Latin Percussion???

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
I nearly purchased a set of congas and timbales instead of a 5-piece. I LOVE being able to drum with open hands--I deal with some arthritis. But then I thought, do you REALLY want to physically beat drums OR just hit em with some sticks. In the long, the latter seemed a better route to go.

Are there any latin percussionists here? What kind of equipment setup do you have? I would LOVE to see them.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
I have a djembe, bongos and congas. Not sure why I hang on to them. Used to play them in an original band for years, but every time I break them out now arthritis gets the better of me! Great choice sticking with sticks!
 

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
I have a djembe, bongos and congas. Not sure why I hang on to them. Used to play them in an original band for years, but every time I break them out now arthritis gets the better of me! Great choice sticking with sticks!
Do you feel like you're better w the Latin though? Lol. . .I definitely feel like I'm much better with that style and setup. Hands just won't last, I know. I also have a djembe and bongos. I'm considering finding a way to set them up around my 5-piece. Who knows.

You have any old pics playing the latin stuff?
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
Do you feel like you're better w the Latin though? Lol. . .I definitely feel like I'm much better with that style and setup. Hands just won't last, I know. I also have a djembe and bongos. I'm considering finding a way to set them up around my 5-piece. Who knows.

You have any old pics playing the latin stuff?
Pics? Somewhere...They definitely helped me grow, but you can transfer the same beats to a set. Takes some creativity and four limb independence, but definitely doable.
 

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
Pics? Somewhere...They definitely helped me grow, but you can transfer the same beats to a set. Takes some creativity and four limb independence, but definitely doable.
My beats are tighter without sticks, plain and simple. My left hand is basically as good on congas. Not with sticks. . .I'm working on it. I saw a helpful Rob Brown vid.


I'm just curious how people setup their latin stuff. I may end up purchasing congas in the future. I can find stuff online, no worries.
 

WallyY

Platinum Member
There may be a biological reason why hand percussion isn't practiced in cold climates.
Repeated hand trauma is a suspected cause of Raynaud's syndrome, and it's not something that occurs as much in warm climates.

Hands can take a real beating and recover in short time, but the lasting damage can be cumulative.

Take care of your hands.
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
Its all about the microphone really. If you look at alot of the traditional latin ensembles, they are playing with nylon string guitars and singing, mostly singing. When the trumpets come out the bongos disappear, and cowbells appear, still just primarily singing.
 

evolving_machine

Silver Member
This weekend I had band practice both Saturday and Sunday. I played "What's Going On," for just that song on both days. Yeah, I should have placed a mic on the conga because I still feel it in my hands now. I guess I was trying to prove a point about the volume though. The same volume on the drums is a whisper, but on the conga is full load bearing loudness. I haven't played the conga since the Summer, I did not realize how demanding it is on your hands.
641
 

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
Even 25 years ago when I would play for 4-6 hours straight on the djembe and congas, the next day, my hands were toast.

Heck, nowadays I clap my hands watching my college basketball team, and I break 2 blood vessels in the process. My hands have been through a lot I guess.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Even 25 years ago when I would play for 4-6 hours straight on the djembe and congas, the next day, my hands were toast.
Maybe look into electronic hand percussion devices, like the Roland HandSonic, Korg wave drum, ATV aFrame. They won't beat up your hands like traditional hand percussion.​
 

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
Maybe look into electronic hand percussion devices, like the Roland HandSonic, Korg wave drum, ATV aFrame. They won't beat up your hands like traditional hand percussion.​
Yep - not the same exactly, but take a peek at this:

https://youtu.be/c_7DNSAvxwU?t=113
Wwwwow! That's awesome. Definitely would help with hand pain. I know little to nothing about drum machines. That's a machine on steroids. Thanks for the heads up guys.
 
If you're hurting your hands or any body part from playing an instrument you need to improve your technique. It's a common misconception because it looks like the player is 'beating' the drum. You don't hit a drum, you touch a drum. Starting from nothing with the lightest touch and moving all over the drum teaches you the many different tones and sweet spots any drum has. It's a faster way to learn proper technique when you're playing smarter not harder and you learn to be louder with more stamina and a lighter touch. Tabla players are a good example, playing with amazing dexterity, fluency and power well into their later years. There's plenty of instructional videos showing proper technique. Tapping, touching, muting, glancing blows, setting the head in motion and getting out of the way. I beat the crap out of my hands on congas competing with amplified instruments until I got my own mics and amp and realized there is a point where a harder hit doesn't make the drum louder and actually gets a worse sound. The pro that puts on the macho show has to make sure their hands stay in good shape if they have to do it again tomorrow night.
 

