5 Best Bongo Lessons and Courses for 2024

Published: April 4, 2024

Key Takeaways

Which is the best bongo lesson?

We’ve selected the Bongos Fundamentals Course, led by expert instructor Marcos Torres, as the top choice for Bongo lessons. With a comprehensive curriculum designed for beginner and advanced students.

Marcos brings years of experience as a versatile percussionist, producer, and Grammy Award-winning engineer to the course lessons. The specific rhythms, phrases, and techniques students will learn throughout the course will take their Bongo playing to the next level.

Bongos are among the most widely used instruments in hand drums. They are traditionally played by hand, and various techniques create vibrant rhythms.

The demand for bongo players is expected to keep growing, with an average drummer salary in the USA reaching $34,125 per year or $16.41 per hour.

Bongos are not only fun instruments but also relatively easy to play.

So, if you’re interested in learning how to play Bongo drums but not sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place.

With so many options available online, we’ve compiled the best Bongo lessons to help you understand the rhythms, harmony, and form of a masterpiece of your own.

Let’s get started.

List of the 5 Best Bongo Classes

Here is a quick list of the best online Bongo classes based on our in-depth review:

  1. Bongos Fundamentals Course | Essential Tools And Concepts: This is a guide by an expert Bongo instructor for beginner to advanced students to learn specific rhythms, phrases, and techniques.
  2. Bongo with Murray P.: This course is best for self-paced Bongo learning. It offers a basic conceptual framework for percussion in a thoughtful sequence of topics to ease the ning.
  3. Bongo By CongaMasterclass: This is the best budget-friendly course to elevate your Bongo drumming skills. It offers expert guidance and immersive video lessons for intermediate—to advanced-level learners.
  4. Bongos Course 101 | The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide: This step-by-step video-based course teaches beginners to play the Bongo from scratch and tune instruments and grooves.
  5. Learn to Solo on Bongos | Lessons for Beginners: Perfect for beginners, this course breaks down soloing techniques into easy-to-follow instructions to help you learn playing skills, tricks, and techniques as a solo Bongo player.

Our Course Selection Criteria

We’ve reviewed these 5 best online Bongo lessons in-depth, based on the following key criteria:

  • Instructor Expertise: We assessed the qualifications, experience, and reputation of the instructors leading each course. We reviewed instructors’ courses of instructors who have relevant experience in Bongo-playing techniques and a proven track record in teaching.
  • Curriculum Depth: We carefully examined the comprehensiveness and depth of the course curriculum. We opted for courses that thoroughly explored fundamental and advanced Bongo techniques, musical theory, and practice lessons.
  • Additional Practice Materials: We examined the availability and quality of learning materials provided with each course. It included video lessons, written guides, practice exercises, and additional resources to enhance the learning experience.
  • Student Feedback and Reviews: We thoroughly gathered and considered the feedback and reviews from past students who had completed the courses. Positive testimonials and high ratings indicated the course’s effectiveness and value in helping students achieve their learning goals.
  • Accessibility and Flexibility: The courses were evaluated based on accessibility, considering course duration, scheduling options, and compatibility with different learning preferences.
  • Value for Money: Lastly, we considered each course’s value proposition compared to its cost and additional perks or bonuses offered by the instructor.

Let’s explore each course.

1. Bongos Fundamentals Course | Essential Tools And Concepts

The Editor’s Perspective on this Course

Reviewing this course, it offers fundamental concepts on rhythms, phrases, and techniques. The instructor guides students through the Bongo set to master classic riffs and old-school and modern salsa contexts.

The video lessons cover essential aspects such as sound development, technique enhancement, and analytical listening skills in depth. Well-structured and informative classes allow students to learn through demonstrations and explanations.

The instructor also shared expert tips and tricks related to bass tones, playing positions, and picking up the notes on the Bongo.

As the lessons progress, exercises, language-based phrases, and classic riffs further enhance the learning of this fabulous percussion instrument.

