There have been relatively few changes to the basic design of the conga. Going back to the ancestral drums played over centuries in Africa, the idea is simple: a vibrating membrane (an animal hide) stretched and tucked over a long cylinder.
But Latin Percussion (LP) has come up with what may be the next major innovation in hand drumming. The LP Giovanni Compact Conga is marketed as a portable conga. Endorsed by and named after conga master Giovanni Hidalgo, LP’s patented design for this model uses an aluminum alloy frame to support an 11-inch synthetic-skin conga head. It basically looks like the top part of the conga without the resonator, which would be the drum itself. Imagine a drummer’s practice pad that is marketed as a drum that could be used on gigs or for woodshedding.