Technique for playing with bongos/ african drums

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by tiredman9, Nov 25, 2005.

  1. tiredman9


    Aug 15, 2005
    New York
    Hey guys, Ive never tried this but it doesnt seem like its gonna be that standard to regular bass playing so i thought id ask. I live on a dorm and its impossible to have a full drum set, but i often play my bass in my room and some friends have electric guitars so i was thinking about getting some african style drums (bongos, congas, djembes etc) in to play with me just for fun. Any recommendations for just a bass playing with another guy on african drums...Move this post if its not in the right place,

    Also this is gonna be mostly just bass and bongas no fancy latin type stuff..
  2. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    *shrug* Keep it chill and grooving. Relaxed jams. I just tend to turn down a bit more when I'm playing with African percussion...except if it's timbales. Those things are day-um loud.
  3. Fretless5verfan


    Jan 17, 2002
    +1 kepp it relaxed and don't be afraid to be melodic. Really melodic lines with african drums sound awesome :D
  4. vicenzajay

    vicenzajay Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2004
    Christiansburg, VA
    However, is the music you're doing cross genres? If so, any Latin/African beat may or may not actually "move" chords on the "1" of a particular measure. The key here is to immerse yourself in the music of the genre played to get a feel for how the chordal structure and emphasis work together. In much music featuring a "conga" rhythm, the bass has to "anticipate" the dominate (5) of the next measure's chord by doing the "5 to 1" thing on beat "4" and "+" of the measure preceding what's written on the chart.

    Hope this makes sense to you - this is why so many bassists sound like they are "dragging" the rhythm of Latin stylistical music - while they're "on" the downbeat, they're actually behind the rhythm.

    Have fun with the different percussion instruments - I love the way congas, djembes, etc. add color to an ensemble.
  5. how 'bout playing with bongos(and a like) and 1, possibly 2, acoustic guitars.... Santana approach??? ps... there are two drumers possibly 2 guitars and me on either upright or electric... and dont say "kick one of em out" cause i cant... lol any advice? thx

    sry for long post
  6. I play with a djembe player on a regular basis. As I see it hand drums are groove instruments. They have a limited amount of sounds they can produce so if your guy knows what hes doing then he should be able to groove to what you are playing pretty easy. Also hand drum players, from what i've seen, like to pick up on the accents of what you are playing, so start off with an easy groove if you wanna play more than that or else you'll get stuck into a really tight pocket.