Any conga players?

tomk

Senior Member
Hey there. I play Luis Conte signature series congas. Replacement heads have been very hard to find. I got some remos and they ring like crazy, anyone have any suggestions?

Anyone else play? I played the kit for 8 years. I switched to congas and percussion and have been playing for a year. I got the techniques down and such. I've actually found it alot funner to play live shows as a conga player/percussionist than a drummer. Less gear to carry/worry about, set-up/takedown takes a minute... And I get to play in and around the drummers rhythm. Also I don't really mind that much if anyone tries to play them during a show because they all usually try to play them and not for long because of their pansy hands ;)

The only thing I hate about it is that you get no love from sound guys.. Mics arent a problem since I've bought my own clip-ons, however the number of outputs are (I'm in a 7 piece funk band and three of the musicians sing as well as play their respective instruments) as well as my place in the mix. Some shows I had to play with 1 mic between 2 congas (which isn't enough!!), or without any mic. Luckily the show without the mic was at a small venue. you can hear us at www.myspace.com/thebackbonebeat

Anyone else? It would be fun to hear some stories about the life of a percussionist.
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
Strictly an observation: when I play congas at a gig, it seems as though more people (band members and audience members) offer to help me load in and out...
 

mrchattr

Gold Member
In one band I play all hand drums (my current set up is 2 congas, a djembe, a cajon, a djembe cajon, a tambourine, and a lap snare), and in another I play hand drums about half the time. I find that using one mic for the congas is fine, if it's placed right. I recommend using a condenser mic.
 

Skulmoski

Gold Member
Hey there. I play Luis Conte signature series congas. Replacement heads have been very hard to find. I got some remos and they ring like crazy, anyone have any suggestions?
I was not happy with the heads that came with my LP congas and within a year, I replaced them with mule skins I bought from Isaac. I hand tucked them myself. This is a fairly easy process. I am not a DITY kinda guy by the way; for example, when a button falls off my shirt, I sew up the hole! But tucking skins was not difficult and I ended up with better sounding tubs.

For more information, check out the Conga Place and look for posts from Isaac.
http://www.mycongaplace.com/forum/eng/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=3336

For info on tucking skins, there is a lot of good advice to be googled, such as:
http://www.volcanopercussion.com/Tucking_Drum_Skins.php

GJS
 

tomk

Senior Member
Strictly an observation: when I play congas at a gig, it seems as though more people (band members and audience members) offer to help me load in and out...
maybe you are just really, really, really, really, rediculously goodlooking *strikes "Blue Steel" pose*
 

tomk

Senior Member
In one band I play all hand drums (my current set up is 2 congas, a djembe, a cajon, a djembe cajon, a tambourine, and a lap snare), and in another I play hand drums about half the time. I find that using one mic for the congas is fine, if it's placed right. I recommend using a condenser mic.
Sounds like an awesome set-up....If it's a decent mic I could understand using just one, but usually it's a vocal mic. Plus, I'm playing with a 7 peice band; drums, guitar, bass, keys, sax, trumpet....rock/funk/rnb
 

tomk

Senior Member
I was not happy with the heads that came with my LP congas and within a year, I replaced them with mule skins I bought from Isaac. I hand tucked them myself. This is a fairly easy process. I am not a DITY kinda guy by the way; for example, when a button falls off my shirt, I sew up the hole! But tucking skins was not difficult and I ended up with better sounding tubs.

For more information, check out the Conga Place and look for posts from Isaac.
http://www.mycongaplace.com/forum/eng/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=3336

For info on tucking skins, there is a lot of good advice to be googled, such as:
http://www.volcanopercussion.com/Tucking_Drum_Skins.php

GJS
Thank for the suggestion. I'm already a member on that forum ;) The thing is where I live there is humidity issues. I have an animal skin from Moperc percussion on my 11'' and it sounds awesome but it goes out of tune during my set with my band. I've been trying to find something that wont do that as often so I tried Remos. However I just realised that since my congas are wood, humidity is going to affect the tuning anyways. My best bet would be fiberglass congas with synthetic heads.

On one hand I want to protect my hands with synthetic heads as well as avoid detuning, however the sound isn't exactly what I'm looking for in the synthetic heads.
 

Skulmoski

Gold Member
The thing is where I live there is humidity issues. I have an animal skin from Moperc percussion on my 11'' and it sounds awesome but it goes out of tune during my set with my band. .... On one hand I want to protect my hands with synthetic heads as well as avoid detuning, however the sound isn't exactly what I'm looking for in the synthetic heads.
I also live in a high humidity environment that fluctuates greatly. My goat skin framedrums go out of tune frequently. However, the cow skin heads on my Drumskull congas do not go out of tune -- ever. Therefore, going out of tune might also have something to do with the thickness and elasticity of skins rather than simply being natural or synthetic. You might discuss this with the folks at Drumskull and with Isaac.

Take care

GJS
 
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