Cool people play cool instruments. Do you want to be in the center of attention? Try bongo. The free spirit of Afro-Cuban bongo drums makes everyone around dance to the rhythms. It is a perfect musical instrument for improvising and accentuation. The two joined drums are quite small and portable, so it makes it easy to travel with your favorite music anywhere you want.
You play bongo drums holding them between your knees, where the small drum is placed on your left. There are a few tips that you should know before starting to learn bongo.
Four Tips To Play Bongo
#1.The open tone
To make an open tone you should hit the edge of the drum with the knuckly part of the hand, letting your fingers bounce off the head. The sound will change when you move your fingers farther from the center of the drum. Take 4 inches back and forth and learn from your experiment by listening carefully to the sound and trying to understand where you like it better. The proper sound must be rich and clear, it should not have any annoying overtones that spoil the sound.
#2. The accent
To produce an accent, you should slightly cut up your fingers as you strike the head. An accent is a louder note that adds taste and color to your music. Relax your fingers right after your palm contacts the bongo’s surface, let them bounce, so it will create a higher pitch than in the previous case when you have made an open tone.
#3. Create different sound
Playing from the heel of the palm to the tips of the fingers you will create a different sound, it is called hill-tip rocking movement. When you play this strike, your hand should always keep contact with the head.
#4. Create the muted tone
To create the muted tone you should strike your bongo the same way you did to produce the open tone, but your fingers have to rest on the head after you strike the drum. Your palm should be relaxed and you should barely move it. Making a muted tone you will hear only a light touch of your fingers against the drum.
Traditionally, the left hand of the player makes a heel-tip rocking movement, however, most of the modern players choose to do the muted tone instead.
Choosing Your Personal Bongo Drums
There are a few brands of bongo drums on the market, costing from $50 to $450 on average, according to Instrument Insider. Choosing the drums for beginners you should not buy the most expensive one, as you would even hardly appreciate the drums of premium quality. Yet, your first drum should be durable, so it will serve you for a while. Also, as you look for your bongo drum, pay attention to the drums shell and the head materials, their size and overall quality of the instrument. If you buy your bongo drums in a music store, hold them in your hands and you will be able to understand if they are “yours”.