Not the greatest for beginners
EyesDriedOpen | Bellingham, WA USA | 10/22/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I am a conga player who doesnt have any training in percussion instruments. I have a good sense of rhythym and can play well with other musicians and do so on a weekly basis. Everything I play is by feel so I thought I would like to learn some basic patterns.
Richie Gajate-Garcia surely doesn't lack skill, but it is my impression that it is painful for him to try to teach at a beginner level. He states that you shouldn't try to play too fast, but then procedes to play every pattern in hypersonic speed. Its impressive to watch, but impossible to participate in. He does start off slowly, but just when I'm getting the hang of it he speeds up and I have to stop playing, grab the remote and rewind to the beginning again. I don't know if this is typical for instructional videos but it is very annoying.
What would really help me get better is a "playing partner" on dvd - someone to follow along on a drumming pattern that lasts for more than 10 seconds. I would have been stoked to have 60 minutes of that rather than the artist biography, photo gallery and bonus video clip."
Richard S. Cadena | Montebello, Calif. | 06/07/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"As another reviewer stated, I am also self taught with the congas. I've never had any formal training but my enjoyment and interest in the conga prompted me to purchase this video. Prior to buying this video I also played by ear or by feel. One reviewer stated that he wanted "continous" play-along on a given pattern lasting more than 10 seconds. This type of "instruction" would be wasteful, boring, and repetative. The video would have to be 3 hours long for that type of instruction. What Richie attempts to do on this video is present the viewer a number of basic hand movements and actual conga patterns for the VIEWER to practive over and over on his own. Richie presents the foundation from which the VIEWER can build and expand his own creativity. I found the video to be very informative for beginners. I've played for years not realizing the mistakes I was making when striking the drum to attain a certain note. One thing I should mention is that it would be EXTREMELY helpful for the viewer to be able to read basic musical notation. The literature that comes with the video will do NOTHING for you if you cannot read it. You can still benefit from the video if you try to memorize the timing and hand strokes from video. All in all...my opinion is that this video is NOT the best......but certainly NOT the worst that I have seen. I found it very helpful. I do not recommend it for intermediate or advance musicians. But as an visual aid for a beginner it is perfect!!"