However, the course doesn’t provide additional learning materials or templates, which could have helped develop further skills.

By the end of the course, you will be a professional Bongo player.

What topics are covered?

These in-depth Bongo lessons cover the following topics:

  • Introduction
  • Lesson 1 – The Anatomy of the Drum
  • Lesson 2 – Tuning the Bongo
  • Lesson 3 – Posture and Hand Position
  • Lesson 4 – Sound Essentials
  • Lesson 5 – How to Warm-Up
  • Lesson 6 – Essential Grooves
  • Lesson 7 – The Martillo
  • Lesson 8 – Language Based Phrases
  • Lesson 9 – Practice Routine
  • Practice Routine Follow-Along
  • Course Wrap-Up

Who is the instructor?

Marcos Torres is a versatile percussionist, producer, and Grammy Award-Winning engineer.

He is currently working out of New York City in varied roles with rising artists from across Latin America including Jeremy Bosch, Fer Casillas, Tania Matus and Flaco Navaja.

Born into a musical family of Puerto Rican and Mexican heritage, Marcos has been at the forefront of creating a fresh new sound within the Salsa genre for over a decade.

He has the privilege of performing with some of the most respected artists, including salsa superstars La India, Tito Nieves, Ismael Miranda, Jerry Rivera, Obie Bermudez, and the legendary Issac Delgado.

His passion for music tradition, his understanding of Hip-Hop and R&B, and his skill in selecting sounds have helped expand the genre to what it is today.

Does the instructor offer other courses?

Yes. The other courses offered by the instructor are:

  • Congas 101: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide
  • Conga Fundamentals: Essential Tools and Techniques
  • Bongos 101: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide
  • Timbales 101: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide
  • Timebale Fundamentals: Essential Tools and Techniques

Does the course offer hands-on projects or assignments to reinforce learning?

Yes, the course does offer hands-on projects, which include practice routine follow-along sessions. In these sessions, students engage in practical exercises that complement the theoretical aspects of the course.

These activities help enhance understanding and improve skills, as the students can apply the concepts learned directly.

What are the prerequisites to study?

You need to have a percussion instrument, a Bongo.

What does social media sentiment tell us?

Comments on the YouTube video praise the course, with many users describing it as excellent. A strong sentiment suggests viewers take Bongo lessons from instructors like Marcos Torres.

Source: YouTube

2. Bongo with Murray P

The Editor’s Perspective on this Course

We reviewed this course and found that it offers a comprehensive curriculum suitable for beginners to intermediate players.

The technique, music theory, and practical skills like drum tuning and assembly make this course easier for beginners.

The hands-on approach utilizing various teaching methods such as music books and DVDs ensures a well-rounded learning experience. As you progress, it will also teach you different permutations and patterns.

This course teaches the basic and intermediate learners Bongo within 3 to 6 months, enabling them to create their own rhythms.

Overall, the course provides a good mix of technique and philosophy. As a beginner, you can learn at your own pace and develop hand independence and consistency when using the Bongo instrument.

What topics are covered?

The expert Bongo instructors cover the following topics in this course:

  • Stick control and technique
  • Rhythms, drum fills, and licks
  • Music theory
  • Drum assembly and tuning
  • Accompanying other musical instruments
  • Playing by ear and reading music

Who is the instructor?

Murray P. is the instructor of bongo course

Murray P. has been teaching for over 17 years. He completed his B.S. and music degree in instrumentalism at Morgan State University.

He is a highly accomplished percussionist and instructor with impressive credentials. In 2016, he was a member of the prestigious National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM).

He is known for his proficiency in various musical genres, including Rock, Jazz, Gospel, Latin, and more.

He has earned rewards such as an Emmy nomination for his exceptional performance in the 2015 Stage Musical Oh Gospel: The Evolution of Gospel Music.

He has shared the stage with artists like Richard Smallwood, Tamela Mann, and Marvin Sapp.

