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The Best Hand Drum for Every Musician

There’s no question that hand drums are a hugely popular form of percussion. From Africa to South America, and all around the world in between, hand drums of all shapes and sizes are used in music traditions both ancient and modern. And with good reason – hand drums are incredibly versatile instruments, capable of producing a wide range of sounds that can be adapted to any style or genre of music.

But with so many different types and styles of hand drums available on the market today, it can be tough to know which one is right for you. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to the best hand drums for every musician. Whether you’re a beginner just starting out, or an experienced pro looking for something new to add to your arsenal, we’ve got you covered. So read on, and find the perfect hand drum for you!

What is Hand Drum?

A hand drum is any type of percussion instrument that can be played with the hands. The most common type of hand drum is the drum set, which includes a snare drum, bass drum, and one or more tom-toms. Other popular hand drums include the bongos, a drum bag, congas, djembes, and tablas.

Types of Hand Drum?

There are two main types of hand drums: membranophones and idiophones.

Membranophones

Membranophones are drums that have a membrane or skin stretched over the top, which vibrates when struck. The snare drum and bass drum are both examples of membranophones.

Idiophones

Idiophones are percussion instruments that don’t have a membrane, and instead produce sound by being struck together. The triangle and cymbals are both idiophones.

5 Best Hand Drums

We’ve selected the 5 best hand drums for every musician, based on type, style, and price.

1. LOMUTY 9 Notes 22 Inches Professional Handpan

LOMUTY 9 Notes 22 Inches Professional Handpan in Minor D Hand Pan Steel Drum Percussion Instrument for Professional Performance
  • 100% Handmade handpan,Need excellent Craftsman Elaborate Handwork .Includes 9 notes: D3,A3,C4,E4,G,A4,F4,D4,B3.
  • Carbon steel quenching production, the process is complex, the slightest mistake will lead to the final product defects.
  • Measurements:The handpan is 22 inches in diameter and 9.84 inches high.Material: Nitrided Steel Package Content 1X Handpan Drum 1X Carry Bag 2X Handpan Mallets 1X Handpan Stand 1X dust-free cloth

The LOMUTY 9 Notes 22 Inches Professional Handpan is a beautiful and unique musical instrument that is 100% handmade. It is made with nitrided steel and features 9 notes. It is 9.84 inches high and 22 inches in diameter. This steel pan is a great choice for anyone looking for an instrument that is durable and sounds great. It is an excellent choice for beginners and experienced musicians alike.

Easy to carry and portable musical instrument that anyone of age can play. It is made with high-quality workmanship and provides a beautiful, bright sound that is ideal for any setting. It has optimal resonance vibration across all sounds, making it a versatile choice for any musician. Additionally, the LOMUTY 9 Notes 22 Inches Professional Handpan is easy to transport, so you can take it with you wherever you go.

Pros

  • Easy to transport
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Ideal for any setting
  • Optimal resonance vibration

Cons

  • Missing Mallets could be better

2. Foraineam 12 Inch & 10 Inch & 8 Inch Hand Drum

Sale
Foraineam 12 Inch & 10 Inch & 8 Inch Hand Drum Percussion Wood Frame Drum with Drum Stick
  • 12 inch hand drum: 12” x 12” x 1.8”, 10 inch hand drum: 10” x 10” x 1.8”, 8 inch hand drum: 8” x 8” x 1.8”
  • Solid and sturdy poplar wood frame with high quality synthetic drum head. The texture of the drum surface is delicate and can make a melodious sound
  • Each equipped with a wood beater for easy percussion, can also make sound by hand directly

Foraineam's 12-inch hand drum is a great way to add some percussion to your musical percussion world. The solid poplar wood frame and high-quality synthetic drum head create a beautiful sound, and the hand-rubbed finish on the drum surface gives it a delicate feel. Each frame drum is attached with a wood beater for effortless percussion, and instead, you can use your bare hands to make this sound.

