Ready to become the next Tito Puente? Always wanted to learn salsa or Latin jazz? At Eagle Rock Music Studio, we offer lessons to newbies and advanced conga players alike. If you acquired a conga drum some time ago and have been using it as a decoration to entertain party guests with, or if you have a child who is fascinated by congas, or if you have been playing congas for years and want to take your playing to the next level, or if your situation is anything in between, Eagle Rock has a solution for you.
The conga is a South American drum that is typically tall, skinny, and shaped like a barrel. When Latin music entered the American music scene in the 1950s, the term conga was popularized. Congas first appeared in Cuba, and are called tumbadoras there. (“La conga” is actually a rhythm played during the Cuban carnaval, and a standing theory is that since drums used to play the conga in this setting are called tambores de conga, someone simply translated this into “conga drums” at some point many years ago.)
Congas are the primary instrument in rumba music, and are present in other Latin styles, as well, such as salsa (formerly known as mamba), merengue, and reggae, to name a few. There are a number of different strokes and playing techniques in terms of how to actually strike the drum, and the amount of rhythms — guaguancó, marcha, bolero, songo, timba, etc. — and tunings combined with strokes results in an instrument of incalculable possibilities.
At Eagle Rock Music Studio, we tailor the lessons to the needs of each individual student; we have the patience to guide a student through the necessary steps it takes gain the necessary expertise. Our mission is to help students discover what genres and styles they are most passionate about learning to play on the conga, and to provide a supportive and encouraging learning environment for students while they are in a state of growth.
We offer two course paths for those interested in studying the conga: one for professionals and another for recreation. For those looking to play competitively, it can take months to prepare for an audition for a music school or a prestigious performing group. Because of this, all conga lessons are private/one-on-one — you’ll make progress much faster in this setting than when working alone or in a group.
It takes hours of practice to develop a high level of proficiency on the conga, but actually mastering these skills and eventually becoming a professional requires an action plan developed with a teacher, who will help identify your goals and then assist you with working toward completing them. While playing for recreation removes the stress involved from playing competitively, the same principles of identifying goals and working towards them with specific solutions in mind apply when teaching in this setting.
Eagle Rock Music Studios is located just north of downtown Los Angeles between Glendale and Pasadena. For more information or to set up a lesson, please call us at 323-309-8467.