There can be any number of conga drums in a salsa band, but most commonly there are two of them, played by one conga drummer. One drum has a higher pitch, and the other a lower pitch. In the typical conga rhythm pattern, the higher pitched drum is played with a sharp "slap" sound on beats 2 and 6. (The slap sounds almost like a Clave strike.) Beats 1 and 5 are implied, rather than played.
The conga drums come in various sizes:
- Tumba - the biggest drum, usually tuned to G-2
- Conga - Middle-sized drum, usually tuned to C-3
- Quinto - The smallest drum, usually tuned to G-3
1. "Un monton de estrellas" by Polo Montanez