8 Great Drums For Drum Circles

Posted by Mike Schumacher

So, you have finally made a choice to join a drum circle with a friend. You’ve been to the place and fell in love with the rhythm, the ambiance, and you were even able to try out a couple of drums and hand percussion instruments that you had never seen before.

You don’t entirely know why but you understand you need to go back again, and again.

But you don’t have a drum and you want to get in the loop to what people are using at these circles!

There are many great hand drums offered today from significant manufacturers as well as custom made instruments. 

While rate and cost is always a factor to consider when choosing a drum circle drum, the toughness and quality of the instrument should be just as essential. 

Nobody wishes to invest money too much money on a drum that may only be used for drum circles. But we know that the more you invest the better the build quality you will get, and the more excited you will get to play a great instrument.

The drum you choose is an extension of yourself and your love of rhythm, so choose wisely!

Some people choose bongos while others enjoy something simple like a shaker, all personalities are welcome!

Should I be thinking about cost?

When selecting a drum circle drum, always keep the entire financial investment in mind. If you haven’t entirely fallen in love with the instrument ask your friends if they have one so that you can try it before you buy.

From there, you definitely want to get a good quality instrument even if it means spending a little extra money. Why? Because the build quality is especially noticeable when you are transporting it and using it on the weekends.

What will be your choice of drum then?


The djembe, a big goblet-shaped drum, is believed to have originated amongst the Mandinka people of West Africa. 

It has acquired fantastic appeal in the West just recently, as it’s a really dynamic drum efficient in a wide variety of tones from deep thumping bass to resoundingly intense, high slaps. 

The loud volume of the djembe permits it to cut through loud blends, and it is likewise easy to carry around.

Djembes are usually had fun with the hands, although they’re sometimes played with one hand and one stick. 

Here is one drum designed by a very reputable company called Remo:

Resultado de imagen de Remo Designer Series Key-Tuned Djembe

The Remo Designer Series Key-Tuned Djembe comes in a variety of sizes and interesting exotic finishes. The artificial head and tuning system implies you can handle any weather condition or musical setting while enjoying its robust and broad sound combination.


The Udu is a clay, pot-shaped drum that is played with one hand while moving the other hand over the hole, yielding an amazing series of sounds.

This drum is from Nigeria and was played by the Igbo people.

Slit Drum

The slit drum, likewise called a log or tongue drum, is a wooden drum with cut-out surface areas.

When you strike it with a mallet it that produces various tones and can be very melodic as well as percussive.

Variations of this drum are found in many parts of Africa and can look extremely different from one another.

Gonkogwe Bell

The Gonkogwe bell from Ghana is a big, two-toned bell that’s had fun with a metal or wood stick.

This is the cousin to the Agogo bell, whose origins go back to the Yoruba villages in west Africa. 

These are very fun to play! We play them with a stick or mallet in a very energetic and rhythmic way.

Listen to the way this bell sounds in the song “Love Rollercoaster” to hear how this sounds.

Darbukka (Goblet drum)

Goblet drum 01.jpg

The Darbukka is a goblet-shaped that is used in the middle east. It is similar to the Djembe in that you play it with your hands and can get a number of different sounds just from hitting the top of it with different parts of your hands.

Hit the side of it with your fingers and you will get a high-pitched slap, meanwhile hitting the center with the palm of your hand produces a low dark tone.


Resultado de imagen de cuica drum

Cuica is a Brazillian drum that relies on friction from a thin bamboo rod to make a sound. 

The stick is fed through perpendicularly into the head on the top of the drum, and it is played by rubbing the stick with a moist cloth to alter pitches. 

The company LP (Latin percussion) makes a Brass Cuica that produces a series of squealing, roaring noises. 


Resultado de imagen de congas

Congas are most likely the best-known Latin hand drums. These are quite big, so carrying them to a drum circle might not be the most practical, however, they are just as loud as a djembe and are extremely fun.

These drums are of Afro-Cuban origin and originally were made with calfskin heads and constructed with wood staves. 

Today congas might use shells made from either wood or fiberglass, normally outfitted with artificial heads. 

Hand pan

Resultado de imagen de hand pan

A hand pan is a name for a type of melodic drum that you can play on your lap, and which produces spacy, reverberating metallic tones.

You play it by flicking your thumb against the different flat areas on the drum and it produces long mesmerizing tones.

All the tones played are in an open scale—so you can’t hit a wrong note, but you can make some very hypnotic, meditative melodies that will make you the life of the drum circle.

Final thoughts

If you are still looking for more ideas about drums you can take to drum circles check out our other article: 8 Very Cool Drums That You Can Play With Your Hands (and that you might not have heard of)

We also have another piece detailing the health benefits of hand drumming, which only should give you more incentive to get on your drumming quest as soon as possible.

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