Anyone else into percussion?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Michael Jewels, Jan 6, 2006.

  1. I'm not talking about regular drums, as in a drum set, but world percussion: Djembes, congas, timbales, et cetera.

    What do you play?

    Do you play it in your band, or just on the side for fun?

    I've always been interested in percussion (love Poncho Sanchez) and now, I think it's rubbed off on me.

    I'm going to get a djembe, possibly today. I know nothing about them, but from the dozen or so I've tried in Sam Ash and Guitar Center, I know I like the sound of wooden djembes as opposed to ones made from man-made materials.

    I also like the look of the rope-tuned djembes better than the mechanically-tuned ones.

    There's a few nice-sounding ones at Sam Ash, and it seems to me that the used ones sound better than the new ones.

    Here are some:

    So, what's your story?

  2. I have a set of congas, a mini kid-conga, a djembe, egg shakers and all that....I love rythmic stuff, and the kids love to make noise with them too. I don't think I would be able to pull it off in a live setting, but love to play in general.

    I also have that Donkey Konga game for gamecube. THAT is addictive, and very very very hard on the top levels.
  3. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I am definitely interested in them. I do not officially play any though, but I love the various timbres found in many percussion instruments. I really like talking drums, doumbeks and clay drums.
  4. BassChuck


    Nov 15, 2005
    I love hand percussion. So.... I bought the Roland "Handsonic" and its a total blast! All kinds of sounds and preprogramed patterns that are too much fun to play with. I've even used on some recording projects and loaned it to friends.

    I know it's an electronic thing and not the some as playing a real conga, but you really owe it to yourself to try one of these before you start down the road of collecting all kinds of percussion equipment (read: $ and takes up space in the house). They work fine with a headphone.. and besides, we all have amps already.
  5. i am in the UWS orchestra and i am in the purcussion section, and we get to play all those cool's a lot of fun. It even got me to want to find some way to build temple blocks to my bass somehow...i didn't do it though

    and i do want to learn tabla someday
  6. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Hey Mike, what's up! :)

    A percussion instrument I've really loved is the cowbell (the only prescription... :D ) but although it has been used in rock settings, it really shines in a Salsa band. The cowbell is what gives the drive to a Salsa song. These bands normally (or at least) have three percussionists: One who plays timbales (a latin drum kit that also includes cymbals, cowbells, wood blocks...), another who plays congas and the third one plays bongos and hand cowbell (I also play a Bongo but not that kind of...). There's also another guy who plays who plays maraccas and another one who plays güiro. These two are also background vocalists most of the times. The bongos and hand cowbell NEVER sound at the same time. That's why only one guy plays both instruments. A typical Salsa tune has two main sections. The first one features the "regular" vocals, the ones that tell you what the song is about. This section is played with bongos while the timbal player plays a pattern by hitting the metal side of one of his timbales with one hand (this is called "cascareo") and plays the clave pattern with the other hand using a wood block (not made of wood nowadays).

    The other big section has as a main feature a repeated phrase by the background vocalists while the lead singer improvises in a question-answer type form. This is the "chorus - pregón" section. For this part, the bongo player stands up, picks his hand cowbell and plays a pattern while the timbalero plays another one with his own, smaller cowbell.

    I'm posting an image of both cowbells' pattern along with the clave. Also, you can hear that pattern here (although this song doesn't follow the typical Salsa form. This one starts with a piano + baby bass phrase accompanied by the clave alone and then the whole band enters with the cowbells pattern. Again, not typical). The two different pitches from the hand cowbell are produced by hitting it in the border (the lower, fatter pitch) and in the inner side (the upper pitch)


    Again, the hand cowbell here plays a very important (and most of the times overlooked) role that I really enjoy. Sometimes at rehearsals I ask the bongo player to let me play the cowbell. I really like that instrument in that context. :cool:
  7. Very good post, Alvaro! Thanks. :)

    Here are some songs by Cal Tjader with some percussion work I like:

    Check out tracks #3 - Besame Mucho and
    #10 - Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing

    Check out tracks #3 - Tumbao,
    #6 - September Song,
    #8 -Para Ti

    and listen to how nicely the rhythm develops on
    #10 - Afro Blue :cool:

    I'd write more, but I have to leave now. Another band whose percussion work I like is The Caribbean Jazz Project.

    My first drum! :hyper:

    Mike ;)
  8. DGbass70


    Jun 1, 2005
    Rochester N.Y.
    well, me being from PUERTO RICO i love congas ....i do not play them,but i wish i had a set at home.i have an idea on how to play some stuff.....
    maybe one day i'll have a set and drive the neighbors crazy.
  9. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    Well, I don't play any right now, but as you may remember, my maestro of potatoE salad friend, I really enjoy playing bass WITH the stuff...

