In The Practice of Practice, I recommend learning the tumbao and clave patterns on conga, or learning any rhythm instrument. Here’s a lesson on playing the guiro, from Bobby Sanabria. He teaches not only how to play it, but where the patterns go in the clave pattern.
Tasty! This is what lots of practice sounds like. Moanin’ by Bobby Timmons (lyrics by Joe Hendricks). Here’s the album on Amazon.
Check out trumpeter Lee Morgan and alto saxist Wayne Shorter play small percussion on this killing performance by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. They’re playing Dizzy Gillespie’s tune, Night in Tunisia. Gotta be one of the best versions around.
Jymie Merritt’s burning fast bass solo is accompanied by some precise hits from all the small percussionists (starts @ 4:00).
The next several posts will focus on the small percussion instruments below and will include videos explaining techniques for these small instruments you can easily toss into your gig bag.