La Mano Secreta or “The Secret Hand” is what I call a ‘technique’ or rhythm system for playing rolls with a heel tip (a.k.a. palm tip or shuffle) on your left hand. If you are lefty then it would be your right hand and when you get more advanced you play it on both hands.
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how to play congas
I am now offering West African, Afro Cuban, and Fusion/Hybrid hand drumming classes of all types on line via Skype. I encourage any one who wants to learn more about drumming and how to play drums to contact me. All levels are welcome. If you have always wanted to drum or simply want to enhance your skills or learn more authentic rhythms, how to solo r to find your inner rhythm this is a perfect way.
A conga student asked me recently, “how do I take a solo when I am
playing with a band and the band stops, and I am left by myself? No
one else is playing, it is just me”? This is a great question and here is how I do it.
Have you heard of the Mano Secreto? It is the secret hand technique used and first made popular by percussion legends Changuito and also Giovanni Hildago. Prior to these great conga players there was another player named tat Guines in Havana Cuba who was developing this technique. Why is it secret? Because until recently (well about 10 years or so ) no one else could do it. Now everyone is doing it but there are not a lot of great instructional videos about it unfortunately.
My latest instructional DVD, “How to Play Afro Cuban Congas” has just been relased today on earthcds.com. This DVD features almost everything I have learned in the last 25 years or more studying, learning, teaching and performing conga drums around the world. There is in depth looks at all the major rhythms with break down sections, slow motion and different vantage points as well.
My first drum teacher used to chant repeatedly, “minimum input maximum out put” when it came to the topic of playing techniques and how to hit the drum. It was true over 30 years ago and it is still true now. What he was talking about is that it is not important how hard you hit the drum but it is about the technique you use.