If you are going to play percussion instruments or just drums, cowbells are one of the best ingredients you will add to your performance.
And they are just ‘cowbells.’
A little like a triangle. And this is why many people often make fun of the instrument.
Some thought you just need to hit the instrument and not think much about it.
If you are one of them, know that you are very wrong. There is so much to playing cowbells than just how they look, or how you use them.
You have a better understanding of how hard a cowbell can groove for those who play Afro-Cuban and Latin-American music.
These instruments will add a more serious rhythm structure to any song you play. Besides, it forms a great addition to any drum setup.
But choosing the right cowbell may be a little bit hard too. This is why I will be compiling a list of the 10 best cowbells you will find out there.
What is the history of cowbells?
No matter the music you play: Salsa, Son, Rock, or any other rhythm, cowbells can sweeten things up a little bit more.
Before we continue, let’s learn a bit about the history of these instruments.
Cowbells originate from an obvious source – cattle. It is not clear why and how people started using them as musical instruments, but they have been around for quite some time.
What we know, however, is that the first appearance of the cowbell was with Afro-Cuban music. It came as a little, simplistic instrument, yet one that makes the songs so much better.
And little by little, the instrument has gained popularity with other forms of music.
Its virtual popularity with almost all genres of music, more specifically rock, makes them very important.
The best cowbells reviewed
As stated above, there is a wide range of products on the market today. Go online and search ‘cowbells,’ you will see a long list of products with different offers.
This makes it harder to choose, especially if you are a beginner. But don’t worry, the list below has all the best cowbells you may need to make your music life much better.
LP Black Beauty This product is on top of this because I have been using it, and I know how good it is. LP Black Beauty comes as a high-pitched, affordable cowbell.
It is one of the best and more popular cowbells on the market today. I have never come across any negative reviews about it, which I think is very important.
The product is available on Amazon in two sizes; 5 inches and 5.5 inches. The larger ones are called Black Beauty Senior. They gave out louder sounds and tuned a full note below the normal ones.
Steel Cowbell with Handle and Antique Copper Finish
Here is another product that I have come to really like. The 7-inch cowbell is made from pure still and has a handle for easy carrying.
The antique copper finish is not only a thing of beauty, but it enhances its sound too. The clapper is made of zinc, making it even more unique.
If you are looking for durable and loud-toned cowbells, this should be a good option. It features a solid build that ensures it serves you for a long.
It makes a loud sound and can be heard from far.
I have an issue with its packaging, though. You will need to look for a more reliable seller.
Cowbell with Stick Grip Handle
Are you looking for a cowbell that helps you cheer louder in all events? Well, look no further.
This cowbell is designed to give the loudest sound for any function. It comes with a stick grip handle bell.
The cowbell is perfect for those who may have a hard time making up their minds. It comes in different sizes to help you choose much faster.
The handle makes it easy to hold.
If you are playing with other percussion instruments, you can easily hand it on something and continue enjoying the rich tone that comes out.
Many users like that it comes in many colors and sizes.
Pearl PCB6 Primero Cowbell
Pearl is a company with a good reputation for making high-quality drums and percussion instruments. And their PCB6 Primero Cowbell tells it all.
This is a high-quality item with an authentic sound that will take your music to another level. It measures 6 inches, and it’s designed for professional musicians, bands, and choirs.
It is one of the most recommended products on the market today.
The cowbell uses an Argon gas welding method that makes it extremely sturdy and durable. This extends to its superior quality of sound and tone that makes it perfect for any music.
However, you may have to spend a little bit more than normal. It’s worth the price, though.
Meinl Mike Johnson Signature
When it comes to making cymbals and cowbells, Meinl is among the top brands. And their Mike Thomson Signature cowbell is a good example of what the company has to offer.
You may have come across the Johnsons’ channel for those who learned and improved their drumming skills through YouTube videos.
He is also the owner of a drum school in Sacramento, CA. His famous short YouTube videos have been very helpful for many drummers, and have gained a lot of fame.
He thought about developing this cowbell to create something dedicated to the drum set. In his videos, he says that he failed many times to obtain the desired tone, which led him to design a custom cowbell.
And he does this by adding two ‘mutes’ to the bell creating a real customizable tone.
These cowbells come with two magnetic mutes for changing the tone and unique brushed vintage finish.
Vango Steel Cowbell
Are you looking for a generic and cheap cowbell that sounds great? Here is a good one.
The cowbell comes with everything you need to start playing right from the box. You will not have to spend more to buy other gear.