His partnership with industry giants like Vic Firth, Evans Drum Heads, and Sabian Cymbals makes him a respected authority in the field.

Murray, who currently serves as a full-time drummer at the New Antioch Baptist Church of Randallstown in Baltimore, MD, continues to impact the lives of thousands through his music.

With the launch of his music lessons, he is committed to equipping beginners and intermediate Bongo learners with the knowledge and skills needed to achieve their musical goals.

Does the instructor offer other courses?

Yes. The instructor also offers courses on:

  • Christian Gospel
  • Conga Drums
  • Djembe
  • Drums
  • Hand Drums
  • Music Theory
  • Percussion

Does the course offer hands-on projects or assignments to reinforce learning?

While the course doesn’t mention hands-on projects or assignments, students are encouraged to apply their knowledge actively.

What are the prerequisites to study?

Students must have a passion for learning the Bongo and an instrument with which to practice the techniques taught throughout the course.

What does social media sentiment tell us?

Murray’s students have posted positive reviews about the course, highlighting its engaging teaching style and learning outcomes as essential elements.

Moreover, accessibility, explicit instruction, and concrete exercises resonate with students, making learning enjoyable and effective.

With a focus on individualized teaching and a breakdown of complex concepts, this course is highly recommended for anyone seeking to enhance their Bongo skills.

Source: Take Lessons

3. Bongo By CongaMasterclass

The Editor’s Perspective on this Course

Reviewing this course, we discovered easy-to-follow instructions, videos, and a curriculum designed to enhance students’ Bongo drumming skills.

The course covers various topics, from developing musical vocabulary and speed to exploring musical styles and exercises.

The video lessons offer detailed instruction on Bongo techniques, including tone production, martillo, golpe, and hand movements.

Moreover, it also discusses how these beats and rhythms can fit into different songs. This course will improve your self-confidence and help you learn to express yourself on this amazing Bongo drum.

Some students may need more interactive elements and direct feedback; it is a game-changer for intermediate learners who aim to acquire new skills and techniques.

Overall, the breaking down of skills throughout the masterclass enables you to learn the movements, style, and feel of playing the drum, giving learners a picture of what and how they can apply similarly.

What topics are covered?

Here is the list of topics covered in this course:

  • 01 Dev Musical Voc on Bongo
  • 02 Dev Speed on Bongo
  • 03 Musical Style Influences
  • 04 Exercises on Bongo
  • 05 Campana Basic Part
  • Perazzo 01 Bongo Overview
  • Perazzo 02 Bongo Tone
  • Perazzo 03 Bongo Martillo
  • Perazzo 04 Bongo Golpe1
  • Perazzo 05 Bongo Golpe2
  • Perazzo 06 Bongo Golpe w Clave
  • Perazzo 07 Bongo Technique
  • Perazzo 08 Bongo Martillo2
  • Perazzo 09 Bongo Martillo3
  • Perazzo 10 Bongo Hand Mvt
  • Perazzo 11 Bongo Slap
  • Perazzo 12 Bongo Essay1
  • Perazzo 13 Bongo Essay2
  • Perazzo 14 Bongo Final Jam

Who is the instructor?

Michael Spiro is a well-known percussionist, educator, recording artist, and a ten-time Grammy nominee.

His impressive performing and recording credits include collaborations with legendary artists such as Carlos Santana, Eddie Palmieri, and Ella Fitzgerald.

Michael developed a Latin music and culture curriculum as an Associate Professor of Percussion at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.

Michael has gained a reputation with acclaimed percussion books and internationally acclaimed DVDs.

As a performer, he co-leads Orquesta La Moderna Tradición and holds the conga drum chair in the Grammy-nominated Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet.

His Bongo By CongaMasterclass combines years of experience and expertise to help students develop the knowledge and skills to perform music via Bongo.

Does the instructor offer other courses?

