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Conga songas

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Eminent Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 19
Topic starter  

HI!. I'm looking forward to having a conga player show up at our weekly jam. Anyone recommend tunes that feature congas in addition to drums that is not Santana?

I want to have a few things to throw in the ring. Thanks for all your help.

Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 4921

Back in the day I did some gigs with a Chicago conga player (Alpha Stewart). Hand percussion is capable of a lot - under the hands of a good player, they can cover almost anything.

A few ideas:
Montego Bay - Bobby Bloom (the recording has timbales, but it's a good one for congas too)

Use Me - Bill Withers (Alpha and I did this as a duo... I covered the keyboard line on guitar, he did the drum part and it worked well)

anything by Tito Puente. You don't want Santana... but Santana isn't a songwriter; he's a cover artist. Stuff like Oye Como Va is actually Puente. He was a timbale player, but everything he did will work well with conga.

Afro Blue - John Coltrane. They guy who actually wrote this tune is Mongo Santamaria, who's a conga player. The original is on YouTube (with no video) here

And if you want to impress him, "congas" is the set - the big drum is the "tumba", the slightly smaller one is the "conga" and if there's a really little one it's the "quinto". I was always curious why only the little one has a masculine name in Spanish, but I've never discovered why.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL

Eminent Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 19
Topic starter  

I'm def throwing use me out there. AWESOME recommendation. Thank you.

Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 4472

We use congas for jams all the time, especially when there's no full drum set as they add a lot. And a good conga player can play on just about anything. For example, during some of our latest get togethers, you would have heard congas on:

Man on the Moon
Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard
Hey Eugene (by Pink Martini)
These Boots Were Made for Walking
Love is the Drug

just to name a few.

Play what you normally play for jams. As long as you don't blast your guest out, he's bound to come up with a tasteful part.

Have fun!


Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1882

How about the banana boat song?

Probably anything Jimmy Buffett ever wrote would work too.

I wrapped a newspaper ’round my head
So I looked like I was deep

Famed Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 4459

Wow David you guys play Hey Eugene? I saw the band on CPTV and liked them so I got the song. I'd love to hear you guys jam to that.

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