Learning to play the bongos is an exciting and fulfilling adventure. 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 hand while being held between the knees. The hembra, or larger drum, is usually held to the right, with the smaller drum, the macho, to the left. Depending on usage though, there are stands available for mounting bongos for use when standing or as part of a larger drum set.
To start learning the game, you can use virtual bongo drums and view lessons on the channels of Youtube. When you realize that you really want to play real bongos, the next step is to purchase a suitable bongo set that is durable but affordable.
There are several brands of bongos to choose from, each with its own sound and personality. When buying bongos, drummers often get what they pay for; if the drums are played out for any amount of time, then there is an additional will to invest in something better than the basic offer. It's hard to say which bongos will be right for a budding drummer. Considerations such as the drum sink and head materials, the size and overall quality of the tool, all factors in the original bongo purchase.
Bongo Drum materials
Bongo drums are made all over the world, so the materials used vary greatly. Different materials will change not just the pitch of the bongo; it will also change how the note is sustained as well as timbre. Primarily bongo shells are wood, but are also available in fiberglass or metal, while the heads, normally made from rawhide, are also available in synthetic materials.
Bongo Drum Sizing
The size of a set of bongo drums depends on the drummer's preference. Smaller the heads emit a higher pitch. Larger bongos have a beautiful lower range that small sets can't achieve. However, a small set is recommended for a beginner helping the drummer focus on learning technique before working with a larger array of notes.
Bongo Drum Quality
The quality of the bongos will most likely determine the drummer’s long term happiness. A low-quality bongo set will have a head that is stretched and tacked into place, eliminating the ability to tune the instrument. A high-quality bongo set will have a snugly fitted tuning ring and adjustable steel lugs. Mid-range drums often sport aluminum hardware, which may or may not hold up to repetitive use. Regardless, when selecting bongos in any price range, it is important to make sure the tuning ring does not gap out from the drum shell as this will affect the sound of the drum.
Bongos are the most popular hand drum and come in a variety of materials, sizes and quality ranges. While 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 very beginning of a journey that can bring creative fulfillment and rhythmic joy, leading them into drumming adventures beyond expectation on stage, at a drum circle, or even while sitting on a couch.
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