Best Steel Tongue Drums

Whether you’re a professional musician or a total beginner, some instruments can transfer your mind in a fraction of a second. 

A tongue drum (sometimes called a steel tongue drum, tank drum or hank drum) is a kind of idiophone musical instrument (instruments that make sounds out of the substance’s vibration without the need for membranes, external resonators, or strings).

It’s a melodic musical instrument well-liked for its soothing tones and ease of play, which no special skills exist. With the numbers of tongues or slats equivalent to the total of notes this can create, anyone can grab one and begin to play right away. 

You may use an empty gas tank to make a steel tongue drum. The tank is turned over, the base is removed, and around seven or ten tongues are carved radially in the tank’s base, making the object’s top. You could also utilize a new, empty tank head to make steel tongue drums. 

The manufacturer usually tunes the tongues by changing the length of the incisions or putting weights on them, which are usually neodymium magnets.

The steel tongue drum is commonly tuned to the pentatonic scale, but you may also adjust it to chromatic, diatonic or any other combination of notes that the builder desires. Either mallets or fingers are used for the instrument to be played. The tone has a bell-like quality to it. 

Tongue drums come in various tones: minor, major, Akebono scales, pentatonic, and so on. It might be tough to pick between all those scales since all of them sound great, but you only have one choice.

Therefore, purchasing a tongue drum needs to be done with careful consideration since this instrument will be with you for years to come unless you decide on throwing it out. So, it’s always better to do your research well enough to be sure you’ll enjoy the scale you chose and won’t regret it following a few months of performing it on the tongue drum.

Perhaps you don’t realize that performing an instrument can also be a form of meditation, especially if done with intention and improved with time. Sound healing practitioners, music therapists, and schoolteachers use steel tongue drums.

Other equipment, including singing bowls, gongs, tablas, chimes and didgeridoos, can be used with tongue drums. They also work well alongside other pieces like the n’goni harps, harmoniums and tanpura.

Best Steel Tongue Drum Picks

REGIS Steel Tongue Drum 8 Notes 6 Inches Chakra Tank Drum Steel Percussion Padded Travel Bag and Mallets Lavender
This steel tongue drum is composed of alloy titanium steel and is handcrafted by artisans. The drum’s body is large and spherical, and the sound of the tongue on the drum’s surfaces is formed like lotus petals.

It blends cutting-edge design, fine craftsmanship, audio theory, a basic form, and portability. A tongue drum is just a percussion tool that uses the sounds of the tongue to reverberate throughout the mouth.

This steel tongue drum has a gentle, lyrical tone that is highly consistent. You can experience relaxation and delight from the heart with the airy, clean, and soothing drum sound. The tongue is throbbed with drumsticks. You can strike a lovely beat after understanding the basic rhythm. There is no sophisticated music theory framework; everything is basic and straightforward. The 6-inch metal drum features an 8-note programming C key.

The sound is clear and beautiful, allowing both beginners and professionals to play a wider range of music. 

The hang drum has a lovely sound, calm, moderate loudness, a classical and relaxing melody to alleviate tension. You could apply it for concert accompaniment, music enlightenment education, spiritual rehabilitation, and yoga meditation. To gradually calm down. Music sheets, Drumsticks, travel bags, sticky notes, and finger cots are among the steel drum set’s accessories.

Pros

  • Lovely sound, calm, moderate loudness, a classical and relaxing melody
  • The sound is clear and beautiful

Cons

  • You will need to know the basic rhythm already
8 Notes 6 inches Steel Tongue Drum Musical Steel Drum Percussion Instrument with Drum Mallets Carry Bag (Purple 6 inch)
Musfunny 6-inch steel tongue Drum is composed of greater quality alloy steel, has a beautiful, finished surface, and is corrosion-resistant. The tongue drum’s bottom has a unique shape that permits it to emit a pure, wispy, Buddha-like sound.

The conventional C key and eight-note mouth drum has a wide spectrum of sounds and can be performed with mallets as well as your fingertips, making it suitable for even the most inexperienced musicians.

Under the mallets, the sound will be more piercing, clean, and ethereal. You may obtain the perfect sound by keeping the mallet at a third of its length and tapping the centre of the tongue head.

If there is any “noise” while you play it, it is most likely due to wrong tapping.

Meditation entertainment, musical instruction, percussion performance, and yoga are all possibilities because this drum produces clear, calming tones.

This tongue drum can ease tension and bring comfort or relaxation and serene energy into life, making it an ideal present for children, friends, and music fans. With a drum backpack and a 6-inch percussion drum, you can take the drum with you anywhere you go. It blends cutting-edge design, sound theory, fine craftsmanship, a basic form, and portability.

Pros:

  • Fine craftsmanship
  • Cutting-edge design
  • Easily portable

Cons:

  • The sound may sometimes come out distorted
Steel Tongue Drum-12 Inch 13 Note Percussion Instrument Lotus Hand Pan Drum with Drum Mallets Carry Bag
13 Notes Percussion Instrument can generate a clear, delicate, Buddha-like tone because it is formed using Steel-Titanium alloy, tightly hand-tuned and perfectly hand-cut. The lacquer finish prevents tarnishing, scuffing, and scratching. 

