Music is one of the most ancient forms of art in the universe. Our predecessors made instruments from wood, stick, bamboo, and even animal bones millions of years ago. We are still being inventive today and coming up with new ways to create lovely music. The steel tongue drum is one example of a recently created instrument.
The best tongue drums are percussion instruments constructed from propane cylinders that have grown in popularity since they were invented in the late 2000s because of how simple they are to play, how portable they are, and how they have a distinctive UFO-like appearance. Moreover, it has the appearance of long & rectangular boxes.
The best steel tongue drums are endearing instruments that any individual can play and can be seen in various settings, including a school, a meditation session, and a therapist's office. We have made a definitive article post of the best tongue drum for beginners, if you are new to them, to discuss & explore the constantly growing world of tongue drums & their calming tones.
What is a steel tongue drum?
The steel tongue drum, also termed the best steel drum, a hank drum, or a tank drum is a relatively modern musical equipment member of the idiophone family. An idiophone is a device that generates sound by the vibration of the device itself.
Other musical tools like the hand drum, slit, whale drum, and tambiro inspire the steel tongue drum. Since they are so well enough for yoga, music treatment, and meditation music, they are now well-known in their own right. The melody that the drums can produce is extraterrestrial, although they resemble UFOs.
A chord is made when several tongues are struck simultaneously. You can make tunes with a lovely sound by varying the notes and harmonies on the steel tongue drum. The best part is that you can create excellent steel tongue drum music with minimal to no training or knowledge of musical equipment! This is due to the unique tuning of steel tongue drums. The best tongue drum is an excellent tool for anyone looking to console, jam, express themselves creatively, and enjoy beautiful music. Most everyone can appreciate them, regardless of age.
The tongue drum is frequently referred to as a handpan for the underprivileged, although that isn't true at all.
The wooden slit drum is the foundation for the steel tongue drum. Evidence shows that several ancient civilizations, including those in Africa, the Aztec Empire, and Indonesia, invented the slit drum separately. These ancient cultures employed them for both ritual and amusement purposes. The Whale Drum, created in 1990 by Jim Doble, and the Tambiro, created by Felle Vega, were two steel tongue drums that came before the one we use today.
What to Think About - When Purchasing a Steel Tongue Drum?
The steel tongue drum is the perfect option if you are searching for a distinctive, simple, and addicting musical instrument! This musical instrument is simple to use and has various tones. The best tongue drum deserves to be known for its range of sounds, from peaceful and calming to more rhythmic and catchy percussions.
Keep in mind these three factors when buying a steel tongue drum:-
While conducting your research, you will discover that steel tongue drums come in a broad range of sizes. Begin with little models with a diameter of just 3" that fits easily in any pocket and move up to typical variants with a diameter more fantastic than four times that.
The intended application is an important consideration when choosing a size. The best tongue drum for beginners with a diameter of around 3" to 7" are great, as they fit in practically any bag or purse if you want equipment that you can keep on hand, whether in the workplace, at lunch with friends, or anywhere else. Moreover, it is best to select a standard-sized drum if you, for instance, intend to utilize the steel tongue drum for solo or ensemble performances.
The ambiance of playing the steel tongue drum is due to its tuning. One or even more scales are better suitable depending on the emotion you wish to evoke with your Steel Tongue Drum.
- Minor scales: Minor scales are often linked to feelings like tragedy, mysticism, contemplation, pensiveness, dreaminess, hope, and melancholy.
- Major scales: The best steel drum in major scales is characterized as having an optimistic, uplifting, and cheerful sound quality.
- Other scale types: Our ears are frequently drawn to the eastern and exotic sounds of different scale types and major/minor combinations.
The most familiar tune & the best tongue drum for beginners is the C major scale. The C major scale is well known to most people (C-D-E-F-G-A-B).
While purchasing new equipment, appearance can be essential to you. Every style can find a finish that suits it, whether you want solid colors or patterns, matte or glossy surfaces, vibrant or subdued hues, or simple or striking designs. The tongues can occasionally be styled and molded to create images like lotus flowers. The rope is used to embellish the sides of other drums. Drums may become simpler to grasp, but they also become more attractive even when not used.
