Congolese Resurrection

Yesterday I was at a Beat Meet with drumming friends and I ended up using the 6 years I spent getting Congolese Conga Rhythms to teach people who wanted the information and practice.  When I knew the congolese class was fading and about to end,  I remember thinking everything I had worked hard to learn was now completely useless.

I knew that the long and painful struggle I had gone through to build my skills effectively had given me a good base for learning any kind of percussion. I never imagined  that people would actually want to learn the actual congolese rhythms and how they fit together. It was a moment of grace, and I have gratitude for it.

Much of what I learned during the 6 years was not about the rhythms but how to deal with  human situations in relation to drumming. Human beings as a rule are vulnerable and they don’t like to show it, so there is a lot of  bullshit behavior to try and cover that vulnerability, make it look like something else, and put the blame on others.

What is good now is that what I learned is really solid, and I chose not to make it into some big grandiose deal, just worked hard to learn it in a way I could keep forever. AndI have moved further into latin percussion, always remembering how impossible it seemed for me to learn the congolese patterns in the beginning and all along. I proved over and over again that “Difficult” is not “Impossible.”



About Shirley

I started this blog to expand and explore my rhythm horizons as a hand drummer. That exploration includes touching on the rest of my life and inner world as authentically and truthfully as possible.
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