PDA

View Full Version : Bongo Drums



TicToc
10-17-2010, 06:41 AM
Hey guys, I asked for a pair of bongo drums for my birthday on the 4th of November, so I was wondering if I could get any tips on playing the things from experienced bongo players/percussionists. Thanks!

LoMa
10-17-2010, 07:44 AM
Trevor Saloum's "Fun With Bongos" is a good starter book with an excellent CD that lets you know what each drum stroke is supposed to sound like, and a page of photos that shows you what you're supposed to be doing for each of the primary drum strokes - really great if you're a raw beginner. That alone is worth the price of adminssion.

Porbably the best book out there is the Play Bongos & Hand Percussion Now: Basics and Beyond book and CD by Richie Gajata-Garcia. Truly an excellent excellent book. One if the primary goodnesses of the book is that Richie demonstrates the patterns on the CD both slowly while counting and then up to speed. I can;t tell you how important how counting the rhythm is - if you can;t count it out, you won;t be able to play accurately. Get this book! Seriously.

The other important thing is that both Richie and Salloum both used forms of standard drum notation, which means you'll know how to use any drum sheet music for your bongos.

Ukulele JJ
10-17-2010, 08:15 AM
I have some bongos sitting in my closet that I keep meaning to learn to play. Thanks for the advice on the books, LoMa! If I were to get only one, would you recommend the Gajata-Garcia book then? Or should someone really just knuckle down and get both?

JJ

LoMa
10-17-2010, 12:25 PM
I have some bongos sitting in my closet that I keep meaning to learn to play. Thanks for the advice on the books, LoMa! If I were to get only one, would you recommend the Gajata-Garcia book then? Or should someone really just knuckle down and get both?

JJ

If you have never played bongos at all, then Salloum's book is real helpful so you can see and hear the different drum strokes. If you have another way to get that info, then you could probably skip Fun with Bongos. The shortcoming of the book is that it doesn't really help you with counting out the rhythms, and the demos of the patterns on the CD iare very short. It is more helpful to have longer demos so you get a better sense of the flow. However, Salloum gives you lots and lots of variations on patterns, including standard drum ones, traditional ones based on the martillo, etc.

Gajata-Garcia's book is really the better book of the two because of the emphasis on counting and figuring out rhythms and because the demos of the rhythms are longer. However, you don;t get as many patterns to play in this book. But note that it also has a play-along CD as well as the demo CD so you can try your new skills playing the bongos with different kinds of music which is invaluable.

In my experience, people will get bored with Salloum's book if it's the only thing they have. People don;t seem to get bored with Gajata-Carcia's book and end up with a better basis for figuring out any rhythm they come across in sheet music.

Personally, I'd suggest getting both books. They complement each other well, and Gajata-Garcia's book will allow you to figure out the many patterns in Salloum's book and other sources of drum sheet music.

There are other books out there too, but they don't use standard drum notation, which I believe greatly limits their utility - they won;t help you do bongos to Jimi Hendrix, U2, Sugarland, P Diddy, Liza Minelli, or who/whatever... but a guy named Keilani, or something like that, puts out a book with a good demo video (I think it's an enhanced CD that'll show video demos on your computer). But again, he doesn;t use real notation, so don't use this as your only book.

Have fun!!!!!!! By the way, standard drum notation is incredibly eaasy to undestand, much easier than the various other schemes that bypass the standard notation...

haolejohn
10-17-2010, 01:15 PM
I say just start beating on them. Eventually you will get the rhythm figured out. Of course that might not be the best advice but it worked (kinda) for me.