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Best Instruments for Drum Circles

Best Instruments for Drum Circles

Published by Kristin Stancato on 29th Oct 2014

Djembe for a drum circle The fun and magic of a drum circle can be seen in the joy on the faces of everyone who attends. These community based drum jams allow each person to feel as a part of the whole experience, while still allowing for self-expression through both rhythm and the instrument chosen to play.

Drum circles combine the best of all worlds: music, drums, hand percussion instruments and even chanting and dancing. For many, however, including the best instruments for drum circles is part of the process of self-discovery, and with each new discovery, the rhythm is enhanced.

Hand drums are always a part of drum circles. These are typically considered the best instruments for drum circles, as they are the most favored by participants who want to make their own joyful noise. Hand drums for drum circles include:

  • Djembe drums
  • Ashiko drums
  • Bongo drums
  • Conga drums
  • Cajon drums

While the hand drums may be some of the best instruments for drum circles, it is not uncommon to see drums and instruments that use sticks, mallets or brushes mixed into the beat. These popular drums and instruments for drum circles may include:

  • Frame drums
  • Drum tables
  • Djun djun (or dun dun) drums
  • Snare drums
  • Cuica drums
  • Marimbas and xylophones

When it comes to hand percussion instruments for drum circles, each year brings new and exciting additions to the sounds and styles available. When searching for the best instruments for drum circles, never forget the tonal depth possible through accent percussion such as:

  • Maracas, rattles and shakers
  • Guiros
  • Claves and wooden blocks
  • Cabasas and shekeres
  • Kalimbas (thumb pianos)

Whether your drum circle is just forming, or, you are looking to encourage a whole new sound in the mix, introducing more drum circle instruments is always the best way to go. Not only can each person discover a new passion for percussion, but, each instrument has its own lessons to teach and vibe to add into the drum jam.

What is your favorite, "go-to" instrument at a drum circle? Tell us in the comments below!