The most important rhythm of the bongo is the "martillo"
(hammer). It consists of eight distinct strokes and like the
"tumbao" is a one-bar pattern which is repeated. The
sound of "Martillo" could be phonetically interpreted
as "dicky-docky-dicky-ducky". The right hand
accents the first and third beats with a sharp, muted sound
played on the high bongo. The left fills in the rhythm
by alternating between the thumb and fingers with a sideways
rocking motion (manoteo - heel toe movement); the thumb muffles
the right hand strokes. Open sounds are palyed on two and four
on the high and low bongo respectively. The Martillo is effective
for all rhythms from slow boleros to fast rumbas. Its function
is like the ryde cymbal in jazz drumming or the tumbao of the
congas. Martillo and Tumbao can be played togheter without disrupting
the stability of the rhythm.