TA conga solo

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Postby Congadelica » Thu Apr 12, 2007 7:56 pm

1 min 47 secs did it for me , your solo was refreshing to the ears ,nice stroke s and a great cool groove . Thanks for the heads up .

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Postby Thomas Altmann » Tue Apr 17, 2007 4:09 pm

Thank you CD!

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Postby Chapo » Sun Jun 03, 2007 6:43 pm

Mr. Altmann, as a new player, it is very refreshing & encouraging to hear this piece. I may never sound that good but, it's good to know that not everything has to be played at blinding speeds to be appreciated. Not that there's anything wrong with speed & flash, I love that also and i'm sure you can play it but, to someone just begining to learn it can be somewhat discouraging because to most of us Gio, Anga etc, etc kind of chops are not going to happen. Thank you for sharing.

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Postby Thomas Altmann » Thu Jun 07, 2007 11:56 am

Hi Luis,

you're welcome. If I was encouraging you to stick to musical principles, whether incorporating speed and technical chops or not, this would be the greatest acknowledgement I could achieve for this little piece.

If you know the real - or original - masters in the history of our instrument, you might have discovered the sources of certain elements I use.

I'm afraid I don't have the speed and the chops you suppose me to have. Had it ever interested me enough, I am confident I would get somewhere with it. But I've always been searching for other qualities.

Also, if you were in a situation similar to mine, having to play the whole array of percussion instruments, including jazz drumset, with a big part of your heart reserved for batá and Lukumí music, including religious and theological involvement (in Ocha/Ifá), and when you have a wonderful wife or even a family, there is not a lot of time for practicing things you cannot really apply - if you want to stay healthy in your mind. It would be very hard for me to say goodbye to any of these activities in order to specialize on one or two; so I guess I have to live with a certain technical mediocrity to stay balanced as an artist/person. (In Europe, I can still afford this attitude, but things are changing slowly.)

All the best,

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Postby windhorse » Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:25 pm

Thomas,, it's nice to hear the man behind Cantos a los Orichas - which has been laying out on my table open to p. 38 for the past week - and see what are your philosophies on juggling homelife and your many passions.. Not that I am nearly as accomplished a player - I'm in the couple of years past beginner realm - but I feel a kinship with you on how you approach your practice while staying focused on living well, rather than just surviving...

If you and your family ever travel through Boulder, you've got a place to stay!

Dave Crowder

Edited By windhorse on 1181778111
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Postby Thomas Altmann » Thu Jun 14, 2007 7:35 pm

Thank you Dave. I reckon I won't stand in front of your door right tomorrow, but I got your message, and I appreciate it.

Till someday,

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Postby ricky linn » Fri Jun 15, 2007 3:27 pm


This has moved away from Thomas's wonderful solo but the issue of balancing life and practice is a BIG one. It can sometimes seem like many of the people on here and elsewhere in life have the privelage of more time than us mortals. I personally have a full time job(as a percussion teacher in school), a marriage and a 4 year old, so finding much more than 4 or 5 hours a week is nearly impossible. I think we have to deal with our limitations as this is just life, I have been to the brink of depression over trying to make it to a certain level in my playing in the time I have and failing as the bar was just too high. Sadly at this point it can be easy to lose sight of why we played in the first place and not enjoy it at all anymore. I am afraid I don't yet have the answer to this one!! but if anyone else has a philosophy that can help me and any others in this situation then let me know. Maybe we should start a new topic rather that hi-jacking thomas's. If so let me know where it is.


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Postby Thomas Altmann » Sat Jun 16, 2007 1:18 pm


in a broader sense, this topic might perhaps add to the "Women and Congas" subject, although the lead in that thread is going in another direction from the start, as the title already suggested (Should be "Musicians' Life and Relationships" or something like that).

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Postby vinnieL » Sun Aug 12, 2007 12:21 pm

Thomas as a new player I have watched many videos on you tube of Mongo and some others. I am trying to train my ear to what moves me.While I appreciate Gio's mastery and speed I have to tell you that for me less is more as long as it flows. I am no expert but your piece moved me and i am not just talking BS I was really moved. Your short piece will become part of what will influence me in my learning. I love your control you play louder,softer and include different rythms and made it all work! This was a lesson for me Thank you.
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