The conga drum is broadly used in several countries around the globe but is believed to have primarily originated in both Africa and Cuba, and is usually known as the Afro-Cuban drum or Afro-Cuban barrel-shaped drum. These days, congas, that are played either singly or utilizing several drums, are a sizable element of Latino-American music, and those who play this unique instrument are known as congueros.
Conga drums are narrow, tall, and have varying widths ranging from nine inches across the drumhead to 14 inches across, with all the size affecting the sound and pitch from the drums. Larger congas are employed for playing reduced, deeper rhythms, whilst the smaller sized, or quinto drums are employed for playing the melodies. When playing a number of conga drums together, they most frequently are tuned to 1 particular chord.
In English, the word conga is utilized to refer towards the single-headed drum, and congas for sets of 3 individual drums, which consists of a larger pitched drum identified because the quinto, the lowest pitched known as the tumbadora, as well as the medium-sized drum, known as either the conga or the segundo. However, throughout Cuba, the Spanish name tumbadora, that is a more accurate term, is commonly utilized to describe the drums and is much more extensively utilized as opposed to conga or congas. In Cuba, the word conga is only employed when describing drums which are especially played in the course of Carnaval, which can be equivalent towards the annual Mardi Gras celebration within the Usa.
Conga Lessons drums are typically created from woods like oak, ash, or beech, even though the fiberglass congas of today are gaining in popularity as they’re able to be more durable and are usually far significantly less costly. Although, many expert congueros that have mastered the methods still choose the standard wooden congas, stating that the sounds made are warmer and richer than using the newer fiberglass sets.
Congas produced from ash wood have a tendency to create much more resonant tones, although oak models are stated to offer a warmer sound in addition to lowering overtones which can be equivalent to these made when utilizing synthetic supplies.
Today drumheads are also produced from synthetic components, even though traditionally, heads made from cowhide have been utilized for essentially the most melodious of sounds, while in a lot more contemporary instances, water buffalo hide was the preferred material of choice to create crisper, cleaner tones.
Typically, buffalo skins are much more pricey while other rawhide drumheads are typically discovered around the much less pricier congas. Synthetic heads developed to mimic the sounds of natural materials could be advantageous towards the much more inexperienced player as they generate a brighter, louder tone when played, as well as often be a lot more tough.
As with any kind of musical instrument, craftsmanship as well as the very best components are of the utmost significance. The usage of quality components and finely honed skills will produce a much better set of drums that is not just easier to tune or play, but one which will also sound much better. Even beginners are encouraged to buy a well-made set of congas that can nonetheless be adequate as their expertise grows and their abilities increase.
Played with both hands utilizing the fingertips as well as the palms of the hands, congas produce a wide selection of sounds that may be loosely described as either open or muffled tone, slap, open or muffled slap, bass tone, fingers, or palm. Experts advise learning how you can invoke the several various sounds before mastering hand coordination, after which finally concentrating around the rhythm aspect of playing conga drums.
The open tone stroke is played utilizing 4 fingers, striking close towards the rim from the drumhead which produces a clear, distinct sound. The muffled tone stroke, equivalent for the open tone, is also created making use of four fingers, but then requires maintaining the fingers against the drumhead to muffle the sound produced. For any low, more muted sound, choose the bass tone stroke making use of the full palm of the hand to strike the drumhead.
The most well known rhythm for congas is known because the tumbao, which makes use of a 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2 rhythm with the very first two played with muffled tones, as well as the latter utilizing open tones. An additional most well-liked rhythm is named the bolero rhythm (1-2-3, 1-2, 1-2-3) which utilizes two congas and has most not too long ago been heard on songs by artists such as Andrea Bocelli in Besame Mucho and Luis Miguel in La Puerta.
Some of the most extensively recognized congueros are Desi Arnez, who was the influence behind the naming of a small conga known because the “Ricardo” from his television part, Candido Camero, Giovanni Hidalgo, Arsenio Rodriguez, and Poncho Sanchez. Numerous varieties of contemporary music, such as jazz, Latin jazz, salsa, mambo, and rumba, still rely on conga drums to maintain the beat and produce a variety of special sounds.