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Conga Drum

Candombe Rhythms from Uruguay

~ Chuck Silverman

Some of the first music that I listened to, with a "latin" groove, was music from Uruguay, called candombe. A great band from Uruguay, called Opa, was my influence. These great musicians, including the wonderful and funky Osvaldo "Jorge" Fattoruso on drums, released two albums, GoldenWings and Magic Time. They also appear on the Airto Moreira recording, Fingers. Find these recording and ingest them!

Let me tell you, I know what I know just from listening to this music. I've not yet been to Uruguay. Someday!!

Candombe has the clave! This pattern is called madera. There are several madera patterns. I called Osvaldo Fattoruso in Montevideo, Uruguay, sjust to make sure I was disseminating the correct information!

Here is the clave (madera #1) with another madera pattern.



Now, we look at and listen to the drum called the "chico". As with other drum cultures, there are three drums in the family that plays candombe. The chico is the smallest drum. It's pattern is definitely different. You'll notice an accent over the first 16th note. This really "masks" the downbeats, creating a lot of tension and a great groove.


The "piano" is the name for the largest drum of the family. There are many patterns for this and the other drums and madera. Here are three patterns.




Real Audio is here!


And now, we put the patterns together on the drumset. After I sent this file to my friend Juan M�dica in Montevideo, he informed me that it's more common to hear the drumset playing alone, and not with all the percussion. Well, excuuuuuuse me!! Hope you enjoy it!

The drum which has not been transcribed is called the "repique" It's the solo drum.  

Where is Uruguay?




Would you like to learn more? Check out Chuck Silverman's drum programs in South America.







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