I have been performing for 53 years on the Conga drum and a teacher of How to play the Conga drum for over 30 years. I have performed with such notables as Carlos Santana, Johnny Lang., Orianthi, Sergio Mendes, Eddie Palmieri, Johnny Pacheco. and many many other Grammy winning artists. Lessons are conducted around your availability. Lessons can be an hour to an hour and a half long and you will have homework. you will need your own Conga drums. Learn from one of the best player/teachers in the world today
*** Lesson Details ***
Here is is my curriculum for my Conga drum course
The study of the Conga drum....
Cuban methods as taught in Cuba today, and also my methods developed over 30 years of teaching
Sound development-utilizing the 5 parts of the hand Heel/Palm/Fulcrum/Inner knuckles/and Tips of fingers
Hand exercises which include my S.T.O.M.P method-Slap Tone Open Muffle Palm
Rudimentary hand drumming and approaches on Conga drum
One conga drum, 2 conga drums, 3 conga drums
Styles in Mambo, Rumba, Salsa, Son, Latin Jazz and Folkloric
Counting and keeping time
Stick control for timbales
Baqueteo patterns -Cascara(shell)of the timbal and cowbell patterns in clave
Abanico- 7 stroke and 9 stroke rolls
Styles on timbales-Danzon, Son, Mambo, Rumba, Salsa, Cha Cha Cha, Bolero
Reading and writing for Latin percussion
Latin Rhythm Theory
The Clave & pulse
The Clave today
Phrasing with the Clave
Variations on the Clave
Polyrhythms in Cuban Music
Cuban and Caribbean Rhythms taught are:
Caballo(Horse rhythm)-with variations
Rumba-with variations-columbia/abierto(open) 2Conga drums/one drum/New York street style rumba
Abakua-one drum pattern to 3 drum patterns
Mozambique-old school/new school variations
Cumbia(Columbia)-with variations on one drum to 3 drums
Conga Comparsa(Carnival drumming) with variations
Calypso(Trinidad) one to 3 conga drums with variations
Bossa Nova(Brasil) with variations from one to 3 conga drums
Samba on 2 to 3 conga drums
Songo with 9 variations
Pilon on 3 congas
Iyesa with variations
6/8 basic one conga drum to 3 conga drums
Guarapachangeo with variations from 2 drums to 5
Ritmo Pa Ca
Tumbaos(basic rhythmic conga patterns for Latin Dance music) with many variations
6/8 Bell patterns on conga drum with variations
Mongo Santamarias tumbaos and rhythmic approaches
Mongos Afro Blue with variations
*** Studio Equipment ***
*** Travel Equipment ***
*** Specialties ***
I teach Latin percussion, conga drums, timbales, bongos and assorted African and Brazilian percussion as well.
I teach what is called the "Cuban" method of learning how to play as it is taught in Cuba today, along with my own developed methods. Yes I teach online.
I have been a performing musician for 53 years. Some of the Artists I have worked with are Carlos Santana, Eddie Palmieri, Gloria Gaynor, Sergio Mendes and many others.
As a Teacher I have been teaching for 30 years and have taught at 5 Universities as Adjunct Lecturer.
I am the first Online Conga drum Instructor, which I started in 2006, and have gone on to teach many from around the world, and the United States.
I am an ONLINE Conga drum Instructor around the world for the past 12 years. I have taught thousands how to play the Conga drum over the past 30 years. I have also taught with my methodology and expertise at 5 colleges around the United States, as there is no curriculum like mine in America at any college, university or school. I have been performing on the Conga drum for over 50 years and counting...
I am a "Florida Folklorist" in the Art of Afro-Cuban/Caribbean Drumming and Music
As " Folklorist" in the State of Florida...teaching Caribbean drumming and music
Founded in 1907, NAfME is among the world’s largest arts education organizations. NAfME advocates at the local, state, and national levels; provides resources for teachers, parents, and administrators; hosts professional development events; and offers a variety of opportunities for students and teachers.
· Percussion · In studio Great first visit with Johnny!
· Conga Drums · In studio Experienced, patient and down to earth, I highly recommend Johnny Conga.
