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Looking to buy some hand-drums -- $200CAD to spend

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Aaron Saunders, Oct 9, 2004.

  1. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    I'm selling my amp in a few weeks for $200. I was originally going to put it towards a new amp (Yorkville XS400), but my mom decided to spring for the last bit.

    Anyways, over the last couple weeks at school, I've taken a real affinity to hand drums of all shapes and (most) sizes (we've got congas, two djembes, and a set of bongos there) that I've been in contact with. As a result of the jamming that has come of me on congas/djembes/bongos with someone on acoustic guitar, etc. etc., I've come to really love the sound it gets accompanying other instruments, as well as the multitudes of different sounds you can get with one good hand drum and good technique.

    What I'm asking of y'all here, are good brands I should check out and what drums I should look at getting. I like a really deep sound, so I'm not looking for anything REALLY small (like, 3 inches across) or really big (portability is a factor here). I'm thinking some bongos at the moment, as congas are whallopin' big and a djembe (as I saw today) would eat up almost all of my funds -- plus, I already have regular access to two djembes at school.
  2. :cool:

    Check out this site, there are video clips of Daniel Peralta's instruction.

    Especially the clips of conga and bongo :cool: .

    I own a djembe and bongos, wish I had more time to play them. Learning proper technique is imperative, you can really hurt your hands if you hit incorrectly. When buying hand drums, I don't recommend buying online. You have no way of really knowing how the drum is going to sound and respond to you. Shop around in music stores, pawn shops, etc. and when you find the right drum for the right price (or even if it's a bit more than you wanted to spend) get it and don't look back.

    I've passed up opportunities for bongos that felt and sounded perfect to me, and bought slightly cheaper ones instead. Oops - please don't make this mistake.

    The bongos I have are LP Aspire, paid around $67 U.S., they are well made but don't have 'the sound' or just don't respond how I'd like. When I played a pair of Toca fiberglass drums, holy wow - I was in love with them. Hope to sell my LP's for the fiberglass Tocas one day

    Djembe was actually something that my wife discovered. we were in a music store and she hit a djembe and was very intrigued by the sound, we shopped around for the best sounding djembe in town and we found it. It's a hand carved shell with goatskin and string tension. Hitting near the rim gives a brilliant, crisp 'ping' and the bass tone in the center is like a mad subwoofer. Most people are amazed at the sound of this drum. We paid $350 for the djembe (ouch) but the thing sounds like magic.

    Congas are probably my favorite sounding hand drum, hope to own a pair (conga / tumba set) and have lessons one day.

    Bongos will be the most portable obviously, but won't give you deep sounds like a djembe or tumba (large conga).

    Of the ones you played at school, do you remember what brands they were, if they had fiberglass or wood shells, and synthetic vs hide heads?
  3. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    All of the heads are synthetic Remo heads. I played on a hide djembe for the first time today, it sounded great, but I'd prefer not to use hide. I'm pretty sure they're all wood shells, but I haven't checked the inside of the congas (they've got a solid black finish, all the others are natural).

    I'd really love to have a set of congas, but yeah...they're just too big right now, and I have regular access at school (like, everyday type regular). I am now seriously considering dropping it all on one nice djembe, and got a reccomendation for a store today from my guitar teacher.

    The reason portability is an issue is because when I'm going to record, I'll be using all of my own stuff except for guitars (I've got the green light on using an electric and two acoustics that belong to guys in the program when I need them). That means a two basses, my backpack, and now hand drums (I'm gonna leave the amp at school the night before). One djembe isn't a problem, and a set of bongos isn't a problem, but congas are -- and congas are generally pretty expensive (a half decent set seems to run far enough above my budget that they've been earmarked for a later date, and quite simply not at this point in my life).

    Thanks for the reply bimplizkit, great post. And yeah, I've learned basic proper technique -- there were several djembe method books where I take my lessons one night and I got there really early, so I read a bunch of the basic technique stuff in 'em, and one of the teachers taught us in class basic technique.
  4. Agree about the price and portability of a pair of congas. It's a big commitment.

    Did you try the drumrhythms.com link? Try clicking the Djembe lab 1 & 2 courses (or any others), it should give an option to view a video sample in Windows Media Player.

    Good luck on finding your drum, and learning. Keep me posted :cool: .
  5. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Thanks, I will :D. It'll be a bit of time before I can get it, 'cause I have to sell my amp first (which'll be in the first week of November or so) so then I can have the money to get one.

    I checked out the link, really cool resources. I'm also pretty lucky that one of the two teachers in the program (part-time professor, leader of two big bands, our jazz band, a quartet, and regularly gigging/recording musician) has a drum circle thing with existing drummers in the school and is very welcoming to newcomers (I actually sat in with them on bass the first day).
  6. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    WOOO! Good news -- I might be getting some paying gigs doing some blues stuff soon, so I might be able to get some good bongos AND a good djembe. I...am happy.