Don't play bongos with sticks they say, but these guys made a living banging the crap out of them

spelman

Senior Member
I just want to know if these guys are using specific bongos that I need to get to play them with sticks. Or if they're another instrument, could someone please identify. Please see YT video, thanks:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwg0J_eT4n8
Of course you can play bongos with sticks. Classical percussionists do it all the time , for example Evelyn Glennie.

Drum set players often have bongos by the side of the kit, like Terry Bozzio and Chester Thompson. Played with sticks.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Yeah you can play bongos and conga drums with sticks. Just don't let my Dad catch you doing that!

When I was a kid my dad would get really REALLY mad when I hit his "hand drums" with sticks.
If you wack on the exposed rim of a bongo with a regular drum stick enough times, it will damage the head.
But if your making $500 a gig who cares, buy a new head every 6 months.


.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
The biggest thing I would worry about is the bearing edge of the drum itself. By design, it is exposed on bongos and congas, whereas it is protected by the counterhoop on drums designed to be played with sticks.

A thin sheet of mylar is little protection against the shoulder of a stick doing a "rimshot."

Avoid the edge and there's no problem playing bongos with sticks. It isn't what the drum was designed for, but that doesn't mean you can't do it, obviously.
 

Nate'sKit

Senior Member
There's 4:24 that I'll never get back.

If they are you bongos go ahead. Do that on my Gon Bops and you will be in the emergency surgery getting them removed after being broken off.

To me it's a waste getting two different sounds when I can get a myriad of sounds out of my two little drums.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
I wedged bongos between my 12 and 13 in toms of my old Pearl Forum kit. I loved it back then-it wore the rims thin there with friction but no matter. I thought it sounded great-of course that has nothing to do with reality lol.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
Those rims don't really protect the bearing edges. In fact, you'll never find actual bongos with rims that protect the edges because you need access to the edge in order to play certain traditional sounds properly. It simply wouldn't be a bongo if those edges weren't exposed.

Still, if you are careful not to wail away with rimshots you can play bongos with sticks just fine, without damage.

EDIT - the bongos pictured probably wouldn't be a good choice because they have hide heads, too. Mylar heads will likely be more durable and cheaper to replace when they do wear.
 
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Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Context is everything. Though of course, it's worth making sure the heads can take it if you're playing with sticks.
 

alexfsu

Junior Member
Those rims don't really protect the bearing edges. In fact, you'll never find actual bongos with rims that protect the edges because you need access to the edge in order to play certain traditional sounds properly. It simply wouldn't be a bongo if those edges weren't exposed.

Still, if you are careful not to wail away with rimshots you can play bongos with sticks just fine, without damage.

EDIT - the bongos pictured probably wouldn't be a good choice because they have hide heads, too. Mylar heads will likely be more durable and cheaper to replace when they do wear.
The only Mylar bongos I can find are a small kids set on Amazon. Do you know where I can get bongos with Mylar heads?
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
The only Mylar bongos I can find are a small kids set on Amazon. Do you know where I can get bongos with Mylar heads?
Interesting - I did a quick search and couldn't find much either, though I've seen plenty of bongos around with the Remo heads. I suppose you can always replace the hide heads with Remos or Evans heads when they wear out. I was also surprised that the synthetic heads aren't ALL that much cheaper than the hide heads. Hmmmm.
 

Nate'sKit

Senior Member
Interesting - I did a quick search and couldn't find much either, though I've seen plenty of bongos around with the Remo heads. I suppose you can always replace the hide heads with Remos or Evans heads when they wear out. I was also surprised that the synthetic heads aren't ALL that much cheaper than the hide heads. Hmmmm.
Natural heads can be both cheaper and more expensive if you roll your own. Cheaper if you just buy hide from some places but more expensive from some of the specialist boutiquey places that also offer good consultation in helping you find what you want. Manito is highly recommended.

Now if you have enough drums to justify buying a whole or half hide, that can save you some bucks.
 

vxla

Silver Member
I second Manito for skins, although his bongo choices are far too thick for most people to mount.
 
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