Consider the tongue drums' pitch or regularity. There are three standard tunings: 432 Hz, 440 Hz, and 444 Hz. The lower pitch, 432 Hz, would satisfy your requirements if you were looking for relaxing or grounding tones. If you intend to perform your drum with other equipment, 440 Hz is the best option because it is a typical tuning for musicians. The higher pitch, 444 Hz, comes last. This pitch is pleasant and effective for de-stressing.
What makes the steel tongue drum at Sonodrum superior to others?
Our Sonodrum is an idiophone-family rhythmic device that generates music solely through the vibration of the substance used, without cords, reeds, or other external resonators. Our best steel drum is a very harmonious, calming tool that is appreciated for its soothing sounds and simplicity of playing. It only requires a little specialized ability or a lot of practice to play. Anyone can start playing lovely tunes using their hands or the included mallets, whether young or seasoned musicians.
At Sonodrum, we offer the best steel tongue drums, which are incredibly calming drums that assist you in finding serenity in the busy world, letting your mind wander, and exploring your internal thoughts. While playing, you can enjoy its lovely design as well. You can take your Sonodrum everywhere you go due to the addition of a chic quality carrying case!
- Handmade with the goal of perfection
Each Sonodrum is individually crafted using premium alloy steel in a time-consuming process. Then, an iridescent, highly resistant to abrasion, and lasting surface coating is applied. You can use your steel tongue drum for a very long period in this fashion. Our skilled master artisans manually tune each tongue drum to perfection to provide the calming and lovely sound everyone adores.
What's Steel Tongue Drum sound like?
How can a piece of musical equipment be so simple that everyone can play it, as some people have said about steel tongue drums? That's because the steel tongue drum typically uses the pentatonic scale! Five notes are contained in each octave of the musical scale. A scale is a group of notes with varying pitches that follow a particular pattern. Each note in the octave of the music scale matches well with the others, and you can play the notes in any order to produce a lovely tune.
In other words, making a good note or chord is possible. Even without prior musical theory understanding or playing expertise, anyone can take up the instrument and begin playing right away because each note will naturally flow together in rhythm. It is significant to note that measurements can be created for steel tongue drums. In addition to the musical scale, the most often used steel tongue drum scales are:
- Chromatic Scale
- Diatonic Scale
- Minor or Major Scales
- Akebono Scale
The chord scale is used to tune the best steel tongue drums, which have a scale with five whole parts and two half parts in every octave. A chromatic scale has twelve pitches and twelve tones. The chord scale is most close to the harmonic series known as the Akebono, which is utilized in traditional Japanese music. The instrument does not get more brutal or intricate to play since these scales have more notes. Instead, it expands the range of note permutations available to the drum.
How to Play a Steel Tongue Drum?
You can put your steel tongue drum on your lap to play it. Although it is unnecessary, some people like to utilize a stand or place their drum on a level surface. Make sure you use a stand that the designer has advised for your drum if you want to use one or play the equipment on a desk or the ground. To make it easier to play your steel tongue drum on a flat surface, some makers add their drums' rubber feet. This makes playing your drum this way simple and has no impact on the instrument's sound quality. The majority like to play the drum on their laps since it allows them to feel the rhythms of the instrument more closely.
There is a posture for performing the steel tongue drum in your lap that will make it easier. However, there is no right or wrong way to set up the drum. You can advance up the scale in a circular order beginning on the left side by putting the slowest note nearest to your body. The stickers are also useful for making songs because they make it simple to follow the score. If you are a total newbie to the best steel drum or any other musical instrument, we have put together a few pointers and activities to help you get the most out of your steel tongue drum.
What Various Purposes Does Steel Tongue Drum Serve?
The need to play a Kalimba can arise for various reasons and circumstances. It's an incredible instrument while also a means of achieving internal tranquility. You can hear a steel tongue drum's calming, ethereal sounds on your way to a jam session with buddies or a treatment course with a medical expert.
Steel Tongue drums' relaxing, serene tones are a big reason they've become so well-liked. Their gentle tunes have given them a reputation as a wellness tool. Hence, the best steel tongue drums are excellent musical accompaniments for practicing meditation. Their soothing noises produce a tranquil atmosphere. Tongue drumming and meditation together have healing effects. You must control your breathing while producing a rich tone as you play the drum. You can breathe with intent as well as play with intention.
