Instruments used in rumba

Partly for my blog and partly for the search engines I am going to list some of the instruments used in a rumba ensemble.

Congas / Conga / Tumbadora / Tumbadoras (go by many names, here are a few): Requinto, Quinto, Conga, Tumba, Tumbadora Salidor, Tres Dos, Tres Golpes. These are the conga drums, sometimes named for their size, their role, or the part they play in the rhythm.

Bata drums: these are being used in modern rumba (batarumba) they are the Iya, Itotole and the Okonkolo

Cajon / Cajons: wooden boxes of different shapes and sizes.

Bell / Bells: Campana, Cencerro (Spanish terms) and the Guataca which is a hoe blade.

Clave / Claves.

Guagua, Gua-gua, Cata, Pallitos: a peice of bamboo with a slit or holes played with sticks, sometimes a box played with spoons.

Shakers: usually a Shekere which is a gourd with beads on it, also sometimes Maracas or Marugas. Sometimes Nkembi are used, they are little shakers strapped to the wrists, usually of a drum player.

So I've made a few of these instruments and am looking forward to making more.
I'll be posting pictures as I go along, this is mainly the "rough beginnings" to my blog.


  1. Nice to see your blog. I came across it when looking for information, as I'd like to make a gua-gua myself. There are others out here who are interested in this stuff so please post more - it takes time to build up a bit of momentum on a blog like this.



  2. I would like to buy a piece of bamboo or a guagau but can't find any resources on the internet. do you have any suggestions?

  3. I do not know of any internet sources. I bought my bamboo from Bamboo Giant nearby in Santa Cruz. Here is their website.


  4. Thanks, I'll check them out next time I'm in Santa Cruz.

  5. Thanks for the help, I was able to use this on my project about the rumba. It was a very big assistance.