To Quinto or Not?

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To Quinto or Not?

Postby afrocubarico » Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:37 pm

Hey folks! Hope everyone is well. I just recently placed an order for a new set of congas. I purchased a quinto, conga, and tumba drums however, I'm thinking of changing the order to two congas and one tumba but I'd like to hear from you all regarding not going with the quinto drum. I play mostly at home, by myself. I absolutely love playing 6/8 patterns like palo, mozambique, abakua, guaguanco, columbia, etc., etc., and sometimes I also enjoy various different Salsa tumbaos. I was watching the Changuito video with him and Giovanni and in the video he states that the quinto drum's place is only for "repicar" and that it has no place in a typical two drum setting. Based on the type of playing I do, do you guys think I should omit the quinto and instead go with two congas and one tumba? Many thanks!


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Re: To Quinto or Not?

Postby ABAKUA » Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:56 am

Exactly. Also my opinion that Quinto has no place in usual latin/cuban style set up for band. I have never used a Quinto in my own set ups for over 25 years. Im from same school of training as Changuito, Anga, etc
In the last 10 years or so I play Conga centred, with a Tumba either side. Prior to that was 2 congas, 1 tumba. I have come to appreciate the real estate and prefer the larger drums now. In my collection of almost 30 drums, only 1 x 11" Quinto from a set of classic old school Woodcrafts. I own several Requinto though, 9.5", 9.75" etc. Not for band work though.
Ive cut down the amount of bands I work with to now 3 Cuban influenced bands. 8 piece, 10 and 13 piece. I use 1 conga and 2 tumbas.
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Re: To Quinto or Not?

Postby jorge » Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:11 pm

Joaquin Pozo, a great conga player who plays 4 congas, uses a tumba, 2 congas and a quinto. He came up as a comparsa quinto player in La Habana. Very effective use of the quinto in 4 drum rumba-based rhythms in his Latin Jazz and timba/mozambique/salsa music.

Descarga Cubana, he is playing a mean marcha on 3 and 4 congas, playing quinto riffs on top at the same time, no overdubs.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hohYbLXuPXA

Check out his Rumba Para Dos, rumba- and conga-based marchas on 3 drums, quintoing on the 4th, sometimes singing the melody with the drums.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGGQ3k9nw30

Envidia Por Dentro is a slower salsa-like tune carrying the marcha on the quinto. Check out his marcha from 3:55 to 4:12, essentially on 3 drums. Nice 4 drum marcha variations in the last few seconds of the song.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdzK-RDCahc

Even though the quinto can be well integrated into a 3 or 4 drum set of congas, if you want to play with a band, it is probably best to start out with 2 congas and a tumba or a conga and 2 tumbas as others have recommended until you are able to play quinto while holding the marcha or rumba base really solid on 2 or 3 other drums. Also, a conga is usually lighter than a tumba, so 2 congas might be better for you if you are based in NYC. If you want to learn the style of playing quinto while you hold time on 2 or 3 other drums, you would want to get a quinto to learn on and learn to play quinto at rumbas. Depends what music moves you the most and what playing style you want to develop.
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Re: To Quinto or Not?

Postby Thomas Altmann » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:00 am

afrocubarico:

when I play with 3 or more congas, I use only conga and tumba sizes. However, when I am talking about a quinto, I am referring to the role of the drum in a Rumba or Conga context. Drum companies often use the word as a tag for the small sized conga in their product range. I wouldn't mind using a 10-1/2 to 11 inch "quinto" as a principal conga, especially with a drumset player, and provided that the skin is correct and well tuned.

A real quinto, as an instrument, is a drum that is small enough and equipped and tuned according to its function as a Rumba or Conga solo drum.

Another conguero who has used such a (real) quinto as an extra with his regular setup was Jerry Gonzalez, of course. Check out his recordings with the Conjunto Libre ("Ritmo, Sonido & Estilo") or watch the video with Tito Puente at Montreal 1983 (YT also).

Greetings,

Thomas
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Re: To Quinto or Not?

Postby jorge » Sun Aug 06, 2017 4:16 am

True, the drum companies have stretched the title of quinto to mean a lot of different size drums up to 11" or even 11-1/2". Playing a 10" or even some 11" quintos requires a little different hand technique compared to an 11-1/2" conga so that is what may keep some people from integrating a quinto into their set of 3 or 4. Joaquin Pozo's quinto is about 11" but you have to hit it with your hand a little farther out than a conga. Takes a bit of getting used to but once you learn, it becomes natural.
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Re: To Quinto or Not?

Postby Chtimulato » Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:54 pm

Jorge, the links you gave are not available any more. But I'll try to search though.
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Re: To Quinto or Not?

Postby jorge » Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:29 am

I just checked the links. All 3 work fine.
If for some reason your computer is blocking them, go on YouTube and put in Joaquin Pozo Descarga Cubana, Joaquin Pozo Envida por Dentro (Envidia is misspelled, use that spelling), and Joaquin Pozo Rumba para Dos. The links even work on an iphone, although I highly recommend you listen through good headphones or earphones or a good stereo system. Iphone speaker sound is horrible for hearing details of percussion or music in general.

I just realized you are not in the US. Some YouTube content is restricted by geography, that could be the problem.
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Re: To Quinto or Not?

Postby Chtimulato » Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:34 am

Thanks.

That's what I did, searching by myself.

You allready gave these links, some times ago, to someone asking for tips to play on several congas I believe, and it's also what I did at the time : typing the name/title and hitting "Enter".

Off-topic : I don't use an iPhone, but an Android phone, with good speakers... and my computers all have good speakers too, and/or good headphones... :D

Have a nice day.
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