Conga and Mozambique Drum Set Style Essentials

Conga and Mozambique Drum Style is the ninth in the series: Essential Latin Drum Set Beats. The challenge is to try and duplicate the patterns traditionally played by 3 drummers (bateristas): Timbales (timbalero), Congas (conguero) and Bongos (bongocero). 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. 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. Similar to Mardi Gras in New Orleans. 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. The country of Mozambique is located on the southeast coast of Africa across from the island of Madagascar. 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. Pello el Afrokan (Pedro Izquierdo) developed it 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 based on a 2-3 Rumba clave. See: Afro Cuban Clave Essentials

Other Essential Latin Drum Set Beats: 1. Cha Cha 2. Bossa Nova 3. Mambo 4. Salsa Cascara 5. Salsa Campana 6. Samba 7. Songo 8. Bembe 10. Beguine, Bomba, Bolero, Guaguanco, Merengue and Rumba 11. Calypso, Soca, Reggae and Ska

You may also want to see: Three Basic Latin Beats to Cover Your Ass