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Also known as hank drums or tank drums, steel tongue drums are a recent addition to the percussion instrument universe. Many musicians are still trying out new possibilities with this instrument because steel tongues have no wrong musical notes. They’re easier to play as well, and if you know how to play a single percussion instrument, then learning steel tongues isn’t going to be a challenging task for you.
We have listed some of the best steel tongue drums of 2021 for you to choose from.
Our Best Tongue Drums – Reviews and Comparisons
1. Luvay Steel Tongue Drum
You can find products of the Luvay brand in any store around the globe. They really deserve your love for their 6-inch steel tongue drum.
- This lightweight buddy is made with corrosion-resistant paint coated with steel-titanium alloy. However, because of constant usage, it can get scrapped, but thankfully, due to the coating, it’s not easy to happen.
- This drum’s tuning is standard C, and all the notes are numbered (you cannot use the stickers), so when you start, you won’t get lost.
- You get a set of mallets, a beginner’s guide, note stickers, and a set of 4 fingerpicks, in addition to the drum.
- These make it very simple to begin learning the technique of fingerplay without losing the brightness of the voice, so we highly recommend it for beginners.
- A soft cloth pouch is the last accessory. It’s good enough to shield the instrument from scratches.
What We Like About Luvay Steel Tongue Drum
As for an inexpensive beginner-level method, the sound quality is very good.
What We Don’t Like About Luvay Steel Tongue Drum
This drum does not come with a carry bag.
|Durable black finish
Ideal starter kit (comes with fingerpicks)
Good sound quality
|No carry bag|
2. Lomuty Steel Tongue Drum
Lomuty is a brand named specifically for tank drums. They specialize in the manufacture of percussion instruments, and they are about the only commodity they sell (apart from singing glass bowls). Without a doubt, Lomuty is truly a specialist in their art. They specify that each of the drums they put out to sell is lovingly handcrafted.
- From such enthusiastic individuals, you cannot and should not expect a low-quality product. The brand totally meets the highest expectations: with every entry in this chart, the 12″ Lomuty Steel Tongue Drum is on par.
- In the C major scale, the producer carefully tests the intonation of not only the tongues on their own, but also the resonance of each chord. This aspect makes it possible for this percussion to generate clean and pure intervals that do not cancel each other out, but rather enhance and support the sound they jointly produce.
- As a consequence, you get the incredible C major scale combination tones with which you can experiment and explore to the disdain of your heart.
- A fairly interesting feature added to their percussion by Lomuty is that each note is tuned according to a different reference pitch: 432 Hz.
- Music, in fact, is only a mathematical relationship between different pitches at its core (notes). So, there are some relationships that sound amazing, which is why we use them. All the music you hear in your life: it’s mathematically tuned to a precise reference pitch-440 Hz on the radio, in the movies, in your favorite songs.
- On the other hand, tuning to 432 Hz is a recent finding, and it is speculated that all of the notes in this tuning have simpler and purer relationships because of it. They are thus transcendent, profound, and sound more mysterious. You would have to verify for yourself whether there is a feasible difference since this is an unbelievably subjective stage.
- The tank drum itself, a pair of drumming mallets, a book with music, a carrying case, a set of picks, and a set of note stickers are what you get when you buy Lomuty Steel Tongue Drum. This percussion’s enchanting sounds would be amazing for all sorts of groups, drumming circles, as well as meditative purposes.
What We Like About Lomuty Steel Tongue Drum
What is not arbitrary is that this percussive instrument’s manufacturer says that to alter the tuning, you should modify the 11 tongues located on the drum. Any other traditional tuning, such as Pythagorean tuning, 11-TET tuning, or common 12-TET tuning, can be employed. Now it’s true freedom of experimentation, you can even build your unique tuning. If you are not a music nerd, however, be advised, you may not have a lot of success with producing a good tuning tone.
What We Don’t Like About Lomuty Steel Tongue Drum
The only downside of this drum would be that it is quite expensive.
|Easy to change the tuning
Ideal for gatherings, i.e., parties and drumming circles
|Can be correctly used by music geeks mostly
3. Rakumi Steel Tongue Drum
The Rakumi is a maker specializing in the manufacture of intricate metal artifacts. From earrings and glockenspiels to, of course, tank drums, they do everything. All of these products require great precision in both the manufacturing process and the quality assurance process.
Moreover, a wrong fraction of a millimeter here or there, in essence, will make the whole instrument sound bad and unpleasant to play. All musicians should accept that a low-quality instrument cannot sound well, not even the greatest of players.
How exactly does the Rakumi Steel Tongue stand out from all the other drums in the tank? The Rakumi Steer Tongue Drum has thirteen distinct tongues. These tongues are all tuned to the C major scale already described, so, except for two, almost every note gets a double. If you think why anyone would need two notes of the same tone, then your way of thinking corresponds to that of the Rakumi folks.
