Bongos are Cuban drum instruments, which are used, frequently in Latin American music. Bongos are part of Latin American culture. The main advantage of these drums is that they are lightweight and portable. This quality of Bongos made them popular among the hippies in 1960s. These drums are perdurable and also require very low maintenance. They have a firm place in the world of percussion, because of their unique sound. Bongo drums produce high-pitched sounds. Atlantic slave trade brought the rhythms of bongos from Cuba to Africa. Jack Constanzo made Bongos an essential part of Jazz music and he is named as 'Mister Bongo' by fans. You may have already heard a million albums with Bongos music and now you want to play like ‘Mr. Bongo’. Read on the article to get a few tips about Bongos and about how to play them.
Tips For Playing Bongo Drums
How To Buy The Bongos
Purchase a good set of bongos from your local music shop or through internet. For learning, you don’t have to go for the most expensive set of bongos. You may wish to buy expensive Bongos because you may have this childish fascination of buying the best stuff, for the first time. You may be too busy to play this instrument often in the future and your expensive Bongos may dust in the corners of your house. Higher quality Bongos are heavier than less expensive lighter ones.
Design Of Bongos
Bongos generally comprise of two small drums and a little bridge; the 'macho' and the 'hembra' are those two drums. Macho is smaller and hembra is a bit bigger. The drums are joined by a bridge. This bridge is manufactured using mahogany or oak, with alloy lugs and rims. A majority of bongos are manufactured from wood, but there are a few companies which make fiberglass models. Manufacturers use animal skin to make the drumhead of bongos.
How To Play Bongos
- Sitting posture is a very important factor when playing Bongos. Sit on a comfortable chair with no arms. A medium height chair is perfect for playing a Bongo. Your legs should able to reach the floor comfortably. Sit at the edge of a chair with the bongos on top of your knees.
- Place the small drum on top of your left knee and the big drum below your right knee. This helps you to hold the bongos steady. This is said to be the traditional position to play the bongos properly.
- Use your right hand index finger to start the beat. Then you can move to the left hand thumb to get a lower sound on the small drum.
- Tap with the fingertips of the left hand and then use the index finger of your right hand to finish the sequence of thumps.
- Concentrate on practicing this sequence with patience and get a little faster as you do it regularly.
- Find some different music to practice playing on your bongos. Get some good books on Bongos to master it.