A conga, aso called a tumbadora, is a single-headed Latin American barrel drum, 25–30 centimeters (10–15 inches) in diameter, 50–60 centimeters (20–24 inches) long, used throughout South America, and in pop and jazz fusion music. The conga is the largest hand drum used in Latin America, and may be descended from the Congolese makuta drums.
In modern congas and bongos, the body is made from wooden staves glued and clamped together with metal strips, or is molded from fiberglass, with the calfskin head held in place by a metal ring bolted to the body of the drum with tension rods. The drum is not tuned, but the skin is tightened to give a high ringing sound when played. When played singly, the drummer tilts the conga towards them to allow sound to resonate from the open end. When played in groups of two or three, they are placed in a stand.
Conga-playing technique involves three different ways of producing tones: slapping the middle of the drumhead with a cupped had to get a bass tone, playing an open slap on the side of the head to produce a medium tone, and playing a closed slap on the rim of the drum to get a high, dry tone. The side of the drum can also be played with a stick.
A conga player is called a conguero.