Drum Buying Guide

It’s important to determine the type of sound you’re looking for before making a decision about what type of conga drum to buy. After reading the infomation below, you’ll be able to make a clear and confident decision.

Types of pearl drums

A conga drum is tall and narrow, played with the fingers and palms, often in pairs, but sometimes in other combinations, or just singly. They are available in a range of sizes; the smallest can be just 9 inches across and are worn from a shoulder strap, while the largest “supertumbas” are up to 14 inches across. The size of drum obviously affects the sound and pitch of the instrument, with the largest drums being used to play the lower rhythms, and the smaller Quinto conga drums acting as the “singer” of the band, playing the melody. In addition, the pitch of the drum will vary according to the model and manufacturer.

When the drums are played together in twos or threes, the drums will normally be tuned to a particular chord; for example, a perfect fourth, depending on the requirements of the music or the taste of the individual drummer with mapex.

Materials used in conga drums

Conga drums are traditionally made from wood, but nowadays, fiberglass models are also popular among buyers due to their durability – not to mention that they are relatively inexpensive. Tastes vary, but many professional players prefer wooden conga drums and maintain that they produce a richer, warmer sound than fiberglass models.

Wooden conga drums are most frequently made from oak or ash, and sometimes also beech wood. There are many excellent models made in all types of wood; ash drums are seen as particularly resonant, while oak conga drums combine a warm tone with reduced overtones.

The other factor to take into account when considering your preferred type of conga drum material are the drumheads themselves. These are traditionally made from rawhide, and this is still probably the best material available, but synthetic heads are also common nowadays. In years past, hide drumskins were normally made from cowhides, which provide a warm and melodic tone. The modern equivalent is typically made from water buffalo, which makes for a thinner, crisper sound.

 

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