tuned drum side is a G and the drum to the
extreme outside left is a Bb. If he wants a brighter
sound the tuning is G, A, C, D based on Candido's
concept but with the obvious extra note which is the
G. If you want to hear an example of both tunings
simultaneously check out the version of "Manteca" from
my "Live & In Clave" Big Band CD which was nominated
for a grammy back in 2001. Chembo and Candido are
playing simultaneously on that tune. Chembo uses the
F, G, Bb, C tuning and Candi' used the D, C, A tuning.
Candido' drums are brighter and blend beautifully with
Chembo's drums. Chembo utilizes two tumbadoras and two
congas. Check it out on Chembo's "Portrait in Rhythms"

Another example of two congueros playing
simultaneously to great effect can be found on the
Mario Bauza' CD "Tanga" which was also nominated for a
grammy. There Patato and Papo Pepin are playing at the
same time.

When I play congas I utilize a tumbadora tuned to a G
or F (like Jerry) and employ his same system. The
drums I use are two tumbadoras, a conga and a quinto.
The conga is between my legs the lowest tumbadora is
directly in front of that, the other one is to the
right of that and the quinto is on the outside left of
the conga. All of these positions for everyone
mentioned are from the perspective of one
sitting/standing behind the drum.

For the bongo', Louis Gonzalez for Tito Nieves used to
tune the hembra (the low drum) to an A and the macho
to a D. It's not as bright, but really funky and fat
in a conjunto context. For a big band you usually want
to tune to a brighter sound to cut above all those

If you're utilizing just the standard two drum set-up
the conga and tumbadora, G for the tumbadora and C for
the conga is a really standard tuning. But Milton
Cardona sometimes uses a an F for his low drum and a C
for his lead drum. For three drums you can use another
popular tuning which is G, C, Bb. The G being the
lowest, the Bb in the middle and the C is the highest
pitched drum. The C is the lead drum between your
legs, the Bb would be to the left of that, the lowest
drum would be to the right of the middle drum

Orlando Marin is another fanatic in terms of tuning
but on the timbales. He utilizes calfskin heads and
tunes the macho (high drum) to a Bb and the hembra
(low drum) to a G which is a very interesting tuning.
Jose' Madera has a really nice tuning for el timbal.
Woody can address that.

Now if you get into the drumset? Oofah!. I use various
tunings but want a fourth between all of the toms and
snare (with snares off) to get a real open sound. You
will get (from low to high) the typical bugle call for
a horse race which is a tuning Tito utilized to great
effect with a standard set of timbales and timbalitos.
You can hear that on the duets we did on my "NYC
Ache'" CD back in 1993.

You can utilize a pitch pipe that is easily carried in
ones pocket.

Wnat to get crazier? Start talking about the pitches
for cowbells?!!!

Mucho ache',
Bobby Sanabria

--- raphaeltorn <raphaeltorn@...> wrote:

> I believe Candido tunes his drums to G (hembra),
> Bflat (tercera) and C (macho).
> This is a standard tuning that allows him to play
> certain melodies like the first few notes of
> Manteca.
> Patato uses thoses same pitches and adds a lower F
> but I'm unsure about his 5th drum.
> Does anyone know how Jerry Gonzalez tunes his
> Congas?

PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 4:47 pm
by franc
hope all is well to every one,
how is the ''oye como va'' used while tunning your congas. lets say two congas for ex. there are five syllables in the frase. how do you distribute the syllables in the two conga set up?? mucho áche to all!!!!! franc :rock:

PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 11:43 pm
by Diceman

How are you?
Oye Como Va has five syllables but only three notes, with three tumbadoras you should be able to play Oye Como va, when you have tuned them up.
If you only have two drums, use the two notes in Oye.
I am not saying that is the only way to tune drums, but one way that I prefer.
With more than three drums, it gets more complicated and there seem to be more tunings than you can shake a stick at!

