March 2, 2021
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Luis Conte's Guide to Latin Percussion Vol. I - 2nd Edition
Conga Patterns
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Tumbadoras • Congas

As previously mentioned, this pattern is the most commonly used pattern in salsa music, called marcha (march) or tumbao; the first version is the most popular pattern while the second pattern was taught by the famous conguero Carlos "Patato" Valdes. Again, the second version has a "D" for Dead tone where the right hand plays an open tone but the left hand is already on the head so as to make a non-resonant tone:  

These patterns are used on the verses of salsa tunes: only one drum is played.  


For choruses, the second drum is utilized and emphasizes the clave. 

Here is the pattern in forward (3-2) son clave: 

 and reverse (2-3) son clave:

Moña or Bridge Section:

This pattern may be used on a bridge or moña (horn soli section) when the energy is higher than the rest of the song. Notice that this patterns works on either side of the clave: