Are conga's fun?

healthie1

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I've seen prices all over the place for these; there's a few sets of 2 up for $250. Are these fun to play? If you have a jam, if someone's not a musician can you stick them on the conga's to play?
 

DamnSingerAlsoDrums

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I've seen prices all over the place for these; there's a few sets of 2 up for $250. Are these fun to play? If you have a jam, if someone's not a musician can you stick them on the conga's to play?
IME putting a non musician on ANY percussion is a sure-fire way to derail and suck the fun out of most parties/Jams... Your mileage may vary.

Congas are deceptively hard to get to sound good and groove like they should....
 

John DeChristopher

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IME putting a non musician on ANY percussion is a sure-fire way to derail and suck the fun out of most parties/Jams... Your mileage may vary.

Congas are deceptively hard to get to sound good and groove like they should....
Thank you. There are only a few things more painful than a non-percussionist playing congas...
 

TonyVazquez

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I love the congas.
When I was growing up in the Bronx
during the 70s, they were everywhere
in outdoor percussion jams during the summer.
I loved watching percussion jams
at Orchard Beach, day or night.
It was the popular thing to do among
Hispanic communities in NYC
during the 70s and before that era.

I don't know if they still do percussion
jams in NYC public places today
(besides the subway performers),
since former mayor Giuliani tried
to outlaw it as "noise pollution".

Once you play congas and get
that groove down pat you're hooked.
Conga players' hands be so calloused
they could almost smack bricks to dust!
 

jansara

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If you have a jam, if someone's not a musician can you stick them on the conga's to play?
Why, absolutely! You can make it even more interesting for everyone if you give them a tambourine too. Tell them the correct way to play is to shake the tambourine with one hand and play the conga with the other. Don't forget to record it.
 

pwc1141

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I have met only a couple of genuine well trained conga players in my time and have been known to throw sticks at people who - unasked and unskilled - have started to bang on a set kept alongside the stage at the time......I am reminded of a story a guitarist once told me about a club in Florida that actually gave percussion items to customers at the door ... the kicker was they were all made of foam rubber and thus silent when played....:)
 

mebeatee

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If you have a jam, if someone's not a musician can you stick them on the conga's to play?

Nah, that’s too obvious....they’ll “solo” all the time.....better to put a “musician” on them. That way they’ll finally agree they play too loud....especially lead guitar folks....and realize their time really does suck....
bt
 
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Thank you. There are only a few things more painful than a non-percussionist playing congas...
Cowbell and tambourine.

My goodness.

It can really ff up the groove.

But conga playing is super fun and with the right technique shouldn’t hurt at all.

Just be warned! It can get you so hooked you want to learn to play more percussion instruments:
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fenrir

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Too many drummers assume they can play percussion without realising each of those instruments are a lifetime study. If I hear another conga/djembe/cajon etc being played by a drummer playing doom-dag-dadoomdadoomdag I might have to offer some advice...

Spend any time with a West African or Cuban group and you'll realise this instantly. When I play with friends from Mali I play clave on a bell, or sometimes the simplest dundun part and let the masters play djembe or kpanlogo. I'm a near-40 year old professional drummer and have lots of experience in 'world' settings.

I've been playing tabla, mridangam, tombak, frame drums and daf for a good few years now and am not even on beginner tier, according to those traditions. What I hope is that I have taste and musicality enough, and even with limited technique can accompany music without ruining it. While many percussion instruments have taken the spotlight in world traditions due to the virtuosity of the players, in general all of that music requires a part and if you can nail that you can play. Stressed beats and open beats, permutations of 'odd' times.
Playing with a Turkish/Greek group REALLY got my odd time playing down. No longer am I bound with the need to emphasise the 1!

Playing percussion (properly) has enhanced my kit playing in so many ways. I recommend it to all.
 

BennyK

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There's a whole world of hand percussion out there , each with their own own voice and technique to articulate language patterns .

I hope this won't suck the fun out of it for you .
 

cochlea

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There's a whole world of hand percussion out there , each with their own own voice and technique to articulate language patterns .

I hope this won't suck the fun out of it for you .
Agreed! I just picked up my first shaker for home recording and found that there are many different ways to alter the sound, more so that I realized when I ordered them.
 

mikesdrums

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I've seen prices all over the place for these; there's a few sets of 2 up for $250. Are these fun to play? If you have a jam, if someone's not a musician can you stick them on the conga's to play?

Yes, a $250 set of congas would be fun for a non-musician to play. To see if it would be fun to listen to, I recommend visiting any Guitar Center drum department on any Sunday afternoon.
 

m_anderson

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We used to have a lot of parties, especially the campfire and bonfire parties. I would get out the percussion toy box; guiro, afuche, claves, tambourines, cowbells, flex-a-tone, vibra-slaps, maracas and more. One at a time, I would give each person an instrument and show then EXACTLY what to do. "Do this, do not stop, and do not deviate." Slowly I would build a rhythm and after I got them all going, I would come in with the bongos. It was a blast and they all loved it. They would start dancing around the fire while keeping the rhythm. It was a lot of fun. You would be surprised what a non-musician can do if you show them.
 
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JazzDrumGuy

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I have seen many amazing percussionists from Raul Rekow & Karl Perrazo behind Santana to Ray Cooper behind Clapton, Sheila E. and family, etc. I love early 60's jazz with the Latin tinge and Ray Barreto I grew up listening to a lot of Latin jazz so I can appreciate the sounds. But after I saw the Gypsy Kings maybe 8 years ago and the drummer doubled as the percussionist, I was obsessed. He was just amazing. I went out and bought a set of L.P. Aspire congas. I jam them often in my home studio for fun or with my kids. I could play with others but probably would have the same beat/sound over and over because of my limited education with how to properly play them. They're definitely one of my favorite percussion instruments though besides drums. There's definitely some technique involved to not have hurt hands after a few minutes. But like with any instrument, you have to give it to someone who has some musical ability and can keep time. Luckily I barely qualify.
 

BennyK

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