Bongos and Congas - Latin American Percussion
Bongos and congas are two of the most popular percussion instruments used in latin American music. Bongo drums, usually known as just bongos are one of the most popular of Latin percussion rhythm instruments. It consists of two drums, one called the Hembra and the other called the Macho. They are very similar to the Indian Tabala and the European Timpani.
Conga drums look much larger than bongos although their playing style in very similar. It is a Cuban drum but probably derived from Africa. Congas are used in both popular and folk music. African music has a wide use of congas. It is also very popular in Rumba, Afro Caribbean, Latin and salsa music. 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. Heights typically range from 28" to 32" inches. 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.
These instruments are made of wood, composite materials and metals. Traditionally, the bongo head was made of animal skin, but in modern times, synthetic materials are commonly used. Commonly they are played with the hand, although it can be played with sticks, brushes and other materials.
When you plan to purchase bongos or congas, there are several brands and manufacturers. The most popular and widely used would be the brand Latin Percussion (commonly known as LP). Other popular manufacturers are Tycoon Percussion, Toca Percussion and Remo. A large selection of LP Congas and Bongos can be found in California Percussion at attractive prices. A large selection of Percussion instruments like Drum Sets, Congas, Bongos, Djembes etc. can be found at California Percussion.
Roots Jam 2: African and Afro-Latin Drum Rhythms