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Postby fletch24 » Wed Jan 13, 2021 7:56 pm

Hi All, hope everyone is doing well (in the awful circumstances we find ourselves in...)

Im David, in the UK, and im a drum kit and snare drum teacher... Have been playing drums for 37 years, but only recently got myself a pair of congas..
Wow,what was i missing out on! I love it...am currently just playing along to backing tracks, no finesse whatsoever but gradually trying to work on stroke techniques etc.

Ive really enjoyed reading the posts on this forum and im hoping to learn plenty from some of the more experienced players as time goes on. We are in covid lockdown in the UK at the moment so im getting plenty of time to practice.

Anyway, just wanted to stop by and say Hi.... Stay safe folks!
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2020 11:42 am

Re: Hello!

Postby Thomas Altmann » Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:04 pm

Hi David,

welcome here! I'm living in Hamburg, Germany, and I'm doubling, too. Started playing drum set in 1971, picked up Cuban percussion in 1979; first timbales, then congas, and gradually bongó. Finally, since 1988 or so, I got into batá drumming. I'm probably a better conga drummer than a jazz drummer - relatively - but have always made my living mainly on the drum set, anyway.

I had an extensive practice program for congas and bongos in the summer. Then I decided I had to take care of stickwork as well, and I almost had to force myself to begin. Now I'm seriously practicing concert snare etudes and techniques. Two years ago, I even took some lessons from a great percussionist of the Hamburger Staatsoper, Massimo Drechsler, who is famous for his snare drum skills. All I can say is that the requirements for a classical percussionist seem to (un)cover all my deficiencies not only as a drummer, but also as a musician. That stuff is hard, often no fun for months and years, but it's exactly what I need to take in: Reading, odd meters and meter changes, dynamic control, clean press roll, and staying mentally relaxed while doing it.

I don't care, if I'll never be able to play in an orchestra (above all, because those conductors tend to confuse me). It's an exercise for me, one that makes me mature artistically. It makes the best of this lockdown for me. I don't miss performing that much, I confess. I could go on like this for years. This type of practice is what I had been longing to do while I was busy driving around and playing all sorts of gigs!

Enjoy combing through the forum history!
Thomas Altmann
Posts: 811
Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2006 12:25 pm
Location: Hamburg

Re: Hello!

Postby Greensail » Tue Jan 26, 2021 12:27 am

Hi David, I'm assuming you are new to the forum. There do not appear to be many of us here these days but....the wealth of knowledge and information here on congaplace is truly staggering. I have spent years combing through. Enjoy.

I divide time between the US and the Caribbean. I'm kind of with Thomas (not his knowledge, breadth or skill level) but his perspective. I began with west African hand drum (djembe and much preferred bougarabou) but heard more Latin music in my head. Started with congas about 15 years ago and have collected numerous drums (too many my wife says). Been playing with some mates for 10 years or so, regular rehearsals and gigging (largely for fun and beer $$) but the pandemic reduced our playing out and sadly our rehearsals as well. That said, since I am home more, I play more than ever, concentrating on technique, rudiments, poly-rhythms, and working on hand and feet independence. This has brought about notable improvement. While I do miss making music with my friends, I am very happy simply improving for my own satisfaction. For me, the lockdowns could be considered a benefit to my ability on the drums.
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:18 pm

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