Fun north you deserve to play v your hands!

A lot of my other Jam Addict team members space drummers. Drums and also percussion space actually the most popular instruments below in the office (guitar is the second most popular, in case you’re wondering). 

The other day ns was going through the Jam Addict compound studio and also found some old conga drums. Through the quantity of dust top top them, it’s likely that castle hadn’t been offered in a session for close come a decade. 

I started playing castle and, somehow, they were still in tune. 


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The endure made me realize exactly how underutilized the congas are in modern-day music production. You seldom hear records made with the help of who actually playing the congas. Rather, these people just usage loops and also sampled instrument versions the the congas.

You are watching: How are quinto and tumba drums played

In the spirit of doing points the OG way, here’s a overview that reflects you how quinto and tumba drums room played.

Brushing up: meanings of quinto and tumba drums

Quinto and tumba north are simply specific types of conga drums. 

Quinto drums space the the smallest (and thus highest pitched) north in a conga set. 

Tumba drums are the biggest (and therefore lowest pitched) north in a congo set. 

Remember what conga drums usually look like: a quinto and tumba north that room side by side: 

Quintos are generally taken into consideration to be the ‘lead’ drum once it concerns playing formats of music that use conga north extensively. 

Tumbas provide a much reduced sound 보다 the smaller sized quintos, and also you can obtain some really cool sound if you use a quinto and tumba in her conga pair. 

Basics that quinto and also tumba technique

Enough chit-chat. Let’s obtain down to the company of just how you actually play these things.

When playing congas (especially quinto-tumba pairs), remember the you have 5 stroke types available:

#1: open tones

An open tone is executed with four fingers close come the rim of the drum’s head. The tone developed is clear and resonant, and it will have a clean pitch.

#2: muted tones

A ‘muffled’ or ‘mute’ tone (AKA tono ahogado) is play a bit like the open tone. Just strike the north with 4 fingers, however instead of letting her fingers bounce turn off the drum head after you strike, execute your best to leave her fingers ~ above the head and muffle the tone.

#3: base tones

Bass tone (AKA tono bajo): this one girlfriend play v your palm. Simply hit the drumhead v your palm prefer a boss. If you obtain a great clean, the should create a clear low tone.

#4: Slap tones

Slap tone (AKA tono seco): this one is probably one that the more daunting techniques you can play. The goal is to develop a according to “pop” sound the stands over most that the other tones you could be playing throughout the course of a song. 

You usage this an approach when making quick fire hits that are supposed to excite the dancer and get help increase the anxiety on the dancefloor.

#5: Touch tones

Touch ton (AKA toque de punta): as its name may suggest, you deserve to make this ton by emotional the fingers OR your palm heal straight to the drumhead. 

The next step is to alternating a touch of your palm w/ a touch of her fingers. This move is called heel-toe (AKA manoteo). You deserve to use heel-toe to produce a sort of “conga drumroll.” usage it tastefully, please! 

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Origins that quinto and tumba drums

There space a few different kinds of music the traditionally usage the congas (including quinto and tumba drums). 

The main genre that provides congas is called (we swear this is the truth) conga music.

Conga drums originated in Cuba. Going earlier to their also deeper roots, the conga’s precursors most likely originated from what in Africa, travelling to the west Indies to eventually become the conga drums we associate v Cuba today. 

But usage of the conga in classic music also spread to areas like the Domincan Republic and also Colombia. 

Some modern genres, favor reggaeton, even use conga drums with some frequency.

These are distinct instruments the take practice to master

Unlike category that utilize the standard western north kit (think: standard rock) the varieties of music that make use of quinto and also tuba drums space distinctly much more sophisticated than an easy rock-based backbeats. 

Learning come play conga fads accurately, at greater tempos, is often difficult for ours students who are simply learning how to include congas to your percussion repertoire. 

Believe it or not, when we’re working on a track at the Jam Addict link that needs conga, we generally don’t try and play the ourselves. 

Playing the congas (and other distinctive percussion instruments) well is a bonafide skill, and also we have actually a pair of pro conga session players who roll through the studio and also lay under the parts we’re feather for. 

Not only are lock incredibly skilled musicians, but they know exactly how to song the deluxe congas the they carry to the session. Pertained to think the it, that can be why we lost track of that old set in the compound studio – we simply don’t also need come worry around playing this tool ourselves. 

Practical tips for mastering quinto and also tumba drums

Always practice with a metronome

This is one damaged record we DON’T turn off below at Jam Addict: if you’re learning an tool (congas included) for THE LOVE the ALL the IS divine DO no SPEND an ext THAN 50% the YOUR exercise TIME there is no A METRONOME.

A most rhythms that use congas space not simple in nature. In order to yes, really learn exactly how to be in the pocket, you’re walking to desire to use a metronome. 

Go slow

Latin music that provides congas is generally played in ~ a very quick tempo. 

While you may be tempted to shot and play easily like girlfriend hear in your favorite records, make the efforts to go too rapid right the end of the door is commonly a bad idea. 

Turning down the metronome’s tempo to something that sounds way too slow-moving is… more than likely a an excellent idea, if she just starting out. 

You can not play something fast if you can not play it slow. Anyone that states otherwise more than likely needs to examine themselves. 

Practice her ass off

Another motto that us abuse right here at Jam Addict is a beat on the trite cliche “practice makes perfect.” 

We hate that cliche due to the fact that everyone to know that, in music, there is no such point as perfect. 

The ideal you have the right to hope for is to practice your ass off and hope that at some point you sound passable when you play her instrument. 

If girlfriend take the mindset, after ~ a few years, you'll realize that you're actually pretty good.

See more: Twenty-One Is 25% Of - Twenty One Days Later: The Journey

The number 1 point to perform when discovering to beat congas, or any instrument, is to make sure to spend several quality time v you, your instrument, and also a metronome of her choice. 

After having taught thousands of students (a few of them moving on to become professional musicians), we’re pretty sure that’s the finest advice everyone can give you.