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Conga Drumming: A Beginner's Guide to Playing With Time W/ CD Paperback – July 25, 1996


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 159 pages
  • Publisher: Dancing Hands Music; Beginners edition (July 25, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0963880101
  • ISBN-13: 978-0963880109
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #159,030 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Alan Dworsky and his partner Betsy Sansby were born in the 1950s ten blocks away from each other in St. Paul, Minnesota. Thirty years later they got married adn they've been happily drumming together ever since. They are known for creating instructional books that are easy to follow and a pleasure to read. Their first book, Conga Drumming: A Beginner's Guide to Playing with Time, has become the best-selling book on hand drumming ever published. Their writing is warm and friendly, and they re passionate about clarity. They make sure students especially beginners get the right-size steps, in the right order, at just the right time. We don't just dump a pile of charts on you and leave, says Dworsky. We stay with you every step of the way, so you feel like you're getting private lessons. Betsy Sansby and her partner Alan Dworsky were born in the 1950s ten blocks away from each other in St. Paul, Minnesota. Thirty years later they got married and they ve been happily drumming together ever since. They are known for creating instructional books that are easy to follow and a pleasure to read. Their first book, Conga Drumming: A Beginner s Guide to Playing with Time, has become the best-selling book on hand drumming ever published. Their writing is warm and friendly, and they re passionate about clarity. They make sure students especially beginners get the right-size steps, in the right order, at just the right time. We don t just dump a pile of charts on you and leave, says Dworsky. We stay with you every step of the way, so you feel like you're getting private lessons.

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Customer Reviews

I recommend this book to my students and to my freinds.
charlir@twistedpair.net
I am starting lessons soon but I know this book will be there during and after the lessons.
Rob Fulton
It's very intuitive, and after a while, you can pretty much sight-read the rhythms.
W. L. West

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By charlir@twistedpair.net on July 12, 1998
Format: Paperback
I have been playing congas for 15 years and teaching for 3 years. I recommend this book to my students and to my freinds.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By W. L. West on July 11, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I agree with all the other reviewers... this is a great book for beginners and advanced (as well as folks somewhere in the middle, like me).
One thing I didn't expect to like, since I can read regular music notation, was their concocted music notation. To my surprise, I like theirs better. It's very intuitive, and after a while, you can pretty much sight-read the rhythms. If I hear/see a conga pattern I like in the future, I'll probably write it down using their notation.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Rob Fulton on September 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
As a beginning Conga drummer, I was not sure how much could be learned from a book. I keep playing the patterns over and over and I get a little faster and smoother all the time. The CD lets me match the sound. I am starting lessons soon but I know this book will be there during and after the lessons. It's like having a private, personal instructor. Excellent.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
Very recommended! I think Alan Dworsky used a very clear graphic way of teaching the Conga playing, without getting into music reading instead, he uses symbols for the diferent strokes, and easy numbers. It is great for begginers but stil a good book for advanced players, because it goes through many aspects of the conga.
If you are into conga playing, get this book for the price of half a conga lesson I am sure you will get some mileage out of it. I have been playing congas for years and I discovered a few things in this book I didn't know. Go for it! (...)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By New England Yankee on October 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is the beginner book I used, and I like it. It covers a good range of basic conga patterns to a medium level of difficulty. Be aware that it cannot, and does not pretend to cover all Latin music styles as it relates to conga. For a beginner, that should not be an issue unless you are interested in something unusual, like the folklorico drumming adapted from bata, or perhaps are only interested in learning one style in depth.

The CD is enormously helpful. In fact, it's laughable sometimes to try to work through a new pattern without listening to the corresponding CD track first. Guaranteed you will not have the emphasis or attack right!

I also fully agree with another reviewer that the notation is so good that I've adopted it for my own use. The downside is that this is NOT commonly-used notation for congas. As a result, when you pick up other conga books, you will have to adapt. That's not enough of a barrier to keep someone from this book though, and I should also point out that conga notation isn't exactly standardized anyway.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By macrophile on April 22, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book invaluable for learning the basics of conga drumming without a teacher. I used it for several months before hitting my first conga class, and was really glad I had worked with the book. I was able to pick up right away with the rest of the class on several of the rhythms. However, I will warn anyone using the book that this drumming world is steeped with "variations". That is, you'll frequently find that your teacher is using a slightly different variation than the one taught in the book. This is fine, however, since it's usually easy to alter what you're doing slightly.

One of the more impressive aspects of the methods in this book is the holistic approach, for example, teaching how to feel the clave underneath the rhythms you're playing. The book also does about as good a job as any book can at teaching the hand technique, although I highly recommend complementing this with good videos of accomplished conga players. Youtube, for example, is a great resource. Here again, though, you will find different philosophies of technique, and again your teacher may have his own emphasis.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By donovan@his.com on January 20, 1998
Format: Paperback
A really good book...the cd is excellent as well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jonas Aras on January 22, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is extremely readable and it teaches you terrific grooves right from the get-go. I'm a pianist who has decided to learn some percussion and I am having a blast learning to play the conga. Even my non-musician girlfriend has learned some of this stuff!
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