CONGA CAMP - Study with Johnny Conga

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Re: CONGA CAMP/Intensive - Study with Johnny Conga

Postby JConga » Mon Oct 13, 2008 7:17 pm

Here is what I teach ...

RHYTHMS:
1.Bolero 5 variations
2.Caballo with variations
3.Danzon
4.Yambu on conga drum
5.Guaguanco- 5 variations
6.Rumba with variations/columbia/abierto 2 drums/one drum/NY street rumba
7.Abakua split hand style and one drum patterns
8.Plena split hand on congas
9.Bomba tradicional
10.Bambiche
11.Merengues with variations
12.Mozambique-New/Old skool
13.Cumbia with variations one drum and 2 drums
14.Bembe variations
15.Conga Comparsa with variations
16.Changui
17.Calypso
18.Bossa Nova with variations
19.Afro-Samba-and Samba on 2 congas
20.Songo with variatons-Basico/Changuito's
21.Pilon with variation
22.Iyesa with variations
23.6/8 basic with variations 1 2 and 3 drums
24.Tumbao in 7/4
25.Guarapachangeo with variations and concepts(2 3 4 5 congas)
26.Ritmo Pa Ca
27.Dengue
28.Jala Jala
29.Mongos tumbao's
30.Mongos merengue
31.Mongos Afro Blue with variations
32.Tumbaos-1-3 drum variations
33.Orisa wth variations
34. La Clave-2/3 3/2 Son Clave- 3/2 2/3 Rumba Clave
35.Chaonda
36.6/8 bell patterns on Conga drum-short bell and long bell
37.Counting and tapping
38.Reading for percussion
39.Music and Rhythm theory

40.CongaRobics(tm) with
Neuro Linguistic Programming(Neuro-Linguistic Programming™ was specifically created in order to allow us to do magic by creating new ways of understanding how verbal and non-verbal communication affect the human brain. As such it presents us all with the opportunity to not only communicate better with others, but also learn how to gain more control over what we considered to be automatic functions of our own neurology.)

41."Play along" with the music/vaious styles-latin/jazz/funk/pop
42.Techinique/breathing and relaxing
43."Styles" pop/soul/jazz on conga drums
44.Sound Development
45.Ear training

I am accepting new "attendees" at this time...Mr.Robert West from Canberra Australia(my last attendee), will be posting his review and experiences during his Conga Camp Intensive...Johnny Conga...
also added now is Palo(split hand 2 drums), Jingo Lo Ba,
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Re: CONGA CAMP - Study with Johnny Conga

Postby JConga » Tue Oct 21, 2008 7:55 am

Here is Mr.Robert West from Canberra Australia...who will also be back for a second round of his Conga Camp Intensive....Johnny Conga
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Re: CONGA CAMP - Study with Johnny Conga

Postby JConga » Thu Oct 23, 2008 2:37 am

MY NEXT "ATTENDEE" IS MR. COLIN MORAN FROM EUGENE OREGON coming on October 27th for the week. Johnny Conga
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Re: CONGA CAMP - Study with Johnny Conga

Postby JConga » Sat Nov 01, 2008 11:20 pm

Mr. Colin Moran has "successfully" completed his Conga Camp Intensive. Him ,Derbeno and Alex Guzman have the distinction of completing the CC/I...photo to follow...Johnny Conga
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Re: CONGA CAMP - Study with Johnny Conga

Postby konkoba98 » Wed Nov 05, 2008 6:12 am

Last week I attended JC's conga camp intensive. Here is my review of the experience and of JC as a teacher/mentor and as JC and his wife as hosts. I'll try to review in a fashion that will be helpful to other potential attendees who are considering attending.

