When an established conga player transitions to learn to play djembe he or she has certain advantages and disadvantages. When you play congas, there is much emphasis on pushing in to the drum to make tone. On a goat skin djembe, do to the thin tight skin, you must pull the sound out.
Despite this energetic difference, the technique for making tone is nearly the same, you just do not leave your hand in the drum as long, you alllow it bounce making one fluid hit and return motion, vs two seperate motions. I call it follow through. When you hit a baseball with a baseball bat you do not stop when you hit the drum. Your motion continues forward
making contact right side before final motion to pull in to rim
On djembe drum it is the same. You can not go through the drum so you allow your slap to spring back. This is something that needs to be practiced over and over. The “spring back”.
By allowing your slaps and tones to spring back after you hit the drum, you thereby reduce your output of energy. MY first drum teacher George Terzis in Boston puts it simply, “minimum imput, maximum output”.
One difficult thing for a conga player to loose, (myself included) is the cup motion of the conga closed slap. Many modern conga players actualy use an open slap similar to djembe these days especiay for the modern Afro Cuban techniques.
Many Guinea djembe experts have a slap that is extremely close to the rim and uses very little of the hand where as the Cuban style traditionaly uses much of the hand. This is also hard for a conga player to put so little hand on the drum.
So for all the conga players out there who want to also play djembe, really work on pulling your hands back closer to the rim for slap, tone and bass!