Are you bongos getting dusty tucked away in a closet or sitting on a shelf as a decoration? Maybe you daydream about taking them to South Beach (where bongos are played everywhere) like LeBron James? At Eagle Rock Music Studio, we offer lessons for seasoned bongo players and novices alike.
The history of the bongo drum is not well documented, although it is generally agreed that the bongos emerged from Afro-Cuban culture and that the drums are sourced from Central Africa, specifically the Congo/Angola region. The bongo first appeared in Eastern Cuba, which featured a high density of Africans from the Congo/Angola region — and the drum models between these two regions bear a strong resemblance anyway. The attachment of a second drum likely occurred once the instrument had migrated to Cuba due to the presence of Santería and the symbolic importance of the twin in Yoruba culture.
The earliest form of Latin jazz was Afro-Cuban, and the bongo drums were the central instrument to the performance of this music. Afro-Cuban jazz, which developed in the 1940s, mixed the rhythms of Afro-Cuban music with the (at the time) popular bebop school of improvisation and virtuoso musicianship that had developed in New York City under the influence of musical greats such as Charlie Parker. Today, Afro-Cuban jazz is still alive and well, and indeed modern masterpieces are still emerging, such as Buena Vista Social Club’s pair of acclaimed albums.
We offer two course paths for those interested in studying the bongo drums: one for professionals and another for recreation.
It takes hours of practice to develop a high level of proficiency, but bongo can be enjoyed as a recreational/social time instrument as well. Mastering these skills requires an action plan developed with a teacher, who will help identify your goals and then assist you with working toward completing them. Whether you are playing for recreation or developing professional skills, the same principles of identifying goals and working towards them with specific solutions in mind apply when teaching in this setting.
At Eagle Rock Music Studio, we tailor the lessons to the needs and interests of each individual student; we have the patience to guide a student through the necessary steps it takes gain the necessary expertise. Our mission is to help students discover what genres and styles they are most passionate about learning to play on the bongos, and to provide a supportive and encouraging learning environment for students while they are in a state of growth.
Eagle Rock Music Studios is located just north of downtown Los Angeles between Glendale and Pasadena. For more information or to set up a lesson, please call us at 323-309-8467.