Yes, the instructor offers a range of courses, including:

  • Welcome | Updates | Quick Lessons
  • Fundamentals
  • Popular Styles
  • Secular Folkloric
  • Sacred Folkloric
  • Other Instruments

Does the course offer hands-on projects or assignments to reinforce learning?

None. However, students are encouraged to practice tricks and techniques learned throughout the course to gain concepts and skills better.

What are the prerequisites to study?

None.

What does social media sentiment tell us?

Comments and reviews posted on Reddit reflect the instructor’s expertise in teaching proper techniques for different drum sounds.

Students/learners appreciate the practices, including warming up and doing exercises that help them create flow using the Bongo instrument.

The reviews also stated that this course is helpful and informative, especially for those just starting to play drums.

Source: Reddit

4. Bongos Course 101 | The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide

The Editor’s Perspective on this Course

One of the best personalized Bongo lessons taught by expert musicians for beginners who are new to the instrument.

This course addresses fundamental aspects such as holding, tuning, and understanding the anatomy of the Bongos.

The lessons are well-organized in 12 video lessons that progressively cover rhythms and language-based phrases. With informative and instructional guidelines, learners can study each session and practice the concepts taught hands-on.

Most importantly, the course keeps momentum between lessons, which makes learning and applying rhythm easier.

However, the lack of practice templates and assessment projects might limit beginners’ further practice of the instruments.

As a beginner, this course will introduce you to multiple percussion strategies, but not in-depth, to ensure you understand the basics first.

What topics are covered?

These Bongo lessons for beginners cover the following topics:

  • Lesson 1 – The Anatomy of the Drum
  • Lesson 2 – Tuning the Bongo
  • Lesson 3 – Posture and Hand Position
  • Lesson 4 – Sound Essentials
  • Lesson 5 – How to Warm-Up
  • Lesson 6 – Essential Grooves
  • Lesson 7 – The Martillo
  • Lesson 8 – Language Based Phrases
  • Lesson 9 – Practice Routine
  • Practice Routine Follow-Along

Who is the instructor?

marcos torres is also the instructor of bongos course 101, named as the ultimate beginner's guide

Marcos Torres is a versatile percussionist, producer, and Grammy Award-Winning engineer.

He is currently working out of New York City in varied roles with rising artists from across Latin America including Jeremy Bosch, Fer Casillas, Tania Matus and Flaco Navaja.

Born into a musical family of Puerto Rican and Mexican heritage, Marcos has been at the forefront of creating a fresh new sound within the Salsa genre for over a decade.

He has the privilege of performing with some of the most respected artists, including salsa superstars La India, Tito Nieves, Ismael Miranda, Jerry Rivera, Obie Bermudez, and the legendary Issac Delgado.

His passion for music tradition, his understanding of Hip-Hop and R&B, and his skill in selecting sounds have helped expand the genre to what it is today.

Does the instructor offer other courses?

Yes. The other courses offered by the instructor are:

  • Congas 101: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide
  • Conga Fundamentals: Essential Tools and Techniques
  • Bongos Fundamentals Course | Essential Tools And Concepts
  • Timbales 101: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide
  • Timebale Fundamentals: Essential Tools and Techniques

Does the course offer hands-on projects or assignments to reinforce learning?

While the course doesn’t mention hands-on projects or assignments, beginners can apply the provided instructions and techniques for self-practice, facilitating a practical approach to reinforcing learning and skill development.

What are the prerequisites to study?

No

What does social media sentiment tell us?

As the comments on YouTube show, learners find the fundamental course videos enjoyable and valuable for their basic understanding of the instrument.

YouTube

However, on Reddit, users have mentioned this course as an amazing start to learning Bongo affordably.

5. Learn to Solo on Bongos | Lessons for Beginners

The Editor’s Perspective on this Course

As we reviewed, this course offers a systematic approach to teaching Bongo soloing. The structured format, comprising 8 lessons, breaks down soloing into easy steps, making it accessible for learners.

