I have on numerous occasions broken all kinds of veins in my fingers, esp. my thumb and middle finger, whenever I play entirely too loud on the congas.
There is the correct way to play them, which I am not a complete expert on, but can perform reasonably well in, and there is the "play as loud as you can just to get heard over an un-miced band of 20 blaring horns and such" way of playing, which causes the bursting of blood inside my hands. The callouses develop slowly, slower than the 4-mallet, inside the forth finger callouses from keyboard stuff.
It is true that learning the correct way to play is not self-teachable; get a teacher, or do what I did, go to the nearest symphony (for me at the time it was sacramento) and seek out a percussionist (stan lunetta is percussion god),
and just ask him, the actual technique is easily taught.... after that its just trial and error.
How do you tune a concert bass drum? I was taught that the non-batter head is
as loose as it can w/o any rattle, and the batter side somewhat tighter, but I
keep getting some tone ringing through the thing.
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