School Of Bongo



There are plenty of books out there, including three others by Trevor Salloum, that address the use of bongos in musical styles that commonly include the Afro-Cuban instrument. Unlike its predecessors, though, School of Bongo covers the role that bongos can play in rock, reggae, blues, jazz, R&B, and Brazilian bossa nova and samba. The included CD features twenty-seven tracks comprising roughly half of the book’s 300-plus exercises. The rest of the examples in the comprehensive, well-organized volume are available for free download from Mel Bay’s website, and the recordings demonstrate how the instrument should be tuned and played. School of Bongo fills out a growing collection of great books by Salloum, and the $19.99 price makes it worth every penny. (Mel Bay)

Ben Meyer


Other useful titles by Trevor Solloum

The Art Of Arabic DrummingThe Art Of Arabic Drumming (DVD, $19.95)

In this down-to-earth production, Salloum covers the history of the doumbek (also known as darbuka, derbeki, or Arabic tabla) and the mechanics of tuning it, as well as hand position and proper playing posture. Valuable finger, hand, and arm strengthening exercises are also shown, and many rhythms are defined by source and notation. And don’t miss the amazing riq (ancient tambourine) solo by legendary percussionist Michel Merhej Baklouic. (Mel Bay)


Afro-Cuban Percussion Play-AlongAfro-Cuban Percussion Play-Along (Pamphlet/CD, $9.99)

Twenty-three tracks of basic Afro-Cuban rhythms (son clave, bongo bell, conga marcha, cascara, etc.), useful for drumset players and hand drummers looking to internalize various percussion ostinatos while practicing Latin grooves. (Mel Bay)