Advice for Conga playing with Djembes?

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Advice for Conga playing with Djembes?

Postby markab » Wed Jul 09, 2014 2:52 pm

What are some good ways a conga can complement the djembes that predominate in drum circles?

I am a novice conga player, don't have a music background, learning from books and web.

There are a some drum circles I play with. They are predominantly djembes, and there have been no other congas in the few months I have been going. I try to play the main pattern with a tweak or two added, or a simple complementary pattern -- just trying to take advantage of the conga's different sounds to contribute something understated but good.

So that's what I'm asking about: musical things to do with conga sounds that aren't flashy but make a unique contribution to a circle of djembes.
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Re: Advice for Conga playing with Djembes?

Postby Sakuntu » Sat Jul 12, 2014 3:44 am

congas can sound great with djembes. As the djembes play on the higher register you can fill in a nice melodic rhythmic base with the earthy tones of the conga. in west african music, the dunun bass drums are played traditionally with djembes. learn some dunun rhythms and apply them to the congas at your next circle. should sound nice.
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Re: Advice for Conga playing with Djembes?

Postby rhythmrhyme » Wed Jul 23, 2014 12:59 am

Sakuntu wrote:congas can sound great with djembes. As the djembes play on the higher register you can fill in a nice melodic rhythmic base with the earthy tones of the conga. in west african music, the dunun bass drums are played traditionally with djembes. learn some dunun rhythms and apply them to the congas at your next circle. should sound nice.


+1 on this, great advice from Sakuntu. Pays respect to the roots of the rhythms and sounds great! I've done this, it works :D
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Re: Advice for Conga playing with Djembes?

Postby rhythmrhyme » Wed Jul 23, 2014 1:01 am

this is a fantastic resource for "box tab" west african rhythms, translation to congas for the Dun parts is super easy 8)

http://www.paulnas.eu/wap/
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Re: Advice for Conga playing with Djembes?

Postby Quinto Governor II » Thu Jul 31, 2014 11:16 pm

Maybe some Bomba rhythms will work. Bomba drums have a wide range of tones from high pitched like djembes to lower tones like congas.

Tutorial on Bomba rhythms : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gf7hw8oG7ck

Bomba in Puerto Rico video : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J09tYXHH0uk

Encourage the other drums to learn some traditional rhythm, if they are not too intimidated by it. Why not try some stick rhythms using junior congas - less expensive and more easily transportable, and technique is less of a factor in the quality of sound? Why does a drum circle have to be all improvisation. Facilitation is often done at organized circles, which kind of contradicts the whole popularized notion of them. I participate in some of them, mainly for the friendships that have developed from my early years of playing, but I feel cheated at times, because they have me to enhance their drumming experience, and I have very few people to help me enhance mine. My philosophy has always been, what is more facilitating than an actual rhythm?
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