Experienced artisans handcraft the steel 13 Notes Percussion Instrument tongue drum. With a wide variety of musical scores and a sum of 13 tones comprised of pentatonic scales, even novices may play exceptionally beautiful music in line with the score.  

The intonation voice is either plus or minus five, so the voice is softer and more pleasant. The Silicone feet in the music book keep the 13 Notes Percussion Instrument drum in place when it’s being played. Silicone feet are resistant to shock. The tone is finer, the loudness is greater, and the tonality is more precise since the base of the tongue drum is enclosed. 

It is ideal for children’s music instruction since children will play easily and not become bored. At the same time, due to its spiritual voice, it is employed in spiritual treatment and yoga mindfulness, and it is particularly effective at calming individuals’ emotions.

Pros:

  • Wide variety of musical scores 
  • Sum of 13 tones comprised of pentatonic scales
  • Ideal for children’s music instruction
  • Effective at calming individuals’ emotions

Cons:

  • Some may find the toe to be too soft
FOUR UNCLES Steel Tongue Drum, Percussion Instrument Handpan Drum C/D Key with Bag, Music Book and Mallets for Meditation Entertainment Musical Education Concert Mind Healing Yoga (12 inch, White)
FOUR UNCLES steel tongue drum is composed of high iron and is hand-cut to perfection. This percussive instrument is phenomenal and anti-corrosion, with an outstanding polished surface. Because the stick may not always remain due to the material, two spare sticks have been produced for extended use.

The C/D key and the 8/11/13 tongues drum provide various sounds that help detoxify your spirit. The little black dots indicate the elevated notes above the number, the small dark dots indicate the lower ones underneath the number, and the unlabelled ones are just the medians.

It’s ideal for newcomers since one can practice the steel drum with the provided drum mallets or the hands, and the provided music sheets make learning and playing easier. It includes a carry-on bag, so you can carry it with you wherever you go. 

This music instrument kit includes a Drum Bag, Steel Tongue Drum, two Drum Mallets, Music Score, Drum Mallets Holder, two Spare Notes, and four Finger Picks. Bring a feeling of inquiry and uncover the inner self with all these musical components.

Pros:

  • Ideal for newcomers
  • Music sheets make learning and playing easier
  • Little black dots indicate the elevated notes above the number

Cons:

  • Drum bag may not be of high-quality
Steel Tongue Drum, AKLOT 6 inch 8 Notes Tank Drum C Key Percussion Steel Drum Kit w/Drum Mallets Note Stickers Finger Picks Mallet Bracket and Gig Bag
One steel tongue drum, one mallet bracket, six fingerpicks, two drum mallets, 1 set of note stickers, one travel bag and one music book are included in the AKLOT 6-inch 8 Notes package.

With everything in one location, you can play your steel AKLOT 6-inch 8 Notes tongue drum whenever and wherever you choose.

AKLOT Steel tongue drums are handcrafted by expert artisans who highly value precision cutting for the perfect tone, so don’t tune it until you’re certain you can do it.

Highlight stickers are included with the AKLOT 6-inch 8 Notes steel tongue drum to make playing simpler. With non-slip rubber feet for secure footing while playing.

The texture of the AKLOT 6-inch 8 Notes steel tongue drum is quite consistent, and the sound is ethereal and melodic. Purify and cure the soul and gain self-awareness and inner serenity.

This steel AKLOT 6-inch 8 Notes tongue drum is made of titanium alloy, stronger, corrosion-resistant, and more heat resistant than carbon metal. 

Pros:

  • Made of titanium alloy
  • Handcrafted by expert artisans
  • Non-slip rubber feet for secure footing
  • Sound is ethereal and melodic

Cons:

  • Carbon metal is often compared to it
Damon Steel Tongue Drum 8 Notes 6 Inches Handpan Drum Percussion Padded with Travel Bag, Music Book, Mallets, Finger Picks (Light blue)
Ironkoi 8 drum comes with a lovely tone! It’s fantastic for novices, especially youngsters.

The Ironkoi 8 tongue drum is an extremely nice-sounding instrument. Beginners can get started playing right away, thanks to the provided guide.

Children can readily appreciate the wonder of the steel tongue drum, just as they can enjoy the magic of water and wind. One wouldn’t need a highly competent music foundation to play a very lovely sound. 

The Ironkoi 8 steel tongue drum not only has a beautiful melodic tone but can also use resonance to work its magic. The steel Ironkoi 8 tongue drum sounds like someone making a ding-dong tone at a specific frequency to detoxify the mind and body, and resonant hits provide frequency meditation. As if in nature, there is true harmony. 

You may conveniently take the tongue drum for a range of activities, like arts education, mental healing, meditation, yoga, music therapy, religious events, and more, because it comes with a complimentary travel bag.

 Colours and diversity are abundant. Purple, stone green, black. Gold, blue, bronze, lake and pink are just a few of the hues available for steel drums. You’ll have a lot of present options, such as for holidays, birthdays, and other occasions.

