The Conga Drummer's Guidebook

by Michael Spiro

Endorsed by Karl Perazzo, Dave Garibaldi, John Santos, Ignacia Berroa, Mark Levine, Rebeca Mauleon, Jesus Diaz and more!

The Conga Drummer's Guidebook is the only method book specifically designed for intermediate to advanced conga drummers — packed with exercises on every aspect of the craft!

Spiro goes behind the superficial licks and shows you how to approach any Afro-Latin rhythm with the right feel, i.e. he explains the concepts of HOW to play correctly, not just WHAT to play.

Includes CD download!

Spiral-bound, 116 pages.

Sample Pages and CD Tracks

Download Tracks

Includes complete chapters on:

  • a clear, lucid explanation of clave
  • exercises on playing quinto
  • correct phrasing concepts
  • revoicing ideas to give more depth to your playing
  • 12 coordination exercises
  • explanation of many different rhythmic styles
  • stamina exercises
  • agility exercises
  • heel-toe technique, and much more!


This book is awesome. When I wanted to study Afro-Cuban music, everyone said, 'Go see Spiro'. I took that advice, and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. Each time we play together, I learn something. Michael is one of the rare ones who is completely knowledgable about his subject, is always current, and is the consumate player as well. This book explains, very simply in his elegant way, the concepts of conga drumming in this style, but more importantly, the basic concept of Afro-Cuban music and rhythm. Bravo, Michael!!”
— Dave Garibaldi, drummer with Tower Of Power, Talking Drums

This is a breakthrough book for all students of the conga drum!”
— Karl Perazzo, percussionist with Carlos Santana

The Conga Drummer's Guidebook is that and much, much more. Michael's awesome 'Spirology' will have all students and even seasoned professionals looking at their conga playing in new and exciting ways. His in-depth descriptions and the many exercises are extremely helpful (and fun!). Everyone interested in congas needs to own and work with this book.”
— Rich Holly, president of The Percussive Arts Society

A wonderful treasure trove of techniques written by someone who truly knows and loves this music! The 12/8 bell coordination exercises alone are worth the price of this excellent guide for congueros--and musicians- of all levels.”
— Rebeca Mauleon, author of The Salsa Guidebook

The clearest explanation of clave I have ever encountered--worth the price of the book just for that!”
— Mark Levine, Latin Jazz Grammy nominee, pianist with Cal Tjader

Michael Spiro is a great percussionist and educator; his knowledge about percussion and his musicality have always impressed me. He is a true example of devotion, dedication and respect for the music. Michael's book will greatly expand the knowledge of both students and professionals, and will help them to become great percussionists.”
— Ignacio Berroa, drummer and percussionist

It is nice to see useful information on paper that can benefit both beginners and seasoned pros. But I expect nothing less from Spiro. Great job!”
— Jesus Diaz, percussionist with Talking Drums, QBT

This book is full of wonderful exercises and ideas from a great musician/teacher who's earned his stripes. Mike's experience and dedication shine from beginning to end.”
— John Santos, founder and director of The Machete Ensemble

Michael Spiro

Michael Spiro is known throughout the world as one of Latin music's finest percussionists. He has performed with some of the all-time greats of Afro-Cuban music, including Cachao, Eddie Palmieri, and Changuito, and has also performed with the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, David Byrne, McCoy Tyner, Carlos Santana, Gilberto Gil, and Toninho Horta.

A Grammy-nominated recording artist and producer, Michael has been recorded on literally thousands of CDs. He is also the author of Sher Music Co.'s Introduction to the Conga Drum DVD, and is currently a Professor of Music at Indiana University.