First a little about my experience and skill level so that you know from what perspective I am coming from.
I was introduced to rhythm, percussion, and "world" music about 4 or 5 years ago (I'm 27 now). I was in a small town in Oklahoma where my only means to learn was via books, videos, online, cd's, etc. I started on djembe and moved on to congas about 3 years ago. The vast majority of my learning took place at home in a quiet room working with a book or video. I collected cd's, videos, books, and a few drums...I collected faster than I learned but I did learn quiet a bit. The most accurate way to describe my level or ability would be that I'm probably a strong intermediate in some areas and a green beginner in some areas. I'm able to make clean sounds, but quiet because I'm not used to needing to play over anyone...or even along with anyone. JC nicknamed me Mano Planchada because I kept my hands and wrists so flat. I've learned alot of rhythms and alot of rhythmic concepts and have developed the ability to learn new rhythms fairly quickly. I can play at least a dozen variations of tumbao, many 6/8's, a few split hand rhythms with simple soloing ability. IMO a weakness of mine is my ears...I don't follow the music that well and can get off beat on certain rhythms at certain speeds. I also have little understanding of the music as a genre and don't often know the context that I'm playing in...ex: I don't have good understanding of how to play a son vs a danzon vs mambo vs cha cha vs son montuno or the sections of a tune... mambo section, bomba section, etc. My solo ideas and techniques are green and immature. However, JC and his wife complimented me and said I played well and had good hands. I think you get the idea.

Review of the experience:
I chose to attend CC/I in Seattle rather than take a trip to the Bay Area to attend a smaller number of lessons with the teachers there and see some performances. I made this decision because of the huge amount of time I would get with JC and on gigs...and room and board...way more bang for your buck. I don't know of many other experiences available in the US (other than Humbolt) that give you this concentrated attention to develop your playing. While I enjoy and utilize videos, books, the internet, etc...It is a different and more fulfiling experience to get live lessons and to be able to get critiqued and corrected and improve right then and there. As far as how I've improved from the experience, so far (3 days out) I probably haven't made significant improvements just yet. During the week I was able to do some things I had never been able to do before (a fairly clean and fast ruff, some simple Changuito style mano secreta movements, etc). This was due to JC's work on my technique and the time spent working diligently on technique exercises. Much of what was taught (see JC's curriculum) after the initial work on technique and learning multiple exercises was on specific rhythms. JC taught me them until I had it and then we moved on (we also did alot of play alongs to examples of these rhytms)...so much of what I learned, I will have to work on again later. In general what I think I got out of the week was a 1) good critique of my technique and JC pointed out some things I did not know were problems in my technique/could not see/could not hear 2) multiple exercises and more importantly HOW to perform them to really improve your playing 3) many rhythms (vast majority were 1 or 2 drums, to be played in band setting) some new, some old, some I knew, many variations I did not know, etc 4) practice and advice in playing in context...play alongs to music, critiques of how to be sensitive to the music as a whole and when to play soft or loud, when to introduce a lick, when to change the rhythm, when to solo, when to shut up, etc. Much work (months and years) to really impliment all that was learned will be needed. I left JC inspired and motivated (when I got home I actually sat and played for several hours!), but at this time just out of the experience I am not yet a whole new vastly improved player...eventually I expect to be because of it.

Review of JC as a teacher and mentor.
Pros
- JC is experienced...old school as he would say and what he shows you is everything from the old to the new (with an emphasis on the old). When he teaches a topic/rhythm he has the perspective to tell you and show you and teach you how it was originally played, how it was adapted to a certain group/conguero, how it was developed decade to decade, and how players are playing it now. He gives you a thorough understanding of a rhythm and its history rather just what notes to play in what order. JC knows alot of stuff (his music collection is impressive...and he gives you access to it)
- JC has a good eye for picking out small bad habits, things that a novice would not see. I have worked alot on developing a reasonably good technique and was proud of it and of the sounds I made. After my week, I now have some improvements to make that I'm sure will help me reach the next level. JC also knows exactly how a rhythm/music should feel...after I learned a rhythm he tweaked it and helped me to feel the swing/tempo/etc of the music rather than just the rhythm. His attention to detail is good.
- JC likes to teach and seems to want you to improve and feeds off of it when you do. He didn't get frustrated with me when I sucked and could not pick up something... and he sticks with it with you and makes sure you get whatever he is showing you.
- JC is attentative to how you are doing/ how you are feeling/ are you getting burnt out, tired, etc. He knows alot of stuff and can talk about rhythms, history of the music, his experiences playing, stories about Mongo and other great congueros. When he senses you need a break he can talk you up and when he senses you are ready to play he can certainly get you jamming.
- JC has alot of stuff...massive album collection, very interesting video collection (Changuito teaching mano sectreta on a table top) and he is willing to show you whatever you want to see.