· Conga Drums · In home A wealth of knowledge and skill. Very glad I'm having classes with Johnny
· Congas · In studio From Mark and Diane after their 3 day Intensive with me...they came from Seattle,WA..where they had also taken some lessons with me...here is what they said abut their experience with me.
Want to Thank you and Maggie for your hospitality and good cheer while Diane and I were visiting. This was truly a great experience for us. Trying to remember all the individual details we learned and very glad we recorded everything. You certainly did take us to the next level and over the next several months we will review and improve. The metronome will now be standard in our practice for quite a while as well as working for speed. You showed us many fun rhythms but more importantly you taught us a clear path for development which is what we have been missing.
Be in touch in the future and already starting to think about an early winter return for another 3 day intensive--but for the time being we are finally on path. Just playing a bit over the weekend we were so much more focused and also very realistic about our renewed dedication.
Thanks, Mark & Diane
· Congas · Online Recent testimonial from ongoing pupil Charles B.
I’ve been studying the conga drum with JC for just over two years and I just want to give my total thumbs-up to his approach as a teacher and percussion professional. As a Brit with musical tastes ranging from rock, funk, jazz, hip-hop (and latin music!), I came to JC professing a slightly uncertain attraction to conga drums. Without a well-defined notion of what I really wanted to learn, JC took me through the basic strokes, rhythms and rudiments, developing my knowledge and skills in Afro-Cuban music and much else besides. JC’s experience in the music biz is obviously amazing and one of the best things about learning from him (aside from the great stories) are the unique rhythms and styles he’s acquired (and invented) over the years, from hanging and playing in so many “scenes“. So if you want a proper idea of how to play alongside funk, disco and other r n b styles, this is your guy. Needless to say, he’ll also makes sure you know the essentials behind the instrument, most importantly its deep roots in African music and traditions, and its obvious dominance in Afro-Cuban music. Not only that, JC is a very attentive teacher and is well up on things like “cognitive discovery”, which emphasises learning through hearing and hands as much as through more logical processes. Learning through Skype is also a lot easier and effective than it sounds. It’s been a great experience, revealing the full potential of the instrument to me and motivating me to keep up practice and lessons
· Congas · In studio From Mark D.-Texas...
I just returned last night from a week at Jonny's intensive...
I'm already planning a time when I can go back.
No BS here, it started with JC picking me up at the airport on a Sunday evening, we had dinner at a Cuban restaurant and hit the drums the next morning... For 6+ hours a day! everyday for 5 days.
I have to admit, I thought for sure it would go down something like... He would give me an exercise, and then come back in half an hour while I worked on it. No way... He sat right next to me every hour of every day for the entire week. " sit up straight... relax your hands...breathe...Don't tap the drum, hit it...not enough wrist...get your hand off the drum...mark your time...you're too stiff...
JC is a guy who believes TEACHING is an art form, and he is good at it. He has a system, it's not random, he has thought it thru...He breaks it down so that you are doing something you understand, and you understand WHY you are doing it. A lot of guys can play, but not every guy who can play...can teach. Johnny can do both.
I really felt like it wasn't just a job for JC...he was sincerely interested in me being successful. He did everything he could do to make sure I got the most out of everyday I spent there. Many days, we worked late, no complaint, no reminder that the lesson was over... We went as long as I lasted. And, when we weren't playing, we were watching DVDs of Cuban Rumberos, or listening to Mongo or Puente from records he bought 45 years ago... Awesome
There is not enough time for me to have been able to learn as much as I learned from JC on my own. It is amazing to me that he was so willing to give me so much of what took him a lifetime to accomplish. I will be forever grateful to JC for giving me that.
· Congas · Online From Michael Bento-San Diego, CA--. Johnny is a great instructor and has provided me with exercises and tips that are already showing results. He is patient and like a doctor able to diagnose your playing and provide the right treatments to help improve your playing. I highly recommend him. Thanks Johnny!
· Percussion · Online Conga Drum Instruction
From Online pupil from England George D.
Johnny is an awesome teacher. Instructive. Quick to find what you need to focus on. Patient. Insightful. Funny. Just what you need if your time is precious, but you can get in front of webcam for a few hours a week. He's helped me get those tones right and given me the confidence to grow. Really, really importantly he's always there for questions and support outside of the lessons.