The instructor’s primary learning outcome emphasizes rhythmic vocabulary and practical application through music.

Moreover, the course videos offer clear demonstrations from multiple angles, enhancing understanding. Reference materials, including PDF charts and tuning information, provide valuable support.

The topics offer a more immersive approach to mastering Bongo and lack depth in context to theoretical frameworks, making it more of a practical online class.

What topics are covered?

This video is structured into 8 lessons, each focused on a set of licks combined into patterns and played with music.

The course will explore the power of pairs, checkered voicing, the offbeat path, how to create the illusion of speed with a rippled 6, how to stick the landing, and different techniques.

Who is the instructor?

Al Dworsky is a writer, artist, percussionist, and instructor. He creates videos on how to play Bongos, cajon, gentle djembe, congas, keyboards, and guitars.

His expertise and years of experience helped him develop online lessons to help others learn the right-sized steps in the right order for beginners.

Does the instructor offer other courses?

Here’s a list of courses offered by the instructor:

  • Bongos
  • Rhythm for kids
  • Cajon
  • Gentle Djembe
  • Guitar
  • Keyboards

Does the course offer hands-on projects or assignments to reinforce learning?

Students are encouraged to practice the patterns and licks taught in each lesson, combining them into their own soloing rhythms.

The provided PDF charts and tuning information are valuable reference materials to support students’ practice and exploration of different techniques.

What are the prerequisites to study?

The course does not specify any prerequisites for study. It is designed to be accessible to all levels, from beginners to more experienced Bongo players.

What does social media sentiment tell us?

The reviews of this course seem overwhelmingly positive. Many regarded it as a helpful lesson with an engaging teaching style. They also appreciated the videos’ clear instructions, easy-to-follow format, and relaxed atmosphere.

Some even mentioned that the lessons have benefited their learning journey and helped them improve their Bongo-playing skills.

Source: YouTube

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you teach yourself the Bongos?

Yes, you can learn to play the Bongos by yourself. There are lots of videos and books online that can help you. However, having a certified Bongo teacher is also helpful because they can give you advice and correct any mistakes you might make. It’s like having a guide to help you learn the right way. So, while you can learn on your own, having a teacher can make it easier and more fun.

Are Bongo drums hard to learn?

Playing the Bongo drums can be challenging, but it’s not necessarily hard for everyone. Like any musical instrument, it requires practice and dedication to improve. Some people may find it easier to pick up Bongo drumming quickly, while others may need more time to develop their skills.

How much do Bongo lessons cost?

The average cost of Bongo lessons varies depending on the instructor’s experience, location, and duration. However, you can learn Bongo lessons online for  $20 to $50 per half-hour lesson or $40 to $100 for an hour-long lesson. Some instructors also offer bundle deals or discounts for purchasing multiple lessons upfront.

Conclusion

Learning to play the Bongos can open up exciting opportunities in the music industry. For aspiring Bongo players, investing in quality lessons is essential to sharpening their skills and achieving success.

The five best Bongo lessons reviewed in this blog offer valuable resources for individuals at different skill levels, from beginners to advanced players.

As one of the best Bongo classes, the Bongos Fundamentals Course guides students in learning specific rhythms, phrases, and techniques, making it suitable for those seeking to expand their skills.

The Bongo with Murray P. offers a flexible learning experience tailored for self-paced study, making it ideal for individuals with busy schedules or those who prefer to learn at their own pace.

Bongo By CongaMasterclass is a budget-friendly option that offers expert guidance to intermediate to advanced learners. Meanwhile, Bongos Course 101 is the ultimate beginner’s guide, providing step-by-step instructions on playing the Bongos.

Lastly, Learn to Solo on Bongos focuses on soloing techniques, breaking them down into easy-to-follow steps. All these courses can help you become a Bongo master in various career paths, including live performances, studio recording sessions, teaching, and music therapy.