If you want to play hand drums but don’t know what to get, here are some practical tips on how to buy a hand drum. Generally, when trying to select a drum, there are some factors you need to consider such as the following.
The Condition of the Drum’s Body:
If you are looking at a drum with a wood body, check for cracks on the drum’s body. Some drums have cracks that have been filled with sawdust and glue. While this does not usually affect the sound of the drum, the life span of a drum with cracks that stretch to the point where the skin and the wood intersects is usually shortened. However, if the cracks do not affect the sound of the drum, nothing should stop you from purchasing the drum.
The State of the Drum’s Head:
Also, it is essential to check the head of the hand drum thoroughly. The head of the drum must never be faulty. Therefore, scrutinize the drum’s head for splits, holes, and age. An old drum head needs to be replaced because the sound is not as good and it will break.
Do not forget to check for dryness as this is highly essential. You cannot tune a hand drum with a completely dried out head. You will need to add so much pressure to tune such a drum, and the head will split or crack as a result. Also, look out for dips and warps, and ensure the head is even.
Pay Attention to the Sound:
Also, when seeking to purchase a hand drum, pay attention to the sound of the drum. However, when it comes to the sound, it’s entirely a personal decision and choice. For instance, some people prefer higher pitched sounds, while others love the low earthy tones.
Hand Drum Tips:
- Experiment with the sounds of wide range of drums, including different sizes.
- Explore both synthetic and natural skin heads.
- As you tap a drum, enage your entire body in assessing the sound. Yes, your body. It’s a whole body experience believe it or not.
- Evaluate the wholeness of the sound. You will find wide varieties of sounds within each drum type. So, if your target is a djembes, experiment with the different varieties available. And if you are not sure of the sound you are getting, a better way to assess what you are hearing is to have someone else beat the drum. But, even if you have someone strike the sound for you, it is still needful to explore the sound by yourself.
Your Personal Needs:
When it comes to your personal needs, compatibility is a great feature to pay attention to when purchasing a hand drum. For instance, consider factors such as how often you will be moving around with the hand drum. Do you intend to carry it to the park and other locations often?
So, you should consider your intended playing situation (e.g. moving your musical instrument from place to place). In this case, you should seriously consider a lightweight, small drum, and the doumbek is a perfect example.
Your Choice of Music:
It will pay you off to listen to tons of music that adopt your preferred drum. For instance, if you are interested in purchasing the djembe hand drum, you will be better off listening to tons of West African music.
Today, hand drums are adopted in playing wide varieties of music.
Factory-made or Hand-made?
You will obtain different sounds and feelings from a factory made drum or hand made drum, so experiment with each one to determine what suits you most.
When you experiment with natural drums, you will discover that fluctuations in temperature and humidity influence the sound.
The wood type of drums feel real and tend to emit a level of energy with the animal skin feature. On the other hand, a good number of drummers would rather go for synthetic hand drums. The reason is simple; only minimal tuning is required when a synthetic hand drum head is involved.
In addition, the synthetic options are not impacted by the weather. Besides, synthetic drums are usually lightweight, making them easy to carry from place to place.
Popular Types Of Hand Drums.
Here are the most popular hand drums on the market. Each one has it’s own unique sound and the hand techniques can be used in a similar way on them (many kit drummers don’t use proper technique and play them more like a drum kit, using single and double strokes with their hands. This is fine, even though purists sometimes scoff at this):
There are other drums to consider as well, including bongos and tablas. There’s also lesser known types like the Brazilian Pantiero. However the top three are the Conga, Djembe, and the Doumbek according popularity.
As mentioned earlier, your choice of drum type depends on the style of music you intend to play, including how the mobility factor. Your local music store can also assist you in making the right choice of hand drum. Ask them any question boiling in your mind about the drum.
Step into the hand drum market boldly with these tips in mind as you shop for a hand drum.