A-Star is a brand that is very popular for their percussion… one of them being the A-Star Mini Latin and African Percussion Package. The pack includes mini bongo drums, djembe and wood conga which are typically used in Latin and Afro-Cuban music.
This pack includes…
Is This Pack For Beginners Or Advancing Musicians?
The great thing about this pack is that it is perfect for both…
For complete beginners, it’s a great entrance to the music world as they don’t require much technique to create a sound. You will be able to build skills such as rhythm, timing and creativity. As the products themselves are very simple. It will encourage you to become more creative. However, they are also great if you are only looking for a bit of fun and nothing too serious. Alternatively, for more advanced musicians, they are also popular as they are great value for money. Creating that warm, deep tone that Latin percussion is greatly known for.
Why It’s Perfect For The Classroom…
All young children like the idea of bongos, or something that you can hit to create a noise. They are a novelty to younger children. It’s new and exciting and they will create music. Naturally, children will begin to develop a more musical ear and start experimenting with different rhythms that they think sound nice, expanding their creativity. This pack is also great for exploring different cultures within music and being able to appreciate other styles, in this case, Latin. This pack in particular is also great for classrooms as it is a mini set, ideal for smaller hands.
The History Behind Bongos, Congas and Djembe’s…
Bongo drums are the most widespread Cuban hand drums and most arguably, the most recognizable Latin percussion instrument. They are commonly used when playing genres such as Salsa and Afro-Cuban Jazz, (which are both styles of Latin music).
They are often confused with the Conga. Bongos are a lot smaller and typically produce a higher pitch than congas. They are played by holding them between the knees and striking the edge of drumheads with fingers and palms. However, you can use drum sticks… whatever’s more comfortable and preferred.
Djembes are again, a handheld drum that originates from West Africa. They are very versatile and can create a wide variety of sounds, depending on how it is played.
Often used in percussion ensembles, they are relatively loud as they are often used to play solo over the rest of the ensemble.
Fun Fact: The name ‘djembe’ comes from a saying that translates to ‘everyone, gather together in peace’… Definitely not what most people see it as.
The wood conga is typically larger out of this set. Similar to the bongo drums, the wood congas are well known, even with non-musical people. It’s also used in Latin music such as Afro-can jazz, salsa and Latin rock. (Latin rock is different to hard rock). There are many techniques used to play the congas. For example, it can be played open, muffled, bass, slap and touch tone. All these different techniques create different tones and dynamics.
Fun Fact: The conga is used in the popular Latin Jazz standard, Watermelon Man (Mongo Santamaria) and famous African based song, Waka Waka (Shakira).