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Tuning Your Conga Drums

The care and maintenance of your conga drums is important when it comes to the life of your drum. Conga drums need to be tuned regularly to ensure quality sound and playability. Even the most carefully handled drum will need this service from time to time. This is because handling your drum can put it out of tune, and you may even want a different sound for different songs. What’s difficult about tuning a conga drum is that there is no one way of doing it. There is no perfect pitch to tune your drum to. This is a stylistic choice to be made by the musician. The tuning simply depends on personal preference and the given song the drum will be used for.

To tune a conga drum you start by loosening the rims of the drum. Try to do this evenly. Make sure you do not loosen them so much that the rim comes off all together. If any part of the drum seems dirty you can clean it with a damp cloth. Once you are satisfied, tighten the lugs on the rims in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction. Keep steady tension on the lugs. If the rim is not evenly tightened the sound quality will be uneven. Once your drum is tuned, play all over the surface of the drum head. If there are any irregularities adjust the lugs accordingly. You want your drum to play evenly over the entire surface of the drum head.

If you are tuning multiple conga drums like this make sure you test out their sound as you go. You want to hear how each type of conga drum sounds with each other. Even though there is no one way to tune conga drums, the recommended tuning for multiple drums is to tune them so that there is an interval of a fourth between each drum. When you are done your drums should have an even and open sound alone as well as in the group. Loosening your drums after you use them is a good way to prolong the life of your drums. Tuning will become easier with practice. With proper care your drums will continue to serve as quality instruments, allowing you to share your music with others.

28th Oct 2014

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