Conga and Mozambique Drum Set Style Essentials

Conga and Mozambique Drum Style is the ninth in the series: Essential Latin Drum Set Beats. Over the years, I have collected a bunch of books that talked about playing various Latin styles on drum set. I would go from one book to another searching for answers and ideas. There was some agreement. But mostly disagreement about what is authentic and correct for each Latin style. The challenge is to try and duplicate the patterns traditionally played by 3 Bateristas (drummers): Timbalero (timbales), Conguero (congas) and Bongocero (bongos). Here are simple, stylistically accurate and essential Latin rhythms and patterns to play Conga and Mozambique on drum set.

Conga and Mozambique Drum Set Style Essentials
Conga and Mozambique drum styles are both of Afro Cuban origin.

Conga is played by the Comparsa (marching band) during the Cuban Carnival Celebration which occurs each year before Lent. It serves the same musical purpose as the Samba does in Brazil. The conga dance was brought over from Africa by slaves in the West Indies. It later became a popular street dance in Cuba. The dancers form a long processing line, which would usually turn into a circle. It has a characteristic syncopated Bomba (bass) accent in the second measure on the AND of beat 2.

Mozambique is one of the more modern Afro Cuban styles. It combines several Afro Cuban and African rhythms. Mozambique is a vigorous style of Cuban music and dance derived from music of Cuban street carnivals. It was developed by Pello el Afrokan (Pedro Izquierdo) in 1963. It has recently been popularized by drummer Steve Gadd on a number of his recordings. The bell patterns for both styles are similar and are based on a 2-3 Rumba clave.

You may also want to see: Six Afro Cuban Drum Set Style Essentials and Afro Cuban Clave Essentials