Hand Drum

Independent Iyesa: An Afro-Cuban Cowbell Workout

In this independence exercise, we will look at two cowbell patterns that are played in the Afro-Cuban Iyesa rhythm. To get started, you’ll need two cowbells – a cha cha bell and another large cowbell. As always, start off slowly.

Hand Drum, Video

Glen Caruba: Mastering Conga-Diddles

So you thought paradiddles were strictly for drum set players, eh? Well, back in the ’90s, Puerto Rican conga sensation Giovanni Hidalgo blew everybody’s minds by applying drum set rudiments to conga technique, and redefined the boundaries of that age-old discipline. In this exercise, DRUM! columnist Glen Caruba shares a number of paradiddle variations for conga players.

Hand Drum

Glen Caruba: Squeeze Your Agogo

Although native to Brazilian and samba rhythms, agogo bells can be adapted to virtually all styles of contemporary music. If you come across a set that does not have a wing nut for mounting, chances are it is a hand held design in which the handle can be squeezed so that both bells hit together.

Hand Drum

Box Beaters: Brush Up On Your Cajon Technique

When you’re tight on space or time and need to approximate the sound of kick, snare, and hi-hat, pull out a cajon and a pair of brushes and use the following strokes to add some different colors to your musical canvas.

Hand Drum

Independence Exercises

One thing that I like to do to help me with my independence is to do exercises that I normally wouldn’t necessarily use as such, but would help me in playing other patterns. This particular exercise will help you get started.

Hand Drum

Maraca Madness

Let’s have a shake at three popular maraca patterns used in Latin music. Ex. 1 is a salsa pattern that is played at a medium-to-fast tempo. Make sure you hit the accents clearly. Ex. 2 is a son montuno pattern that is played at a slow-to-medium tempo.

Hand Drum

Cajon Tune-Up

The front plate of your box cajon is designed to have a certain amount of flex or “give” to not only obtain a rich deep tone, but also to be easy on the hands. Because of this you can actually bend it with slight pressure from your heel as you are playing to change the pitch.