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WYdrummer09
01-20-2009, 05:07 AM
What is the standard set up for congas if you only use two drums?

Quinto (11") Conga (11 3/4")
Quinto (11") Tumba (12 1/2")
Conga (11 3/4") Tumba (12 1/2")

I know this sounds like a noob question. but i've been a drummer/percussionist for the past 12 years now. but i've only really been taught the following catagories...

drum set (jazz, latin, funk, rock, ect.)
marching
orchestral
mallet

I have been working on learning and building up a collection of world percussion instruments.

GRUNTERSDAD
01-20-2009, 05:13 AM
I have been looking at Congas for a long time, thinking of buying and the websites I have seen have all had many combinations of two. 11 and 12, 10.5 and 11.5, 11.5 and 12.5 etc.

Garvin
01-20-2009, 02:30 PM
Generally, if you are playing with only two, you'd have a conga and tumba. There is no rule for this though. If you'd rather have a quinto and tumba, you'll just have a greater interval between the two, or tune the tumba up a bit. If playing in a group, you'll find higher pitched drums help carry over the band a bit, in which case, quinto and conga would be preferable. Just depends on the gig really.

mrchattr
01-20-2009, 04:17 PM
Garvin pretty much nailed it. However, if you are just looking to start with hand percussion, you will probably end up getting a more beginner set (something like the LP Aspire Congas, which are a good way to start). The beginner sets are generally a 10" and 11" with a stand.

If you are just getting into hand percussion, I would actually recommend starting with a djembe, though. I find they are more universal, easier to learn, and have less of the standard "conga" sound to them, which people identify with certain types of music.

Garvin
01-20-2009, 05:03 PM
AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!

Djembe and conga are different, yes. But the conga are much easier to implement into contemporary music. Djembe is the most abused and misunderstood percussion instruments in my opinion because it for some reason seems "simple" to people. Its not. It takes a lot longer to get a decent sound out of a djembe than a conga. People don't know what djembe is supposed to sound like so they often end up flopping around on a djembe-like instrument and end up muddling around under the music. Congas are much easier to fit into band situations especially for folks who dont take the time to learn about conga technique. I would seriously go with conga before djembe. You'll end up throwing your money away on a djembe. Aspires are the absolute bottom line congas, LP's in general are a good mass-produced drum though, but I would also check out Meinl Marathon for introductory congas.

The sound of conga and djembe is really more about how you play (proper technique), than the type of instrument you actually end up with at the beginning.

mrchattr
01-20-2009, 05:25 PM
AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!

Djembe and conga are different, yes. But the conga are much easier to implement into contemporary music. Djembe is the most abused and misunderstood percussion instruments in my opinion because it for some reason seems "simple" to people. Its not. It takes a lot longer to get a decent sound out of a djembe than a conga. People don't know what djembe is supposed to sound like so they often end up flopping around on a djembe-like instrument and end up muddling around under the music. Congas are much easier to fit into band situations especially for folks who dont take the time to learn about conga technique. I would seriously go with conga before djembe. You'll end up throwing your money away on a djembe. Aspires are the absolute bottom line congas, LP's in general are a good mass-produced drum though, but I would also check out Meinl Marathon for introductory congas.

The sound of conga and djembe is really more about how you play (proper technique), than the type of instrument you actually end up with at the beginning.

I couldn't disagree more. I know that both you and I play a ton of hand percussion, but in my experience, the djembe is easier to learn (for contemporary music), but harder to master, than congas. The students that I teach hand drum lessons to almost always adapt more easily to the djembe than the conga...I have only had a few students who developed more quickly on the conga. Contemporary djembe styles and sounds are very different than traditional ones, and their usage in popular music is expanding the sounds and techniques that are used on djembe all the time. I have gotten the impression from some of your posts (and if I'm wrong, I apologize) that you are more of a traditionalist when it comes to djembe. If so, that's fine, but then your argument is more against how the djembe is being used in modern music than against a student learning the basics for popular music applications.

I play in an acoustic duo/trio act. We play anywhere from 70-100 gigs a year, usually three hours on stage per gig. I use my cajon and djembe as the primary instruments to great effect, and only rarely use the congas. They just don't sound as good under acoustic popular music. I also use the djembe as a primary instrument when playing with other acoustic acts and worship teams (probably an additional 30 gigs a year). I know I don't use traditional rhythms or techniques of the djembe (because I have studied those as well, but they don't fit), but that doesn't take away from what I am able to do with a djembe in that setting.

Garvin
01-20-2009, 06:35 PM
I just think that technique, whether you are playing "traditionally" or not is a lot like learning how to play piano. I wouldn't go onstage and bang away at a piano with a band because I never learned the notes, and thats my impression of people who pick up hand percussion without anybackground knowledge.

I'm hard about this, I know.

mrchattr
01-20-2009, 06:59 PM
I just think that technique, whether you are playing "traditionally" or not is a lot like learning how to play piano. I wouldn't go onstage and bang away at a piano with a band because I never learned the notes, and thats my impression of people who pick up hand percussion without anybackground knowledge.

I'm hard about this, I know.

Well, I agree with you there. That's one reason I offer actual hand drum lessons...I think it is something that is seriously lacking in most drummer's instruction. I teach the history of the drums, countries of origin, traditional rhythms and techniques, and modern application and technique. Even things like drum circles piss me off. Bunch of non-drummers hitting drums with no technique, not getting good sounds out of them, and thinking that they are musicians. I have learned that it's just better to not join in, because that way I can walk away without smacking someone!

However, my point is that, in doing that, I have seen earlier success with djembe than with congas. It almost seems like students think that all you have to do is stand behind congas, talk with a bad Cuba Pete accent, and you can play...but they respect the djembe more, maybe because it hasn't been so over-used (bad term, I don't mean to imply that congas are over-used in music, or can't sound great when used correctly).