Finding a Pitch for Bongos...?

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Finding a Pitch for Bongos...?

Postby Percussination » Sat Dec 25, 2010 6:09 pm

Hey, guys. I'm trying to figure out how to tune my bongos, and I'm starting my figuring the pitches my bongos are currently tuned to.
I tried plunking out notes on piano and trying to see what matches, and couldn't tell at all, which was really strange. I tried holding up a chromatic tuner, and my high bongo is either a D.... or an A...???

I'm definitely not tone deaf, but I just cannot seem to find the pitch of the bongos. My percussion teacher is blind, and has perfect pitch, so even if he showed me what to do, it wouldn't be of too much help, as I'd have to do things much differently.

Anyone else ever had this problem, and know how to find the pitch of a bongo/conga?

Thanks
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Re: Finding a Pitch for Bongos...?

Postby Anonimo » Sat Dec 25, 2010 6:56 pm

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Re: Finding a Pitch for Bongos...?

Postby Percussination » Sun Dec 26, 2010 4:00 pm

Ok. But then, how come so many top congueros tune to specific pitches?
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Re: Finding a Pitch for Bongos...?

Postby bongosnotbombs » Sun Dec 26, 2010 4:32 pm

Percussination wrote:Ok. But then, how come so many top congueros tune to specific pitches?

Who does that? :D

Seriously though, conga tuning has been a long talked over topic on this board. There are some guys who laboriously tune their congas to somewhat specific pitches for reasons known only to them, you will find most congueros actually tune their congas (and bongoceros too for that matter) tune to relative pitch. Usually finding the tone that their low drum sounds good at then tuning the other drums to a relative interval from there. I aim for a fourth for congas and bongos. But there are people here who believe otherwise, using shell resonance frequencies and overtone tuning methods. You are invited to be as anal about tuning as you want. The main thing is that there is no set standard to tuning congas, some tune high, some tune low, some go for an absolute pitch, some for relative intervals. Freedom of choice and different strokes...
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Re: Finding a Pitch for Bongos...?

Postby Anonimo » Sun Dec 26, 2010 4:46 pm

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Re: Finding a Pitch for Bongos...?

Postby Percussination » Sun Dec 26, 2010 5:54 pm

Ok, thanks guys. I guess I'll just find where my macho has a nice pop/tic, and then find a good interval for the hembra.
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Re: Finding a Pitch for Bongos...?

Postby Anonimo » Sun Dec 26, 2010 8:16 pm

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Re: Finding a Pitch for Bongos...?

Postby Dicemanb » Sun Dec 26, 2010 10:56 pm

I would just say that if you are playing with congas, the Hembra should be tuned not too near the tuning of the conga or it might clash.

Dice
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Re: Finding a Pitch for Bongos...?

Postby Anonimo » Mon Dec 27, 2010 12:00 am

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Re: Finding a Pitch for Bongos...?

Postby Dicemanb » Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:34 am

Size isnt everything :lol:
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Re: Finding a Pitch for Bongos...?

Postby Mike » Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:51 am

leedy2 wrote:
Dicemanb wrote:I would just say that if you are playing with congas, the Hembra should be tuned not too near the tuning of the conga or it might clash.

Dice

Dice
It never will happen the size of the hembra of the bongo and the size of a conga drum are two different worlds.


Objection your honor :)
It is all relative: A fat low-end hembra might be indeed close in pitch
to a cranked up conga or quinto.

So does not only matter after all :wink:
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Re: Finding a Pitch for Bongos...?

Postby Anonimo » Mon Dec 27, 2010 11:52 am

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Re: Finding a Pitch for Bongos...?

Postby Mike » Mon Dec 27, 2010 2:53 pm

leedy2 wrote:MIke
Over ruled
It many be close but no cigar I am going to take you of the drumming to give you a factual idea clarinet, alto, tenor, soprano, Baritone all types of saxophones. agree ? Do they all sound the same ? NO you can blow as hard as you want it will never happen.

A conga drum at average measures between 28 and 30'' when hitting, sound is produce esteeming from belly a low retarded sound
A bongos when you hit there is no retarded sound shoots like a cannon at a higher tone and if you tune very low then sound become what is called flat no resonance.


Just a misunderstanding:
I was just talking about the PITCH which can be identified, but not the "body" of the different tones a bongó and a conga yields, i.e. the TIMBRE you mean when you compare the different reeds.

Absolute pitch (if the piano is consulted to measure, e.g.) CAN really be identical of a bongó hembra and a quinto - of course the instruments sound very differently.

EDIT: But l would also agree that one should not get too fussy over all that tuning issues.
Last edited by Mike on Mon Dec 27, 2010 6:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Finding a Pitch for Bongos...?

Postby bongosnotbombs » Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:24 pm

Dicemanb wrote:I would just say that if you are playing with congas, the Hembra should be tuned not too near the tuning of the conga or it might clash.

Dice

I think what you mean to say is that they might blend in together if they are tuned closely? That is it would be difficult to distinguish on from the other? I don't understand how they would "clash".
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Re: Finding a Pitch for Bongos...?

Postby Dicemanb » Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:32 pm

BnB,

Semantics aside, we agree, and unsympathetic tuning that is not an interval or intervals will produce sonic and melodic interference.
Slightly out tune instruments sound horrible (clash) when they are struck at the same time or will not be distinguishable when they are struck on different beats. Better to tune a few intervals different so that bongo can be distinguished from the conga/quinto and be harmonic when struck together.
We have had this discussion before on the forum about the importance of tuning all drums to melodic intervals. IMHO all drums should be melodic as well as percussive.

Respectfully
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