Hope that helps


PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2005 1:12 am
by franc
got you!! thanks a lot. it didn't take much to figure it out with your help. thanks again!! i will do it next time i tune my congas. i usually try my best tuning my congas with my guitar. i only have two congas. i hit the middle C for the conga and the F or G for my tumba. i am trying to get my third conga . working on it. i love the melodic tunes the three congas produces. i play in a salsa band in a public performance art school. now is that i am learning the third conga. all is well in this part of the world. hope the same for you!!! áche to you and my best. your friend, franc :D

PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2005 4:17 am
by onile
rumbaman wrote:How is everyone today . THis is the best site on the web. I use the do re mi fa scale also to tune mines . WELCOME Sundancevit from down under how are and welcome to this great family we have here of congeros . The Bossa Nova i was taught goes like this .

oht ssosht soo
oo oo
they are all 16th notes
hope this helps .

Alafia Abure Rumbaman!
I have played Bossa Nova in this pattern for years, only I've never written it down till now. If it weren't for all of you wonderfully talented cats on this forum, offering encouragement and instruction on how to do it, I probably wouldn't be doing this. Let me try and put it down and hopefully someone can tell me if it makes sense. Of course Boss Nova has it's own peculiar clave.

1 + a 2 e + a 3 + 4 + 5 (Bossa Nova Clave)
^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ (accents)
O P O S S O S O S S (1st drum)
O O (2nd drum)
R L R L R L R L R L R L (Hand)

Another pattern which is less busy is:

1 + a 2 e + 3 + 4 + 5 (Bossa Nova Clave)
^ ^ ^ ^ ^ (accents)
O P O S S O O S S (1st drum)
O O (2nd drum)
R L R L R L R R L R L (Hand)

The "P" is for the palm strike (sort of like a Bata slap) in the center of the drum, but can be replaced, as I sometimes do, with just finger tips. Keep in mind however, that Bossa Nova is a very sensual rythm and therefore should played with finess and not strength. Meaning that the slaps should not be like those of a tumbao, or salsa rythm, but played with taste. Whenever the piano player takes a solo during a Bossa Nova, I replace the slaps with palms and do so gently so as to not make them pronounced.

It's really a fun rythm and I mix it up from time-to-time.

I hope that this makes sense to someone, please let me know!

Adupue! (thank you!)


Edited By onile on 1132290406

PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2005 7:00 am
by rumbaman
Hey many blessings to you my friend onile. That follows the pulse of the rythum that I was taught . I will practice this one with the tips on the bass substitutions you gave . Thanks PAPO ....... lovin'n it man . yeah !

rumbaman :D

PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2005 11:15 am
by onile
Alafia Abure Rumbaman!
Wow! So it made sense? Great! I guess I did alright then!
Cool! It is such a "rush" to be able to convey one's rythm technique in writing to another. But you are right Rumbaman, having a teacher present to encourage, correct, and vocalize the techniques to you is always an advantage!

I find the energy from all of you brothers very inspirational on this forum. I am gaining so much from all of you.

Many blessings!

Edited By onile on 1132399159

PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2005 6:07 pm
by Diceman
Hi Guys,

Some other Brasilian 'claves' I have learned from Brasilian brothers in London are worth working with and are great in Samba/bossa situation (and any other situation taste dictates) In fact they translate very well on to cascara, bell, ride, cowbell, tamborim, woodblock, rimshot, brushes etc whatever you wanna hit and with whatever you wanna hit them with (???)



My two pence


PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2005 7:15 pm
by onile
Yo! Diceman!
Brother those clave patterns work really well, I don't quite know what's happening with me other than all of the teachings on this forum has opened up a new door for me. I actually can follow the written patterns... Okay, slow down Onile, before you hurt yourself! :D :laugh: :p :)

Many blessings my brother!

PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2005 11:34 pm
by Diceman
Bro Onile,

I forgot to mention that it is also worth practicing the accents with one hand and other hand doing the ghost notes, as you would do with a tamborim and stick. It will give you more options in the playing situation.



They work both ways, the Brasilians seem to have thrown out he idea of a clave having a direction.

If you listen to real Brasilian Samba and Bossa Nova you will keep hearing these patterns on different instruments.

Enjoy Brother


PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2005 6:32 pm
by captainquinto
With four drums I often use this tuning:
do (tumba), re (conga #1), mi (conga #2) and so (quinto).

I noticed in Gio's clip on Congahead that he had this same tuning! :p

PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2005 6:37 pm
by captainquinto

Hey ... those patterns work great!

Any suggestions on which "real" Brasilian Samba groups to listen for these in??