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A Beginners Guide to Bongos

Published on 06/11/2012

  • A Beginners Guide to Bongos

Learning to play the bongos can be an exciting and fulfilling adventure. Bongos are the most popular hand drum and come in a variety of materials, sizes and quality ranges. These drums might be small in size but the music you can create with them is anything but tiny.

Consisting of two drums joined in the middle, bongos are usually played by the hand whilst being held between the knees. The size of bongo drum you choose depends on the drummers preference. Smaller heads emit a higher pitch sound. Larger Bongos have a beautiful lower range that small sets cannot achieve.

Bongo drums are made all over the world and materials used can vary greatly. Different materials will not only change the pitch of the bongo; but the quality of the sound and how long the note is sustained. Mostly bongos shells are made of wood but also come in fibreglass or metal. The heads are normally made from rawhide but can also be made from synthetic material.

The quality of the bongos will most likely determine the drummers enjoyment of the instrument. A low quality set will have a head that is over stretched and tacked into place, eliminating the ability to tune them. A high quality set will have a snugly fitted tuning ring and adjustable steel lugs.

Whilst bongos have been around for hundreds of years, they are still an important sound in music all over the world today. Beginner bongo players are poised at the beginning of a creative fulfilling journey, whether it be in school, at a drum circle or on stage.