29th Oct 2014

What to Expect When Buying a Drum

Learning to play a new instrument is always exciting. When the time comes to buy a new instrument, being sure that the instrument is the best fit is vital to the experience of playing music and adds motivation to continue to learn and grow as a musician. Ask any musician, drummer or percussionist how he or she feels when an instrument isn’t “right,” and it is clear to see that when buying a new drum, the decision is ultimately about the connection to the instrument, and not necessarily the visual impact or expected sound, tone and timbre of the drum.


For drummers, there are more drums available than ever. Drums are found in standard drum sets, Latin drum sets, jazz drum sets and many other “a la carte” combinations therein. Hand drums and percussion are as vast and varied as the lands from which they originated. Since an instrument is an investment that will bring experiences of joy for years to come, trying out different drums and hand percussion instruments can be a great way to get a feel for the various options.

Different drums are typically used for different styles of music, or in different venues, so this can be an important factor when making a decision about which drum to buy. In terms of hand drums and percussion, the popular choice is the djembe drum, with its presence in drum circles and drum jams, as well as in educational settings.

The cajon is another drum that’s gained popularity in recent years for its portability, link to Afro-Cuban music and ability to replicate an acoustic drum set sound. Congas continue to be a standard hand drum, as well, in Latin music and for those who enjoy polyphonic drums and rhythm. The same can be said for bongo drums, as both types of hand percussion instruments have multiple drums that are tuned to ensure a melodic rhythm.

Of course, then there are frame drums, tablas, taiko and hang drums, just to name a few more!

There should never be an expectation when buying a drum, aside from the enjoyment of the experience itself. The connection a drummer has to his or her own instrument is vital to the whole process of creating rhythm, and with the right connection, that rhythm is nothing short of beautiful.

What did you expect to find when you bought your first drum? Tell us below!