Learn to Play Conga Drums: 7 Basic Sounds for Beginners

Learn to Play Conga Drums: 7 Basic Sounds for Beginners

Views:255312|Rating:4.88|View Time:38:17Minutes|Likes:3079|Dislikes:78
Learn how to play the conga drum in this video lesson for beginners. Known in Cuba as the tumbadora, this South American instrument can be heard in all types of Latin music including salsa, rumba, merengue and reggae, as well as other forms of popular music.

Latin Percussion LP City Wood Congas 10″ & 11″ Set:

Students will practice the seven sounds of the Conga Drum including the open tone (played with the four fingers near the rim of the head), the bass tone or tono bajo (played with the full palm on the head that produces a low muted sound), various slaps or tonos secos (a difficult technique producing a loud clear “popping” sound), and muff tones.

Beginner players will also learn all sorts of practical tips and movements such as “heel toe” finishing with a basic Guaguancó rhythm. Visit for more free conga tutorials.

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Conga Video Lesson # 1

Leave us a comment and “Like” this video if you enjoyed the lesson.

Conga Instructor: Edgardo Cambon

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39 Replies to “Learn to Play Conga Drums: 7 Basic Sounds for Beginners”


    Thank you. Africa where the FIRST to have this instrument. It's amazing how other cultures adapted. Especially Spanish cultures. It's amazing but I love them ALL from every cultures

  2. Harvey Levene

    So delighted to have found a brilliant teacher. I have played Bongo's for years relying on my sense of rhythm alone. Both my dad and my brother were professional drummers. I just seemed to inherit to sound. I could never afford a tumbadora but out of the blue yesterday on our local flea market I saw a pair along with chrome stand for £60 GPD. and it's not even Christmas! I am now hooked on learning to play them correctly, but I do tend to improvise a lot which I need to get out of. My hands can move very fast. Thank you once again for passing on your skill. I have subscribed to the channel and look forward to more lessons.

  3. Asowemr ASMR

    I first learned the congos and bongos at my summer camp and we performed. I now want to make music with it. maybe I can do covers and make animation memes to the songs I cover.

  4. Ira Sherman

    Thanks for this awesome instructional video. Just bought my first set of Pearl Primero congas. 10", 11", 6" & 7". I see alot of conga players don't use stands and place conga drums on wood or hard floor. Does this create a better tone than the congas being in the air attached to stands and having an open bottom?

  5. pinacoladomusic

    Excellent lesson. I am an intermediate player that learned by ear so having some tangible techniques is going to help me get better. Gracias!

  6. Robin Powlus

    Best basic conga hand technique video on Youtube! I watched this over and over to get started on congas. Thank you!

  7. Art Alexander

    Excellent introduction to the instrument! Calm, intelligent, comprehensive but not overwhelming. He conveys a sincere joy about sharing his knowledge/experience (especially of what beginners should avoid doing). Will be recommending to many.

  8. sebamurguero

    Si sos uruguayo, porque todo en inglés??? Eso no me gusta, tendrías que explicar todo en español…es un instrumento puramente latino,y no me parece que tengas que explicar en inglés…te lo digo de muy buena onda

  9. Graffiti on the Freights

    Hi Papi! Question, I see lots of "music machines or beat boxes" for every other instrument sell but none for congas or bongos. I want to be able to play ALONG with some jams but have the percussion muted if that makes sense. I want to be able to add my conga beats into the music to record and playback, sing with, etc..There has got to be some tracks or an electronic music machine to help accomplish this. Any Ideas?

  10. Amy Sheetz

    Got an early Christmas gift of 2 congas and a set of bongos. This will be a first for me that I wanted to learn for years and years. Thank you for this!!

  11. 1929able

    Palm/finger is the proper anatomical words to use.
    Heel/toe if we play with our feet.
    You are the first teacher to even mention that you don’t like the Heel /toe instruction because it can confuse the student.
    Thank you so much for posting these fine instructional videos.

  12. Colin Reese

    This is the best and most thorough conga tutorial on the internet. EXCELLENT. Thank you. It even tells you what angle to hold your hands.

  13. Carolyn P

    I wish there were a way to comment privately because I don't like public negatives. While your tutorials are amazing and very educational, even with the volume of YouTube and my computer on high I have trouble hearing you well. Maybe find a way to get a mic up to you closer for more clarity? It's a problem for me on nearly all of your videos.

  14. נריה מזרחי

    does anyony have an example of the beat hes playing at the end of the video within a song that i could paractice with ?

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