A steel tongue drum (also known as steel tongue drums, flash drums, or tank drums) is a wonderful instrument that produces some of the most beautiful sounds you have ever heard. And to play it, you don’t even require years to train or big money to get one.
I’m passionate about the steel tongue drum because it is an instrument that creates connections between people and helps build an atmosphere within a vibrant community.
What Is A Steel Tongue Drum?
A steel tongue drum also referred to as a steel drum, is a simple percussion instrument that features the idiophone group. It produces some of the most beautiful sound instruments you have ever heard. The steel tongue drum is a melodic percussion instrument highly regarded for its relaxed sound and ease of playing, not requiring special skills. Anyone can easily pick one up and start playing with it. The number of reeds or “tongues” equals the number of notes it can produce.
Is Tongue Drum a percussion idiophone?
Tongue drums are percussion instruments of the family called percussion idiophones. And so you know, idiophones are musical instrument that produces their sound through the vibration of their sound material. This means it does not require strings or membranes of external resonators. You can play with them using a hammer or your hand on the vibrating metal.
What is the best steel tongue drum?
The steel tongue drum is one of the most melodic percussion sound instruments you will find on the market. And for this reason, it has been highly appreciated for the relaxing sound notes it produces and how easy it plays. You don’t require any particular skills or techniques to play the steel tongue drum instrument. It is something just anyone can pick up and begin playing.
6 Best Steel tongue drums Reviewed in 2023
As a melodic percussion instrument, steel tongue drums are highly regarded for their relaxed sound and ease of playing, not requiring special skills.
Anyone can easily pick one up and start playing with a steel drum is definitely something you need to try out. And it doesn’t matter whether you have a long experience in music or not. It is not an electronic instrument. It is mechanical, yet it is quite epic.
My passion inspired me to write a guide on steel tongue drums. And perhaps you will find one right for you in the reviews that follow.
The Guda Drum Freezbee is a tank drum with some unique features that separate it from many other tongue drum instruments. Instead of beginning entirely practical, this one has added an aspect of beauty.
The designers used a lot of effort and time to create beautiful circular patterns on this tongue drum steel. They have also included a beautiful rope decoration than makes it look amazing.
But that is not all. It offers an exotic scale too. You can say it is a great combination of beauty and quality sound.
The styling inspires its sound notes. It is tuned in what they call the ‘Arcane’ scale, which produces a unique sound expression. It is particularly useful for orienting sound and such styles.
The Beat Root Multi-Scale steel tongue drum is one of the best choices out there. It has an incredible tuning system that allows players to choose between six varying pentatonic scales.
As stated above, this is a revolutionary steel tongue drum. It uses a base cut and magnet to change the pentatonic scale.
Also, it features a built-in microphone and a ¼-inch jack connection. Hence you can use it with an amp for live shows or for recording.
It comes with impressive sounds and overtones. Also, its looks are quite attractive. The producers have included a high-quality carrying bag.
Consider this item’s versatility if you don’t want to sell your steel tongue drum every time to get another. The built-in piezo microphone lets you use an amplifier.
You can do so much with this instrument.
Asmuse Steel Tongue Drumrepresents the best balance between quality and price. It is a beautifully created drum that offers a reach tone with quality tuning.
It is tuned to the F major pentatonic. It does not give you as great versatility as the Beat Root above, but it sounds wonderful for the overtone of a quality steel tongue drum.
This offers a great styling choice. It is a traditionally shaped steel tongue drum focusing more on functionality than visuals.
Apart from the quality, it also comes with several accessories. They include a pair of rubber mallets and a beautiful carry bag. This carry bag and mallets are of top quality.
Who doesn’t know Pearl in the music industry? The brand Pearl drums have become a household name due to the quality of the drums and accessories they produce.
I wrote a guide on the best Pearl steel tongue drum. You should absolutely check it out!
They don’t only produce acoustic drums and percussions, but steel tongue drums too. Considering the company’s reputation, you can expect the best from this steel tongue drum.
It is crafted from sterling steel and carries nine tones/tongues. It is the Lydian mode that separates it from the rest.
And if you are unfamiliar with music theory, the Lydian mode is a great example of how much difference you can make with one tone. Even though it is set on a major scale, it has a raised fourth degree, which adds a special taste.
This moukey tongue carries a total of eleven tones of D major. It comes with a versatile tuning that will meet your drumming needs. And this versatile key lets you play along with popular music.
At ten inches, it is relatively large; hence you can expect a strong output. Also, it comes with mallets. Hence, you can use these mallets or rely on your hands.
You will love its great sound. It is among the most popular option in the market today. And the fact that it is highly affordable makes it a great choice altogether. The whale drum, invented by Dennis Havlena, creates an amazing sound.
If you are looking for high-quality steel tongue drums for yoga meditation, then this choice is for you. It is handcrafted in Russia, and it comes bearing premium quality steel.
But most importantly, its sound notes characteristic is incredible. It may sound almost like some hand drums sound.
The D Celtic Minor key offers excellent tones. It is perfect for more traditional and spiritual sounds.
Apart from the excellent sound, you will be impressed with the craftsmanship that created it. It looks very impressive and sounds even better. And thanks to its slightly distorted shaped and attractive tongue pattern, you will enjoy playing these tongue drums.
The only limitation may be its price. But if you consider its quality, then it will all make sense.
These tongue drums are very popular with many enthusiasts. It is truly and value-for-money product.
How to Choose a Steel Tongue Drum?
What Are The Differences Between A Hang Drum And A Tongue Drum?
There is no denying that the timbre of steel tongue drums is similar to that of Hang Drums. And it is very easy to confuse these percussion hang drum instruments. And some people have even failed to tell the difference. But there is something that sets them apart – the manufacturing process. Hang drums are produced by hammering.
In fact, the steel tongue drums are also called ‘hand drums,’ a name that comes from the combination of ‘tank drum’ and ‘hang drums.’ Hand drums are very expensive, making them rare – they are not even mass-produced. You must sign a waiting list and wait for months before getting hung drums. On the other hand, products like the Beat Root tongue drums are readily available for purchase.
Tongue drums, especially steel tongue drums, are a fantastic addition to any percussionist’s collection. They offer a unique and versatile sound that can fit into a wide variety of musical styles and genres.
If you’re looking for high-quality tongue drums that are perfect for serious musicians and those who just enjoy playing drums for fun, I highly recommend Beat Root tongue drums. With excellent sound and build quality, the Beat Root tongue drum is a great choice for anyone looking to expand their percussion instrument collection.
This post is also available in: Italiano