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
If you're hurting your hands or any body part from playing an instrument you need to improve your technique. It's a common misconception because it looks like the player is 'beating' the drum. You don't hit a drum, you touch a drum. Starting from nothing with the lightest touch and moving all over the drum teaches you the many different tones and sweet spots any drum has. It's a faster way to learn proper technique when you're playing smarter not harder and you learn to be louder with more stamina and a lighter touch. Tabla players are a good example, playing with amazing dexterity, fluency and power well into their later years. There's plenty of instructional videos showing proper technique. Tapping, touching, muting, glancing blows, setting the head in motion and getting out of the way. I beat the crap out of my hands on congas competing with amplified instruments until I got my own mics and amp and realized there is a point where a harder hit doesn't make the drum louder and actually gets a worse sound. The pro that puts on the macho show has to make sure their hands stay in good shape if they have to do it again tomorrow night.
I totally understand and agree with what you're saying. I was just thinking the same thing last night while I was practicing on the pad. If you can play the rudiments at low volume, it still sounds tight, that is much better technique than just bashing at high volume.

However, I have arthritis, I have had hand injuries, and, I'm learning that I have weak blood vessels. For example, I clapped my hands 3x when my college basketball team came back and won a hard fought game. My left hand was instantly hurting, swollen and I had broken 2 blood vessels. I've talked with my doc. But, try not to assume I'm just a caveman. I'm not a complete newb. I played for 2 decades before I had to hang it up for a while.

And all of that is great if your mic'd. There are situations where you have to play at volume.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Wow do you have rheumatoid arthritis? I wonder rheumatoid vasculitis or some other autoimmune thing going on with your blood vessels? Anyways I have a portable congas/bongo set up, a djembe on stand, and a cajon. I'm thinking of selling all since I never use them now. I use to use bongos on my kit and hit with sticks twenty years ago. I've also used the portable congas/bongos with a kit experimenting. I love latin rhythms. You can tape your fingers-I've noted some do that to help. I've also lamented my hands and wrist seemed more dextrous than sticks but after lots of work now I say the reverse.
 

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
Wow do you have rheumatoid arthritis? I wonder rheumatoid vasculitis or some other autoimmune thing going on with your blood vessels? Anyways I have a portable congas/bongo set up, a djembe on stand, and a cajon. I'm thinking of selling all since I never use them now. I use to use bongos on my kit and hit with sticks twenty years ago. I've also used the portable congas/bongos with a kit experimenting. I love latin rhythms. You can tape your fingers-I've noted some do that to help. I've also lamented my hands and wrist seemed more dextrous than sticks but after lots of work now I say the reverse.
I definitely have autoimmune problems. I have a decent amount of health issues to deal with. When I asked my doctor, he basically said "some people just deal with that.". . . . .and I'm thinking, I need a new doctor. If it continues to worsen, I will have to see someone about it.

Yes, I'm a huge fan of latin rhythm, guitar, Cuban music, Spanish and Mexican styles of guitar. I'm going to have my bongos as a part of my kit setup eventually.

In reality, I'm probably going to just pass on playing much latin percussion.
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
This weekend I had band practice both Saturday and Sunday. I played "What's Going On," for just that song on both days. Yeah, I should have placed a mic on the conga because I still feel it in my hands now. I guess I was trying to prove a point about the volume though. The same volume on the drums is a whisper, but on the conga is full load bearing loudness. I haven't played the conga since the Summer, I did not realize how demanding it is on your hands.
641
When you sort of teach yourself the instrument and the people you play with don't really understand or respect it, that is what happens. I used to put electrical tape on my fingers to play a djembe with a blues band unamplified. I saw a recital at the local community college of an African playing djembe, and also that lute/harp like instrument. He could get melodies out of the djembe, it was phenomenal.

I had an opportunity to play some tablas for a couple weeks. I would say the technique is about like tapping a keyboard. Which makes sense, they usually play with sitars and string instruments. I think it is interesting how much overlap in technique there was between tablas and congas.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Playing conga and bongos along with an amplified band always hurts my hands.
I could learn to play properly and use microphones and a good monitor. But I rarely need to play them.

I don't play conga very often. But when I do I use a pair of these. You can't get all of the intricate hand sounds, but they are fun to use.




.
 

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
Playing conga and bongos along with an amplified band always hurts my hands.
I could learn to play properly and use microphones and a good monitor. But I rarely need to play them.

I don't play conga very often. But when I do I use a pair of these. You can't get all of the intricate hand sounds, but they are fun to use.




.
Hey thanks for the heads up on those! I might get those for experimentation whether I have congas or not.
 
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