A Brief Guide Into The Different Kinds Of Drums
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A Brief Guide Into The Different Kinds Of Drums
Basic Drum Lessons, Drum Classes For Beginners

A Brief Guide Into The Different Kinds Of Drums

The musical drum family is made up of an assortment of elegant and distinct variants.

Depending on the occasion or event, there will be a specific drum set that’ll truly shine when the time is right!

Drums have come a long way, and some types are conventional and archaic. Today, there are modern drums for every kind of occasion out there.

As you are taking basic drum lessons in Singapore, you need to know the different types of drums you will play. Even if you are going to start with the standard type of drum set in the beginning – being aware of the variety will help you explore various drumming styles you may want to take in the future.

And behold the list of the most popular types of drums!

Hand drums

It is as it says – no use of sticks, mallets, hammer or any other type of beater. You only get to use of your own bare hands to create music.

Conga

The conga drum is a classical percussion instrument that also goes by the name, Tumbadora. It’s originated from Cuba and is a tall, narrow, and single-headed drum.

In the past, most people would only play a single drum – but now, it’s a lot more common to play two or three drums together.

It’s able to play all sorts of sounds from the open tone – a clear, resonant tone with a distinct pitch, the bass tone – producing a low muted sound, to the slap tone – a loud and distinct ‘popping’ sound.

Bongo

Some drums come on their own but for this drumming style; you’re going to have to work with a pair.

These drums have Afro-Cuban originality and comprise of different sizes of open bottomed drums. In Spanish, the smaller drum is known as the macho (male) while the bigger drum is known as hembra (female).

Together, the duo produces high-pitched sounds as compared to conga drums. You may have seen Bongo drums in a band or during a concert or orchestra performance.

Frame drums

Described as a type of drum with a drumhead width larger than its depth – it is none other than frame drums! Typically the single drumhead comprises of rawhide or man-made materials.

It’s known to be the first skin drum to have been created; earning its title of being one of the most ancient musical instruments around!

Bodhran

Known as the iconic Irish drum – this drum ranges from 25 to 65 cm in diameter. Meanwhile, its sides range from 9-20 cm deep, and also features a goatskin head.

A Bodhran is made from a round wooden frame, embellished with synthetic or animal skin stretched out across the top. There’s a special type of stick known as a ‘tipper’ that is able to rhythmically beat the skin.

It makes a ‘dull’ and ‘hollow’ sound and is mostly used in Irish music.

Dayereh

Take one look at Dayereh and you’ll think that it’s only cut out for classical music; however, that is not true at all! It’s also suitable for popular music as well.

It’s a type of medium-sized hand drum with jingles. It originates from Iran and is made by attaching a skin cover onto a wooden ring using cloth ties and glue.

Unlike a Bodhran, a Dayereh produces loud, rapid, and sharp sounds by striking the edges and hitting the centre of the drum. Its sounds are phenomenal and it stands out as a solo instrument.

African drums

Street performances, television, drum circles – you’ve probably seen African drumming somewhere before! There is quite a variety of drums out there but we’ll narrow it down to a couple and help you be more familiarised with African drums.

Djembe

If you’re interested in taking up African drumming, you must have heard of the Djembe at least once in your lifetime.

It is a skin-covered goblet drum that you play using a rope tune. For you to play this unique instrument – all you need are your bare hands.

These days, Western music has been making use of this instrument and is seen on many modern artists such as Paul Simon. Despite its size, it is versatile and can produce loud sounds – starting from low, medium to high pitch by using three basic sounds – bass, tone, and slap, respectively.

Ashiko

This drum takes the form of a tapered cylinder. It generally has a goatskin hide and is made of a hardwood material.

It is also considered as a ‘talking drum’ as its long ropes fixed on the head to the drum makes it possible for the drummer to change the pitch of the drum by playing with the rpes.

The sounds produced by an Ashiko is similar to a Djembe but some percussionists have said that it has more ‘middle tones’ in comparison to the Djembe.

Drum set

It’s in a league of its own (for its diversity of drums), and it has to be the most popular variant available today when it comes to drum classes for beginners.

Otherwise known as a drum kit or a trap set – it is a collection of different drums put together to produce varied tunes. You will almost find a drum set in all the events that you attend.

As shocking as it sounds – the entire set of drums needs only one player to control. It may sound a tad tough, but once you’ve got a hold of it during your drum lessons – you’re going to rock the stage!

These are only a few out of the many drums out there! By now, we hope you have a better idea of the different drum family members.

Although learning with a drum set is what is commonly seen when attending drum lessons – we hope we’ve opened your eyes on the world of drums. There’s more than meets the eye and once you get the hang of a standard drum – you can take your drumming skills to greater heights by exploring other drumming styles!

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