Dive into the World of Conga Playing with Confidence and Creativity. Master Techniques, Explore Genres, and Ignite Your Musical Journey.


5 modules, 28 lessons.


Discover the World of Conga Playing! From instrument construction to mastering essential sounds and exploring diverse musical styles, this comprehensive course provides the knowledge and tools to enhance your conga skills. With detailed videos and downloadable resources, you'll have a front-row seat to every technique, empowering you to create captivating rhythms and embrace the joy of playing congas.

No matter your level of experience, this conga workshop is designed to meet you where you are on your percussion journey. Whether you're a beginner seeking a solid foundation or an intermediate player looking to expand your repertoire, our carefully crafted modules will guide you every step of the way.

With a focus on safe and effective playing techniques, you'll develop the skills to produce quality sounds and explore various musical genres with confidence. Join us today and unlock the rhythmic possibilities that the congas have to offer. Get ready to embark on a fulfilling musical adventure and let your passion for percussion soar to new heights!

Is this you?

  • You're fascinated by congas, but you have no idea where to start..
  • You've tried congas in the past, but hurt yourself because you didn't learn proper technique..
  • You've "played congas" in a school concert band or orchestra, but realise it's nothing like authentic conga playing..
  • You'd love to add some percussion to your drumkit skills, to diversify and upskill..

Jack Bennett


Jack has been playing and teaching both drumkit and percussion for many years. 

  • Asked to join Cirque du Soleil's "NYSA" in Berlin 2020 on drumkit and¬†percussion
  • Currently touring Australia with La Cage Aux Folles on drumkit and percussion.
  • Teaches classical, solo and Afro Cuban percussion online through Icanplaydrums.com and in many schools.

Here is what is covered in the 5 modules.

MODULE 1: Technique

  1. Conga history and construction: learn about the origins of congas and their construction, including the materials used and their cultural significance.

  2. Conga notation PDF: gain access to conga notation PDFs, providing visual guidance on playing techniques, hand placement, and rhythm patterns.

  3. Congas overview and setup: learn the setup options for congas, including placement on stands or on the ground, and the arrangement of the drums for optimal playing.

  4. Conga bass, open, and slap tones:¬†explore and master the three essential conga tones‚ÄĒbass (deep), open (ringing), and slap (sharp)‚ÄĒto develop versatility and control.

  5. Tone clarity exercises: engage in exercises to improve the clarity and consistency of their bass, open, and slap tones, refining their sound and technique.

  6. Heel/toe Marcha pattern: learn the foundational heel/toe Marcha pattern, a rhythmic technique used in various musical styles to provide a steady pulse on the congas.

  7. Tone/heel/toe pattern used in many different beats, fills and solo ideas. A super important fundamental pattern.

MODULE 2: Tumbao Patterns

  1. A Great place to start! The Cuban Tumba not only sees you learning patterns somewhat chronologically, but the tumbao uses many different sounds in the one pattern, so it's fantastic for teaching you to transition between techniques also.

  2. The Tumba in 2/3 clave. All Cuban music we will be learning is either in 2/3 or 3/2 clave, and the conga and timbale patterns change depending on this. Don't get it backwards!
  3. Tumbao END Variations. Fills and infelctions to add to the end of your tumbao patterns, either at the end of the first or 2nd bar. (the tumbao is a 2 bar pattern).
  4. Tumbao START Variations. Variations you can play at the start of the tumbao before getting to the first slap on beat 2.
  5. Rumba Arbieta Groove & Variations. How the rumba arbieta (two 3's and a 2) can be used as 8th notes as a fill or extension of the tumbao. Or double time it as a 16th pattern in tumbao. Or use it as a pattern in it's own right for pop/calypso type feels. Think "Hot, Hot, Hot" by Arrow, or Iko Iko

MODULE 3: Pop Patterns

  1. Pop Pattern 1 - "Funky" A good pattern similar of "Rapper's Delight" that will work in many Funk, Pop, RnB tunes both straight and swung 16th feel.

  2. Pop Pattern 2 - "Sparse" If the tune requires a less complex pattern, or the tempo is too quick to fit in all the notes, this pattern is a great option that adds to the groove but doesn't get in the way.
  3. Pop Pattern 3 - "Busy Rock" This pattern is a loud, open pattern you can play behind a screaming guitar solo or something very high energy. Almost imitating a drumkit beat in the rock style.
  4. Pop Pattern 4 - "Swung 16ths" You want to make sure you are learning all your patterns either as straight or swung 16th notes. This opens up the patterns to be able to play in different feels that wouldn't fit the straight patterns.
  5. Pop Pattern 5 - "Disco" Disco or really any pop tunes that uses a 4 on the floor drum beat, this pattern is made for it. It compliments the drum pattern with slaps that DON'T land on 2&4, with some tasty tones in the middle of the bar.

MODULE 4: Jazz & More

  1. Jazz Grooves - how we can take the swung tumbao pattern (but get rid of the 3 side clave) and add triplet variations to it to form grooves that fit swing and shuffle feels.
  2. Jazz Fills - using the "tone/heel/toe" pattern we can build a large vocab of fill and solo ideas that start both on the beat and off the beat.
  3. New Orleans - yes, you won't ever see a conga player in a 2nd Line funeral parade. But what if the band you're playing in plays a New Orleans tune? Here are some patterns that imitate a New Orleans groove well.
  4. Patterns in 3/4 - you need to arm yourself with patterns that work in multiple time signatures, not every tune is in 4/4! First we start with patterns for 3/4 time.
  5. Patterns in 6/8 - building off the 3/4 idea (3 pulses per bar), we look now at 6/8 (2 pulses per bar). Think tunes like Michael Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel" etc
  6. Samba - we know congas aren't thought of as a Brazilian instrument, but this lesson looks at what you might play if you were on a gig and the band called a Samba tune. Like New Orleans above, this lesson is about imitating a Samba.

MODULE 5: 3 Conga Technique 

Although you're probably going to use 2 congas on most gigs, it's good to know how to play 3 or more congas, for more melodic playing and sound options.

  1. Basic Patterns For 3 Congas - gets you moving to the left with basic patterns, and also leading patterns with the left hand, which will feel pretty unnatural in the beginning.
  2. The Herta - an important pattern to learn on congas, we can get some really interesting sounding phrases using the popular herta fill.
  3. The Herta On 3 Congas - herta fill extensions that use 3 tones on 3 congas, making for some more interesting options melodically.
  4. 5 Stroke + Herta - using the 5 stroke roll as 32nd notes, plus the herta to get some interesting phrases that extend beyond one bar
  5. 16th Triplets On 3 Congas - breaking away to 16th triplets that also use some pretty tricky cross phrasing across the 3 drums.
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Conga Workshop

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