Don’t worry, you don’t need your tongue for this but feel free to stick it out while playing on this drum.
A tongue drum is somewhat of a recent invention (Somewhere in 2007 to be exact).
It is based on a classic German instrument called the hang drum which has these dents around them.
These “dips” in the round metal frame are referred to as tongues.
A steel tongue drum creates really soothing sounds and the best way to compare it would be to think of ‘soft’ trance melodies.
It’s actually a pretty cool instrument.
You know that wonderful relaxing sound you hear in those documentaries about the Bahamas or the Caribbean?
Well those are produced on steel tongue drums.
Now don’t get confused, these are completely different than your typical drum set.
However, they serve the same purpose and that is to create “candy” for your ears.
You can also tune most steel tongue drums in various scales. All you would need is a bunch of magnets. Of course that depends on the type of steel tongue drum you have (The ones with the holes in the middle) but that’s the general idea.
Here are the best steel drums for beginners. Each steel drum here comes with it’s own pair of mallets (Drumsticks for a tongue drum) if you may so you’ll be up and running in no time. Not all of them are tuneable (As they are pre-tuned) but for beginner such as yourself, that shouldn’t be an issue.
Luvay Steel Tongue Drum
Now this steel tongue drum by the Luvay comes with a nice little case, couple of mallets so you can get started right away and a few other things. 10 inches wide in size overall, which is fairly common size for most steel tongue drums.
Although a quality product, if this is your first time using a steel tongue drum, you might get quite frustrated in the beginning.
That’s because there’s a certain way to play a steel tongue drum. You don’t just bang away on it. Although you are more than welcomed to play it using just your hands. Most people who received the Luvay steel tongue drum, really appreciate the fact that it’s tuned to the key of D. Seems to work for most people.
There is one disappointment that a lot of people seem to agree on and that it doesn’t come with finger picks. I really think the Luvay team should remove those images.
It just gives the reader the impression that they might be part of the whole package when they are just outright confusing. Finger picks are used for guitars right?
Overall, this little drum steel tongue drum produces great sound and is liked by most.
Moukey Steel Tongue Drum
This is another 10 inch steel tongue drum that is actually handcrafted.
So you know you’ll be receiving something very special.
It comes with 8 notes, and a whole bunch of other things.
If you’re a beginner this is one of the most light weight steel tongue drums out there. Highly recommended by intermediate tongue drummers and newbies alike.
One thing they can improve on is the cheap case it comes with. Moukey, please make it half decent in the future.
At the very least . . .
Richday Mini Tongue Drum
What do people want a steel tongue drum for? Well it’s all about those melodic tones. There’s just something so special about the music created by these incredible steel drums that soothes your soul. As far as the Richday mini steel tongue drum goes, it doesn’t disappoint.
At least that’s the verdict by most of the people who have had the pleasure of playing it. It comes with 11 tongues, produces deep sounds and is considered on of the best steel tongue drums for beginners.
One word of advice for the Richday team . . . can we have the songbook in English as well?
Unless that’s just part of the allure of getting this tongue drum, a songbook in English would be quite helpful.
ShengTang Steel Tounge Drum
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The tongues on this steel drum are cut by a lasers so you can bet your bottom dollar the sound is as precise as it can be. This steel drum is handmade so almost every one of these Shengtang steel tongue drums are unique in their own way.
As far as steel tongue drum brands go, this one is preferred by yoga instructors and other teachers of the holistic arts. Anyone can get it but these two specific groups really love the brand.
This one comes in two sizes. Your standard 10 inches and 12 inches as well. The ShenTang steel drum is very well liked by most users (Especially kids). Comes with a pair of mallets too
Aikeec Steel Tongue Drum
Here we have Aikeec and their 10 inch steel tongue drum. An all metal construction, this one is hand made as well.
Tuned to the key of D as well, the Aikeec steel tongue drum actually comes in 10 different color choices. I think out of all the instruments that we have reviewed on this site, nothing comes with 10 color choices.
What a great and fun feature indeed.
As far as the sound goes, The Aikeec tongue does a decent job there as well and seems to be appreciated by the majority of people who have used it.
Muslady Steel Tongue Drum
This unique steel tongue drum comes in three different colors. Golden, black and silver. Included also are a pair of mallets, a note stick and a carrying bag.
Great Sound overall nice solid construction but just like another steel tongue drum package here on our list, they kind of screwed up but adding songs in a non-english song book. Not to sound ignorant or anything but Muslady can sell so many of these if their song books were in English. It’s actually constructive criticism that we’re giving them.
I think they can really expand their market if they start making those song books in English. besides that little gripe, you got a really great instrument on your hands.
Idiopan Domina Steel Tongue Drum
Another quality steel tongue drum and this one actually comes in four sizes. In 6, 8, 10 and 12 inches. This specific model is the 12 incher. It comes with a pair of mallets and like most steel tongue drums, you can play this beauty with you hands as well. What’s really cool about the Idiopan tongue drum is you can tune it yourself. The way you do that is by placing magnets through the hole and playing around with it until it’s tuned properly.
Now for the main event . . . the sound created by this tongue drum is loved by pretty much everyone who has tried it. This Idiopan Domina steel tongue drum just might be one of the best sounding drums on this list.
Meini Sonic Energy Steel Tounge Drum
Unlike most tounge drums, the Meini Sonic Energy steel tongue drum is tuned to the key of A instead of the usual D.
Apparently, some people find this type of tuning even more relaxing like lying in a secluded part of the amazon jungle.
Mallets are included in this package and a pretty decent carrying case as well.
Overall, a solid high quality product that actually comes with a 2 year warranty. Now that says a lot.
Asmuse Steel Tongue Drum
This tongue drum has 8 tongues and is tuned to the key of F major pentatonic scale. If you know your scales, than you know exactly what I’m talking about.
If you don’t, feel free to learn about them here. Another 10 inch sized tongue drum that even kids seem to like more than usual.
Good quality construction and you guessed it, comes with a pair of mallets as well. Most report lots of resonance in the sound so for an instrument like this, it’s usually a great thing.
Pearl Steel Tongue Drum
You know Pearl is one of the best when it comes to making drum sets and drum thrones but we had no clue they were making steel tongue drums as well. I mean this is great news for all music lovers alike.
This bright red 10-inch Pearl steel tongue beauty has 9 tongues and is quite lightweight when compared to the usual steel tongue drums.
For most people who have tried other tongue drums, are completely blown away by Pearl.
Don’t be surprised if these guys take over the steel tongue drum market as well.
By the way, there have been reports of receiving ‘faulty’ tongue drums by these guys.
We’re going to assume that these are just entry level troubles for Pearl but it’s something you should be definitely aware of.
Muslady Steel Tongue Drum
This 10 inch wonder comes in two great colors, black and gold. They refer to the gold color as ‘Dark coffee’ but isn’t that black in the first place?
Anyways, we get it.
Nothing wrong with putting a little spice on your marketing but if you create a good product (Steel tongue drum in this case), you shouldn’t have to worry about it that much anyways.
Unfortunately, we can’t say this steel tongue drum qualifies. It might be good for just show but if you do plan to play regularly (Just for the soothing sounds and all), then we can’t recommend this wholeheartedly.
Sounds pretty good with the mallets but when you use your hands, it’s just doesn’t seem as good as most of the tongue drums on our list.
- wikipedia, Steel tongue drum
- youtube, The Original Propane Tank Hank Drum – by Dennis Havlena
- oddmusic, Hank Drum
- tongue-drum, Discover tongue drum origins
- foundmusic, How to Build a Hank Drum