How to play Bembe on Congas (series)

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Bembe is an Afro-Cuban rhythm of Yoruba ethnic origin. It is traditionally played to accompany ceremonies for the Oricha (Orishas, Orixa) the Yoruba pantheon of gods and goddesses, but has also become a go-to conga rhythm for Latin jazz and many other music styles.
Bembe is not played on the bata drums typical of Yoruba music, but instead on congas. It's a versatile and melodic rhythm in 12/8 time that can accompany a wide range of Oricha songs.
The simplicity and musicality of Bembe parts makes them easy to incorporate into latin jazz, afro-pop, and other styles.

How to Play Bembe, pt. 1: Individual drum parts for 4 drums, 4 drummers

Learn this beautiful and melodic Afro-Cuban rhythm and expand your polyrhythmic vocabulary!
In this video you'll learn 4 individual conga drum parts for Bembe.

Skill level: beginning / intermediate

4 individual drum parts
Step-by-step instruction
Over-the-shoulder camera angles
Basic transcriptions using H, T, O, S (heel, tip, tone, slap)
Solo drum with improvisation examples

Table of contents:
0:10 Transcriptions
0:20 Overview
2:00 High drum (quinto)
3:00 High middle drum (conga)
4:55 Low middle drum (low conga)
7:00 Middle drums combined
7:52 Low drum (tumba / solo drum)
10:05 Low drum optional notes
11:05 Low drum improvisation
-- Over the shoulder view--
12:55 High drum
13:12 High middle
13:42 Low middle
14:14 Low drum

This video is instructed by Noah Mosgofian.
Noah Mosgofian's career includes 6 years with the international percussion sensation STOMP, tours with Lost at Last, Del Castillo, Atash, and scores of other award-winning bands and drum/dance companies playing samba, salsa, afro-beat, funk, and more. He has taught thousands of students in the US and abroad, including composing, arranging, and teaching for Austin Samba, one of the biggest samba schools anywhere outside of Brazil. Noah’s teachers include the top names in many disciplines: Mamady Keita, “Changuito” Quintana, Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, C.K. Ladzekpo, and Fara Tolno. Visit his website at

Extra Information

X8 Drums

1 Reviews

  • Posted by Helmut on 7th Feb 2016


    12/8 made easy

    I obtained both videos from this series, both helped me to learn easily what was conveyed. The price is very low. I would have given five stars for the video, but since the bell is an instrinsic part of that kind of music, it should have been included. I thus only gave four stars overall.