Dancing Hands Music

Learn to Solo on Bongos: A Step-By-Step Guide for Beginners (download)

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Years ago, when I asked my drum teacher if he could help me learn to solo, he said: "Just feel it, man!"  Well, that didn't work for me, so I've spent years breaking down the process.  That's why I'm able to show you how to solo in a systematic, step-by-step way.    

This video is structured into 8 lessons, each focused on a set of licks that are combined into patterns and played with music. You'll learn the power of pairs, checkered voicing, the offbeat path, how to create the illusion of speed with a rippled 6, how to stick the landing, a bit about technique, and more.  And the music never stops, so you can always play along.  

Each pattern is shown in either a side view or a player's-eye view.  And each lesson ends with a short segment where I play something from that lesson up to speed in a magical rooftop jam with my friend Scott Sansby on drums.

The video comes with a PDF file that includes charts of all the patterns, and for easy reference the number of each pattern appears onscreen while I'm demonstrating it. The PDF file also gives you the pitches I tuned my bongos to in every lesson.

You can think of the licks and patterns in this video as being like words and phrases in your rhythmic vocabulary.  The goal is for you to learn to put them together in your own way, so that when you solo on bongos--whether it's in a band or a jam or just playing along with your favorite music--you can say what you want to say. 

Running time: 50 minutes