Cons
- On few occasions the intensity of the session seemed to drop a bit...typically early in our afternoon session.
- Early in the week we stuck to a pretty rigid or regular schedule of when we started and finished. Towards the end of the week we kept a less planned schedule. I'm pretty sure we got in as much time if not more.
- The curriculum...while it was good/great in some ways it was also a pre-planned curriculum. JC didn't necessarily probe to find out what I wanted to do, or what I wanted to work on or what my goals were. The way I see it though, JC ought to know what learning players need to know and what he can show them and it is probably best for him to make the curriculum than for the novice student to come in and decide what they need to know...none of my college professors asked me what I wanted to learn in their class...they told me what I was going to learn...same thing. On the flip side, JC is providing a service to voluntary students...and the customers desires ought to get some attention. JC's curriculum is great and an outstanding foundation for which to build...but depending on the students ablility, level, experience, they might not complete the curriculum or might even exceed it. It might be better to be slightly more flexible with what is taught to taylor what the student can do and wants to do. IMO
- JC's critique of my technique was probably spot on but we were unable to really break my habits then and there. I play alot (for me) ...about 5-15 hrs a week depending on how much I'm working...and my habits are pretty inate by now. I think I will need to put in some significant time and energy to break my bad habits and develop a better, more efficient, more aggressive sound. That is not really a JC critique just an observation.
- Also, (and this isn't a criticism either) but most of what I was taught seems to be meant for a conguero in a band setting...1, 2, or maybe 3 drum playing in a musical/performance situation...salsa, latin jazz, etc etc. He did not do much forkloric stuff with multiple players each playing 1 drum...like what the majority of the Humbolt stuff was. Again, not better or worse, just different.


Review of JC and his wife as hosts

Since you are paying not only for lessons but for room and board...and possibly for transportation to gigs, etc that should be considered also. All in all JC and Maggie were great hosts. They want you to be confortable and satisfied and they do whatever they can to help you feel that way. They were attentative to how I was doing and gave me space when I wanted and welcomed me as company when I was around. The food was good, the room was good, etc. No complaints here...I was satisfied with the "room and board" that I paid for... good value when considering the price for the lessons and room and board.

Summary:
All in all it was a good experience and I'm happy that I did it. I could see myself returning to JC for more work but I would probably talk with him beforehand to decide exaclty what we would do...ex: I would love to get good at doing all the things a conguero would do other than straight tumbao...learn many riffs/licks to insert and when and how...how to solo...some standard breaks...etc. Hopefully we can work out a series of lessons so I can return...although I don't know if it would be for a week or a day or what. I've had a few other teachers but they were all short experiences (lessons I got while passing through town, etc). I'd have to rate my experience w/ JC at CC/I at the top. JC is the first player that I can consider to be my actual mentor. I hope to take what I was taught and carry the tradition in the manner it was meant to be carried.

Colin



BTW, I didn't mention that JC can really play...I went to a few gigs with him and he kind of cut loose a little in our lessons...it was motivating to see. The man can play the way the drums are supposed to be played.
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Re: CONGA CAMP - Study with Johnny Conga

Postby Congadelica » Wed Nov 05, 2008 8:36 am

Colin , thanks for the insight ,I loved reading your story .
Another happy chappie keep up the good work JC . If only I were in US .
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Re: CONGA CAMP - Study with Johnny Conga

Postby RitmoBoricua » Wed Nov 05, 2008 11:40 pm

All in all sounds like a fantastic experience. One way to be immortalized and remembered for a long time is by sharing your knowledge and that's exactly what JC is doing, great job JC. As far as your technique, breaking bad habits and how far you want to go with this is all up to you my man, hard work and perseverance. You are very blessed to have a master share his knowledge,craft and home with you.
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Re: CONGA CAMP - Study with Johnny Conga

Postby JConga » Thu Nov 06, 2008 6:17 pm

I want to THANK Colin for his review and critique. I for one, learn from everyone who comes to me, and I have also learned from Colin...I tried to download the photo of us and there was something wrong with the photo card in the camera and the photo could not be transported to my computer, so I apologize for that.