The frame is made of a strong ribbon edge to avoid abrasive on your hands, and the ribbon sticks firmly to avoid damage. The 8-inch size is easy to play and ideal for beginners, while the 10 and 12-inch sizes offer a bigger sound for more experienced players.

Pros

  • Strong and durable construction
  • Excellent than average sound quality
  • Easy to play
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Not the greatest sound

3. Remo Buffalo Drum

Sale
Remo Buffalo Drum - Black Earth, 16"
  • Size: 16" Diameter, 3. 5" Depth
  • Produces a low frequency bass tone that is found in many traditional drums from Africa, Brazil, and the indigenous cultures of the Americas
  • Manufactured with the vinyl Bahia bass fixed pre-tuned Drumhead and Remo patented Acoustic on drum shells

This type of drum is found in many traditional hang drums from Brazil, Africa, and the indigenous cultures of the Americas. The Remo patented Acoustic and vinyl Bahia bass fixed pre-tuned Drumhead on drum shells give this drum its unique sound. 

This particular drum is also manufactured with a Remo patented Flo-Port hole that allows the drum to breathe and produce fewer overtones. The result is a full sound that can be used in any musical setting.

It is manufactured with the vinyl Bahia bass fixed pre-tuned synthetic head and Remo patented acoustic on tongue drum shells. The low-frequency tone of the buffalo hang drum is said to have healing properties. It is used in many traditional ceremonies and rituals.

Pros

  • Has a full sound
  • Healing properties
  • Durable
  • Versatile

Cons

  • Good for price

4. Meinl Percussion Cajon Box Drum 

Meinl Percussion Cajon Box Drum with Internal Snares and Bass Tone for Acoustic Music — Made in Europe — Baltic Birch Wood, Play with Your Hands, Compact Size, 2-Year Warranty (JC50LBNT)
  • Easy to create beats with your hands — sometimes called a box drum, this cajon has zones for bass and snare; play with your whole hands toward the center for deep bass and strike near the top corners with the length of your fingers for crisp snare sounds
  • For acoustic music, casual jam sessions and band practice — be the rhythmic foundation for your acoustic band in coffee house settings, play during jam sessions or just for fun and be ready for venues or practice rooms where a drum set can't be used
  • Internal snares — dual sets of fixed coiled steel snare wires are positioned inside the cajon to give you the same effect as a snare drum; to get an ultra-crisp snare response that cuts, we secure the whole length of the wires against the playing surface

This Bass Tone is a great addition to any drummer's arsenal. This versatile drum can be used for a variety of genres, from acoustic to rock. The internal snares give the drum a unique sound that is perfect for adding texture to your grooves. The Baltic birch construction provides great tone and durability, making this drum a good choice for both live shows and studio recordings.

Its compact size and internal snares make it perfect for on-the-go performances, while its four solid silicone feet provide added stability. Additionally, its rear port helps to develop the sound of the drum, making it ideal for small venues. However, its manufacturer does caution that the drum may produce a high volume when played at high volumes, so it is important to be aware of this before purchasing.

Pros

  • Compact and portable
  • Internal snares for a unique sound
  • Baltic birch construction for great tone and durability
  • The rear port helps develop sound

Cons

  • No cushion for the seat

5. Remo E1-0316-00 Buffalo Drum

Sale
Remo E1-0316-00 Buffalo Drum - Standard, 16"
  • Remo E1-0316-00 Buffalo Drum - Standard, 16"
  • Buffalo
  • Mallet

A great choice for anyone looking for a high-quality, standard-sized buffalo drum. This drum features a 16″ diameter and comes with a mallet, making it easy to get started playing right away. The buffalo skin provides a deep, rich sound that is perfect for a variety of musical styles.

In addition, the drum is lightweight and portable, making it easy to take with you wherever you go. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned professional, the Remo E1-0316-00 Buffalo Drum is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a great buffalo drum.

