Popularised in the 1930’s, the Cuban export has gained in momentum ever since. The instrument traditionally has three sizes; quinto, conga, and tumba (high, medium, and low respectively) however, there’s also such a thing as a super tumba, which offers an even deeper tone.
Congas are made out of staved wood, however, many modern versions consist of a fiberglass shell. It’s personal preference as to which material the player goes for, but wood seems to be the most popular choice and offers a much warmer tone.
Latin music is the idiom of choice when it comes to these instruments, but they can be incorporated into pretty much any style and the sounds of the conga will immediately add a Latin vibe to any song – even death metal.
There are many brands that produce congas, most notably LP, Meinl, and Pearl. With all of these names, they offer fantastic options from beginner all the way through to the seasoned professional. The purists would have the congas on the floor, however, many players these days prefer to use a stand. Conga stands either come in basket stand form or can be hanging. Once again, all of the aforementioned brands have their own stands – and many of them are universal which allows an LP conga player to use a Meinl conga stand.