With its origins coming from Africa, the conga drum came to Cuba during the slave trade and was popularized by the United States media in the early to mid 1900s. As people would freely travel to and from Cuba, Latin styles of the conga drum rhythms became attractive and catchy. The conga is also called the tumbadora, as this name is the more accurate name of the drum among Cubans.
The conga drum is a tall and narrow drum that has a single head and is generally placed on tripod to hold it vertically. Conga drums are made up of a staved wooden or fiberglass shell with a screw-tension drumhead for tuning purposes. The drums usually come in sets of two or four and are played with the fingers and palms of the hand.
There are three sizes of the conga drum when they are played in sets. The Tumbadora (or Tumba) is the low pitched and largest drum of the congas. It plays the low drum rhythm parts. The Conga is the mid-range, medium head conga, and is the most versatile. It mainly plays the middle parts of the three-part rhythm, but can also feature the lowest and highest part of the rhythm depending on what strokes you use to play. The Quinto is the high pitched and smallest conga. It is known as the solo drum and the lead singer of the three-part conga drum setup.