Pros:

  • Colours and diversity are abundant
  • Complimentary travel bag
  • Beautiful melodic tone

Cons:

  • The bag might not be of high-quality

Buyers Guide: 

Cost: 

A steel tongue instrument is less expensive. Whether you buy directly from the dealer, through social media vendors, or from an online shopping group, you can still get discounts.

You may also look for a reputable website or store that gives sale deals to get this musical instrument for a reasonable price.

 Rust Resistance and Appearance: 

Steel tongue drums were constructed using a tank drum, making these instruments susceptible to rust.

Recently, manufacturers have come up with a way to make this equipment rust-free by using colour varnish and patterns.

You’ll be able to lock your musical instruments without being concerned about their surface in this manner.

However, you should keep the instrument away from damp, moist, and hot regions as a precaution to preserve its sound quality and look.

The mobility of small tongue drums is a benefit.

A tiny tank drum is easy to travel and carry with you anywhere you go. It will fit comfortably inside your knapsack if you are traveling by air, and it is significantly lightweight than larger models.

Even a mid-sized steel tongue drum might fit nicely in the hand luggage, but you must consider the added weight of roughly 4kg.

With most airlines allowing only 10kg in hand baggage and some only 7, you’d be using more than half of your entire limit. 

The variation in size will also impact the depth of each sound produced. However, the loudness produced by a few of the smaller steel drums will astound you.

Scale:

If you do not know which scale you prefer, listen to a few, and see which one speaks to you the most.

Which offers you the effect you’re looking for in your instrument? As a rule, Major scales are pleasant, cheery, or joyful, whereas Minor scales are darker, more contemplative, or solemn. This graphic is an old-fashioned guideline, but it is rather accurate.

Colour: 

You might have observed that tongue drums come in various colours like red, yellow, blue, Purple and Pink. But dark options are always better as it’s a lot more eye-catching. 

As with the previous design, you should focus on selecting a scale and key before worrying about your new tongue drum colour.

After you’ve decided on the tongue drum style you want, as well as the key and scale, see if there are any colour options available.

While they can be attractive, the primary aim of your tongue drum is to serve as a learning tool for you if you are a beginner.

Cases: 

Storage and carry cases are a wonderful way to keep your instrument safe when you’re not playing or out and about.

It’s not a good idea to keep your tongue drum inside a bag for an extended period, and it’s always a good idea to keep a moisture absorber bag inside to eliminate any extra moisture.

Sound Quality and performance quality: 

You’ll appreciate the elegance of these drums once you’ve had some practice with them. As you may have seen, these instruments have a more sophisticated appearance than their percussion relatives, the handpan drums.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q.1: Are they safe?

Steel Tongue Drums are typically safe. However, there are a few things to keep in mind if you have one or are thinking about getting one:

These Drums are hefty (10 lbs) and can inflict serious injury or property destruction if slammed. Before picking up the instrument, ensure that the hands are clean and not greasy or wet. This will assure that you maintain a firm grasp for the drum and do not knock it on something or anybody.

The supplementary magnets you purchase with the instrument don’t leave small children unsupervised around it. Magnets can get stuck in their intestines, causing serious illnesses resulting in major Operation and death.

Q.2: How Should I Look After My Instrument?

Please prevent exposure to extreme or intense temperatures for your drums, such as hot vehicles, snow, and saunas in the summer. The instrument may become out of tone if the temperature is changed rapidly.

Although your drum is quite durable, it is prone to scratches and dents if mishandled or rubbed on abrasive areas. To avoid scratches, remove any hand jewellery before playing the drum.

Don’t be too forceful if you’re using mallets to strike the Steel Tongue Drum. This can lead the tongues to flex and develop “Metal Fatigue,” causing them to lose their tune.

Q.3: What’s the Best Way to Mic the Steel Tongue Drum?

Experiment with putting the mic above or below and moving it about until you get the sound you want. For studio situations, condenser microphones are used, whereas dynamic mics are recommended for live performances with ambient noise. You’ll get a more bass-oriented sound when you set the mic underneath the drum close to the audio hole, and you’ll hear much of the mallet/finger knocks on the tongues when you position it towards the top. Explore until you’ve discovered the sound that best suits your way of playing.

Verdict: 

A steel tongue drum is an instrument that everyone should attempt to play, whether musically skilled or not. This instrument is suitable for all ages and abilities. It has a beautiful tone but is simple to play.

Unlike hang drums, it does not need years of practice or thousands or millions of dollars.

There is an ever-increasing variety of tongue drums in the market and choosing the perfect one for a novice might be difficult.

It’s a well-crafted instrument with a deep tone and great tune.

It’s set to the F dominant musical scale, a fantastic sound scale for a steel tongue drum’s undertone sound.

When it comes to style, there is no wiggle room. This simple, common-shaped steel tongue drum prioritizes functionality over aesthetics.

 Whether you buy a tongue drum from a local artisan or an internet retailer, remember that what you’re getting is more than just an instrument: it’s an opportunity to unwind or reconnect with yourself. Take up a tongue drum and begin playing right now!

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