First, it has a mounting bracket, which makes it easy to mount with other instruments. This also means it is meant to make your drumming a lot easier.
It also comes with a drumstick. You may already have your drumsticks, but there is nothing wrong with having an extra one.
And the best part is that it comes in five different sizes. The smallest one is four inches, while the largest is 8 inches.
However, like many other cheap products, it may not be the most durable cowbell. Nevertheless, you can count on good service.
LP Standard Agogo
Agogo cowbells are not exactly cowbells, but they are played the same way. I wanted to include it on this list just to show you how many options you have in this industry.
The instruments originate from West African but have gained a lot of popularity from their use with Brazilian samba famous groove.
Therefore, if you are looking to try agogo, then check out the LP Standard Agogo. They are the most sold agogos on the market right now.
One thing I love about the items is their simplicity, yet ability to produce incredible sound. You will not even tell the difference with regular cowbells.
LP Standard is one of the biggest percussion instrument makers in the world. This is why you can trust their products for a rich sound.
LP Ridge Rider Cowbell
Yes, LP again!
This company has been on the market for quite a long time now, creating high-quality percussion instruments for all types of music. Hence, it is natural that they will pop up often when you talk about different instruments.
For cowbells, every product they bring out is well designed to offer services beyond expectations. And it is what you get with the Ridge Rider.
This is one of the strongest cowbells you will ever have. It is openly directed at rock drummer’s accessories. It features a plastic piece to dampen the sound and prevent dents from heavy hitters.
You can be sure that this cowbell will get you where you need to be. You can hit it as hard as you want, but it will never disappoint.
Playing Latin music may require a very sharp attack and the brightest sound. On the other hand, rock bells need to blend in, which makes this little plastic piece the ultimate choice.
This piece may look like nothing much from the first glance, but once you get it in your hands and start playing, you will realize it’s worth it.
The only issue is that you will not feel the sound playing it with other genres of music.
Meinl Russ Miller Signature Cowbell
Allow me to add another Meinl product to this list. This brand has invested a lot of time in research and innovation to create the perfect solutions for modern musicians.
The Meinl Russ Miller Signature cowbell is an incorporated ‘dampening mechanism’ that allows the user to precisely choose how much sustain the want out of the cowbell.
For many cowbells, you just play, and any sustain that comes out is what you get. You do not have a chance to change or make custom sounds from them. This is why this cowbell makes a lot of senses, and features among the best.
Besides, it is designed with sturdy material to withstand heavy hitting for a long time. Its sound is very precise, making it a wonderful choice for those who need more focused sounds.
One good consideration when choosing a cowbell is the brand. And in this, there may be no one better than Meinl.
But this cowbell may not be the cheapest option for those with a tight budget. I would suggest you look for something more affordable from the list above.
Harbor Freight Steel Cowbell
And to close this list, I thought of adding a steel cowbell, for variety. The Harbor Freight cowbell allows you to create a unique and distinguishing sound to echo your performance.
This percussion instrument is built with steel in an antique copper finish. Its texture shows a rugged and rough surface that reveals the creation of a genuine cowbell sound. You can tune tit for loud and low tone as you wish to create a perfect blend.
It also comes with a handle for easy use. This makes it a multipurpose instrument too. Whether you need it for drums, sports activities, home, ranch, or farm, this cowbell does it all perfectly.
And despite its vast application, it is very affordable. You can count on its amazing quality and function.
Generally, this is a good cowbell. However, it is not the best quality.
Best Cowbells for Drummers Buying Guide
If you are still not convinced about the product mentioned above, don’t worry. There are still a lot of other cowbells you can use. Just be sure to put the following considerations in mind.
- Use. Cowbells can be used as musical instruments or just for making noise. You need to know exactly how you are going to use them. The product reviewed in this article is all for music. There are also cowbells made for kids. Therefore, if you are an adult, do not assume that what is applicable to you will also be good for your child.
- Features. Cowbells come with different features. First, there is a size consideration. The best size is between 4 inches and 8 inches, depending on your needs. And there is construction. Most cowbells are made from iron and finished with bronze plating. There are a few made from copper, or a composition of the metal. Most modern ones are made from high-quality zinc alloy and plated with a chromed surface to resist corrosion.
- Prices. Cowbell prices depend on the manufacturer and the build quality. This means you will have to dig deeper to get the best quality and sound from your cowbells.
When choosing cowbells, there are a lot of things to look for. The main one for me is the brand. And in this case, I would highly recommend the Meinl cowbells reviewed above.