- First of all, the style of the lotus flower is nice: all the tongues of the drum resemble the petals of the lotus flower. Besides, the palette of colors available contributes to the natural aesthetic. The paint is a solution based on water, meaning it is totally environmentally friendly.
- This piece of percussion is much larger than all the previous tank drums that were included on the list. It results in a deeper, deeper sound coming from each note played. A bigger form factor also contributes to a higher number of tones available.
- There is a slightly different timbre to each doubled note that neatly parallels the other unison when the two are played together. The notes sound amazing on their own: a well-rounded chiming sound and the overtones and harmonics that are produced in the process are literally stunning when the notes combine.
- The sound that this percussion piece creates is enormous. With its powerful tone, it easily fills a very wide room. To really grasp how amazing it sounds, you need to hear this tank drum for yourself.
- This percussion piece is very heavy, being 12′. As compared to previous entries on the list, traveling with it is not as comfortable or convenient. If you are not going to move it too much, it is best to purchase this percussion piece. If you want to use it just for your meditations or mind healing sessions at home or if you are a specialist in the field, this drum would be great if you want to create a meditative state for an entire community of people.
- The carrying bag is also exceptional: it has the most convenient silicone paddies to make it easier to transport (as much as it is possible).
What We Like About Rakumi Steel Tongue Drum
Two drumsticks, one holding a drum case, a music book, and four-finger sleeves are what you get with the Rakumi Steel Tongue Drum. Rakumi cares about its users, so they’ve added finger sleeves to cover your fingers when you’re playing drums without drumsticks.
What We Don’t Like About Rakumi Steel Tongue Drum
Rakumi Steel Tongue Drum is quite pricey and not highly portable.
|Amazing finger sleeves
Comfortable carry bag
Extremely rich and resonant
Ideal for big spaces
4. Ulalov Steel Tongue Drum
Ulalov is a dedicated manufacturer of steel drums with a very limited lineup of drums but provides outstanding cash value.
- A robust titanium-steel alloy with a silicone-sealed bottom is made of the brand’s 12-inch 11-tone instrument.
- It sounds very ambient and ethereal, while the amount of peak volume is greater than that given by most competitors.
- The drum is tuned to the regular C scale and comprises 11 tongues (CDBEFGABGAC).
- 2 pairs of mallets and a stand for them are included in the pack, where you can put one pair while using the other.
- The attack brightness of both mallets is different, allowing you to be more flexible and sound softer or a little louder if you like.
- To play with both hands and train your finger technique, you obtain 2 pairs of fingerpicks. Even if you have no idea how to apply these tools, everything is very clearly stated in the manual.
- As a beginner, you can practice the placement of the notes using the note stickers as well.
- Finally, the drum comes with shoulder and hand braces in a sturdy waterproof cloth case.
What We Like About Ulalov Steel Tongue Drum
If you’re a musician already, and that seems too little to you, don’t worry. This is a professional-grade tongue drum, and inside such a short note diapason, it will impress you with a range of sounds you can make.
What We Don’t Like About Ulalov Steel Tongue Drum
The drum might develop scratches if not handled carefully.
Loud and clear sounds
Removable Silicone bottom
Waterproof bag with 2 straps
Two pairs of mallets and fingerpicks
|Not stainless, so protect it from developing scratches|
5. Niome 12 Inch Steel Tongue Drum
The Niome tongue drum is yet another high-quality product that provides you with all the required core qualities and has a bonus with some special colors.
- You can find all of its specifications to be on target with this tongue drum. It has a nice shape, good colors, a nice quality of sound, and a lot of notes.
- It plays on the C Major scale at 432 Hz, which enables you to easily play several different common songs.
- The tongues are significantly smaller than the other drums since the drum has so many of them. This implies that to get the correct tone, you will need to be more precise. Especially because, to get the best resonance, you need to strike the tongue in the middle.
- However, you will also be able to perform those tasks with mallets. Luckily the drum actually comes with 2 mallets, a backpack to comfortably place the tongue drum next to the mallets, and a music book to easily hang on the instrument.
What We Like About Niome 12 Inch Steel Tongue Drum
This drum is available in Malachite Green/Black/Brown/Green/Red/White/Gold/Light Blue/Navy Blue/Purple. If you are a fan of a certain color, you have the option of choosing a tongue drum of that color. So you can definitely go for this one. Moreover, it’s got everything else you need in a tongue drum, the colors are a bonus.
What We Don’t Like About Niome 12 Inch Steel Tongue Drum
The tongues are comparatively smaller and require more precision.
|Impressive sound quality
A good number of notes
Includes a mallet
Includes a handbag
|Small tongues that need more accuracy|
Rakumi Steel Tongue Drum is the best tongue drum according to us. With 13 distinct tongues and thoughtful finger sleeves provided by Rakumi, we think any drumming enthusiast will love this model. However, if you’re looking for a more portable tongue drum, then you can choose from the other models we have mentioned.
We hope our review on the best tongue drums helped you make a wise choice.