Pros

  • Comes with a mallet
  • Buffalo skin provides a deep, rich sound
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Perfect for a variety of Irish music genres

Cons

  • Lacks a consistent tone

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Hand Drum

Weighing the pros and cons of each type of hand drum will help you make an informed decision when it comes to choosing the best one for you. Here are some things to keep in mind:

1. Type of Hand Drum

There are many different types of hand drums available on the market, from bongos and congas to djembes and doumbeks. Each type of drum has its own unique sound, so it's important to consider what type of sound you want before making your purchase.

2. Size of Hand Drum

The size of the hand drum you choose will also affect the sound it produces. For instance, a smaller drum like a bongo will have a higher pitch, while, on the other hand, a larger drum like a djembe will have a lower pitch. And, of course, the size of the drum will also affect its portability.

3. Body Material

The material the hand drum is made of can also impact the sound it produces. For example, drums made of wood will typically have a warmer sound, while drums made of metal will have a brighter sound. So that's something else to keep in mind when making your selection.

4. Playing Style

Your playing style is also a factor to consider when choosing the best hand drum for you. If you are a beginner, you might want to choose a drum that is easy to play. But if you are a more experienced player, you might want a drum that offers more challenges.

5. Genre of Music

The genre of music you plan to play on your hand drum is also an important consideration. Different drums are better suited for different genres of music. For instance, a bongo might be better for playing Latin music, while a djembe might be better for playing African music.

6. Budget

Of course, your budget is also an important consideration when choosing the best hand drum for you. There is a wide range of hand drums available at different price points, so it's important to find one that fits within your budget.

7. Warranty

Another thing to keep in mind when choosing the best hand drum for you is the warranty. Some drums come with a limited warranty, while others do not. Be sure to check the warranty before making your purchase to be sure you are getting a quality product.

FAQ

What is a hand drum called?

One of the most popular instruments in the world is the hand drum, also known as a conga, bongo, or djembe. This percussion instrument is played by striking the skin with the hands, and it is used in a wide variety of musical genres. The sound of the hand drum can be changed by varying the tension on the skin, and this gives the instrument a unique range of expression. The history of the hand drum is long and varied, and it is thought to have originated in Africa. Today, hand drums are used in everything from traditional folk music to modern pop, and they continue to be popular around the world.

What is a hand drum used for?

Hand drums are used for a wide range of purposes, from providing rhythm in music to communicating messages in times of war. In many cultures, frame drums are used in religious ceremonies and are believed to have mystical powers. They are also popular instruments for recreational purposes, and children often enjoy playing them. Regardless of their intended use, hand synthetic drums are versatile instruments that can provide enjoyment for both performers and listeners alike as other hang drums.

How do you play a hand drum?

The most important thing to remember when playing a hand drum kit is to relax. Tense muscles will impede your ability to produce a clear sound. As you begin to play, allow your hands to move naturally and keep a light touch on the drumhead. You can produce different sounds by striking the drum in different ways. For example, a soft stroke with the fingertips contractor may result in a low, muffled tone, while a hard stroke with the knuckles extended will produce a sharp, high-pitched sound. Experiment with different techniques to find the sound you're looking for.

Why do hand drums have different sizes?

The answer actually has a lot to do with the sound that the steel drum frame produces. Different-sized drums create different pitches, or tones when they are struck.  The larger the drum, the lower the pitch. This is why most hand drums have a range of sizes; so that they can produce a variety of pitches and create complex rhythms. In addition, some tongue drums are designed to produce very high or very low pitches, which would be difficult to achieve with a single size. Different sizes of hand drums are often used together to create a fuller, richer sound.

How do you tune a hand drum?

Hand drums are a staple of many different types of music, from rock and roll to Latin American styles. Though they come in many different shapes and sizes, the basic process for tuning a hand drum is fairly similar. Start by loosening the lugs that hold the drumhead in place. Then, use your fingers to tighten or loosen the tension rods around the circumference of the head. As you tighten or loosen the rods, you will notice that the pitch of the drum changes.

Conclusion

The best hand drum for you is the one that meets your needs and fits your budget. There are a variety of hand drums available at different price points, so be sure to do your research before making your purchase. Also, keep in mind that some drums come with a limited warranty, while others do not. Be sure to check the warranty before making your purchase.

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