    ...I don't miss some things about that gig, but man, playing with a full-on latin rhythm section is one of the most powerful and fun experiences a bassist can have!!!


    I learned a LOT from those guys during my tenure in that band...sigh...
  10. DblG


    Apr 27, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    I have eggs, congitas, and my favorite, the Vibraslap. I always joke w/ my bandmates that I am going to put an ad in the paper as a Professional Vibraslapist for hire. :D
  11. YIPPEE !!!

    After a week of slumber, my thread is revived! :hyper:

    More later - work time.

    Mike ;)
  12. pointbass

    pointbass Semi-Retired Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    Big time percussion lover :D

    My son was a smokin' percussionist and he taught me a ton of stuff about djembe's, congas, tympani (yeah, he used tympani in a lot of stuff) marimbas .... all that good stuff ....

    I have his djembe's, congas, bongos, timbales and lots of cool hand instruments (blocks, cabasa, clave, vibra-Slap) taking up all available space in my small music area. I play with some regularity, but I'd love to keep on learning more ..... :cool:
  13. SBassman


    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    I love it all.

    And, it's natural for many of us. There's obviously a strong connection between what we do and the percussion.

    I started my life on drums, and studied and gigged on them for many years. Haven't touched drums in a long time now.
  14. I did go to Sam Ash last Friday after work, and played all the djembes they had in the store. Most were used, but they sounded great and were not that beat up. (no pun intended :p )

    Then, this guy came in the room and started really getting down on a set of timbales, and I was thinking about how good they sounded, and realized that I should do a little more research before buying anything.

    So then I left the drum store, and walked down the block to the guitar store*, and played one of these:

    I bought it the next day. :rollno:

    I guess somethings never change. ;)

    I'm still looking to get a drum(s).

    Gard, I will never forget that night I came to see you. Latin jazz is just about my favorite type of music, and that's just what you guys were playing, and playing it so well! :cool:

    Do you remember the girl that kept lifting her dress up over her head, and showing everyone on the dance floor her new bloomers? At one point, I thought she was going to take it off completely! :eek: :D

    What a night that was !!! What a memory. :cool:


    * Sam Ash on 48th Street doesn't have different departments, they have separate stores.
  15. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    Mike, I wouldn't really call that music "latin jazz", more like latin rock (ala Santana). Great fun to play that stuff, and we had a GREAT time that night, good venue, good crowd.

    Yes, I remember her, how could we forget it??? Usually "that" girl is not someone you really _want_ "showing off her bloomers", but she was welcome to show us anything she liked!!!

    Dude, I had a great time that night, and one day, I'll make it back up there - the next time, I'm buyin' the beer though! :)
  16. I have been into percussion most of my life. My father told me that he had never seen a cartridge weapon while growing up in the mountains of Virginia until his older brothers came back from WWI. :rollno:

    Oh, excuse me. See what happens when I only read the title and not the posts.
  17. :p

    Mike :D
  18. SBassman


    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    Bloomers? Did somebody say bloomers?
  19. Jonesy4fnk

    Jonesy4fnk Supporting Member

    I play percussion....onstage with Naked Jungle I use 2 tympani, a kikali or djun djun (large barrel drum), shakers, sometimes a djembe and ashieka....I used to have a kick drum setup but with the tympani it got too crowded.

    Plus I use percussion sounds on my MIDI bass, and a Roland SPD-20 electronic drum/percussion trigger....with 2-3 bass drum pedal triggers so I can play part with my feet...

    I love encorporating the percussion into my bass lines, sometimes I'll be tapping a bass part while playing shakers or tympani, and my foot will be tapping on a MIDI trigger on the floor, etc.....its a great way to really focus on the rhythm of the music.
  20. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    I got frustrated several years back because my drummer would just give me blank looks when I tried to 'sing' a drum part to him. "Okay. So give sort of a 'Onk! da ch ch. Onk onk ta brrrrrrr duhn duhn' here... What? What?":eyebrow: :rollno: :scowl: :bawl:

    So I went and got a cheap pair of congas on which to demonstrate parts. I LIKED it. So I added a pair of bongos, and later, a tumbador. I don't play tjem as much now. But I still love them.

    My current band is a (usually) four-piece with guitar, bass, drums and a female vocalist. But the vocalist used to be a drummer. And the current drummer was taught by my previous drummer, who is the guitarists' brother. So, often at practice we have one bass, one guitar, and three drummers going. For several months I just left my congas and vongos set up over there.

    My old drummer plays them, while our singer plays tambourine, cowbell, shakers, vibraslap, whatever she can get her hands on...and my current drummer plays his 'computer drums', a Roland electronic kit.