As every 'attendee" comes to me i learn a bit more about my "way" of teaching and what I bring to the table for "newbies" to the drum, to the intermediate drummers such as Colin. I look forward to "tweaking" my teachings and to be even more comprehensive for those that come to me. I am not only "passing the torch" but learning from these experiences as well. Whose next?.......Johnny Conga... :D
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Re: CONGA CAMP - Study with Johnny Conga

Postby ozrivera » Tue Nov 18, 2008 7:48 pm

JConga wrote:Mr. Colin Moran has "successfully" completed his Conga Camp Intensive. Him ,Derbeno and Alex Guzman have the distinction of completing the CC/I...photo to follow...Johnny Conga


Saludos Hermanos

Johnny
does this mean i didnt finish. :cry: LOL

on a different note, its been 8 months since i attended johnnys camp. Konkoba made a good point, youre not going to make significant improvements over the week course to leave playing like Johnny Conga. however the foundation should be established for you to take. back to my point, i came in to the camp with a lazy left hand, worked with johnny to improve the technique along with some exercises and today 8 months later i can honestly say that i dont have a lazy left hand. i still have some work to do because its not as strong as my right (im right handed) but, i can play a tumbao with my left hand as well as other rythyms.
a few months after the camp and with continued practice i really started to notice the strength in my playing. my ears are also more tuned to what im doing.
hearing what youre doing wrong and quickly making adjustments on the fly is something that has also devoloped.
in short, i just wanted to mention that the work that you put in after the camp is just as important as the camp itself.
johnny better be getting ready, he has a grasshopper thats getting ready to challenge him soon. 8) LOL

suave

oz
Pa-tra ni-pa cojer impulso.
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Re: CONGA CAMP - Study with Johnny Conga

Postby konkoba98 » Sun Nov 23, 2008 12:11 pm

So, I'm several weeks out from the week with JC and have had a chance to review all that was shown to me and really begin trying to internalize it. I realize now what a massive amount of information I was presented with. My technique has improved although I see lots of work and improvements ahead. For anyone considering taking the next step in improving their playing...for beginners, or intermediates, or whatever...JC has an enormous amount to offer you and I'd recommend doing it. It is probably the best intense experience out there aside going to Cuba. Thanks again Johnny, keep up the good work.

Colin
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Re: CONGA CAMP - Study with Johnny Conga

Postby JConga » Sat Dec 06, 2008 4:39 pm

Thank you Colin and you Welcome!........it takes time for it all to sink in,and I know you will be a 'great" player one day...and so what if i turned u into a "Conguero" rather than a "folklorist".. :D one thing at at time brother....you will become whatever you feel the need to be...but what you have learned will last a lifetime...anybody ready for my Conga Camp Intensive???......Johnny Conga...
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Re: CONGA CAMP - Study with Johnny Conga

Postby JConga » Tue Dec 16, 2008 11:39 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dIeqJpN5UM new video of my Volcano hawaiian mango congas done with my webcam so sound isnt the best...I will do a better one soon...Johnny Conga...
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Re: CONGA CAMP - Study with Johnny Conga

Postby JConga » Sat Dec 20, 2008 9:11 pm

Colin and Me.jpg
Hey Colin found the pic of us when u were attending my Conga Camp Intensive....Johnny Conga
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Re: CONGA CAMP - Study with Johnny Conga

Postby JConga » Thu Dec 25, 2008 3:31 am

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL OF MY FELLOW GROUPERS HERE AT CONGAPLACE. I APPRECIATE THE UNION WE SHARE THRU THE DRUM, AND WILL CONTINUE TO LISTEN AND LEARN FROM EACH OF YOU. GRACIAS A TODOS, Y SIGUE GUARACHANDO....."JC" JOHNNY CONGA
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Volcano Promo shot.jpg (51.65 KiB) Viewed 4015 times
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Re: CONGA CAMP - Study with Johnny Conga

Postby JConga » Thu Jan 01, 2009 5:36 pm

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL MY FRIENDS AND TO MY CONGA CAMP ATTENDEES FROM AROUND THE WORLD....WISHING YOU ALL HEALTH, HAPPINESS,AND PROSPERITY FOR 2009....


I AM NOW ACCEPTING NEW ATTENDEES FOR MY 2009 CONGA CAMP/INTENSIVE....PLEASE EMAIL ME PRIVETLY , LET'S DO IT!....JOHNNY CONGA
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