Additionally, the sounds serve as centers of focus for your awareness, enabling you to focus while becoming absorbed in the drum's tones. Feel free to recite a mantra or sing in unison while you relax and play while you meditate. As you grow to understand yourself and the universe surrounding you better through this meditation technique, it might help you find calm and happiness. There is a ton of free steel tongue drum music online if you're thinking about using it for meditation before spending money on your own steel tongue drum at Sonodrum.
Care Instructions for Your Steel Tongue Drum
It's simple to take care of your steel tongue drum. Simple safety measures and awareness of what your steel tongue drum can and cannot accomplish are helpful. The following recommendations should be taken into account when using your tongue drum:
- Use the right strength with your palm or mallet.
- When playing, the action should come from your wrist rather than your entire arm or elbow.
- Don't use your fingers to play the tongue's middle. Instead, pay attention to the tongue's sides.
- When playing, refrain from wearing bracelets or rings.
Keep your steel tongue drum stored indoors in a secure, dry area when not in use. Tongue drums shouldn't be subjected to the elements or left outside. We strongly advise utilizing a cushioned safe carrying case while moving your steel tongue drum. If you use the case, the best tongue drum won't get scratched or dropped by accident. If a problem arises with your steel tongue drum, you must recognize it to locate the root of the issue. For instance, if a whirring noise starts to appear, it can mean that anything has become stuck between the groves.
Clean the tongue and the remainder of the drum with a large paper towel to eliminate the slits. Several things could have happened for your steel tongue drum to lose its tuning or stop being able to be tuned. Your drum can have cracked, fractured, or become deformed if you just dropped it; this would cause it to get out of tune. If that's the case, you could send the drum back to the maker for repairs, or you could have to buy a new drum.
Drums can also become out of tune due to poor playing style or playing too aggressively. The tongues can also become dented, bent, or warped if too much power is applied. Finally, all you need to do to cleanse your tongue drum is dust it with a gentle or silk cloth.
Activities with the Best Tongue Drum For Beginners
When you initially receive your steel tongue drum, you should become accustomed to it and ease with holding and playing it. You can practice the following exercises to achieve this:
- Start on the slightest note and work your way up to the highest note as you play the full scale. You can also return to the lower end of the scale when done.
- Start on any note you like, and then play every note in a circular pattern.
- Perform only the notes on the steel tongue drum's left or right side. Likewise, merely strike the top or bottom of the drum with notes.
- Make notes and rhythms. Try playing some kind simultaneously or in a certain pattern. Play around with various songs and tones.
- Look for two notes that go well together. This is referred to as a melody when it is performed simultaneously. Play the tune several times before switching to another chord.
- Try out some force. Beat the drum lightly at first, then a bit harder. Change the intensity of the force while you play.
Creativity is vital at the start! Play your musical tool, have fun, and make a lot of noise. With daily practice, you will ultimately be capable of following along with musical notation and rhythmic patterns and even coming up with original tunes!
Advanced Playing with Steel Tongue Drum
Playing the tongue drum more professionally and proficiently can be practiced once you feel more at ease. The activities listed below can be beneficial for you:
- Play simultaneously with both palms and a mallet.
- After performing notes, try reducing these with your finger.
- Consider filling the drum with something soft to dampen or shorten all tones. You can perform quicker tunes when notes don't reverberate as long.
- Online lead sheet and percussion patterns can be followed along with.
- Check out a YouTube guide video to know how to perform a catchy melody.
Steel tongue drums are lovely because of the benefits that any individual can have while performing or hearing their meditative music. When playing a tongue drum, a newbie, a dabbler, or an experienced artist can unleash inspiration, increase attention, and flush out worry and stress. Tongue drums are great for meditation, yoga practice, and emotional healing.
Whenever you buy a steel tongue drum from a local maker or an online retailer, be aware that it is more than just an ordinary instrument; it is an opportunity to unwind, enjoy, and restore contact with yourself.
Grab a fantastic deal on steel tongue drums at Sonodrum and start playing right now! Check out this gorgeous tongue drum if you want a high-quality tongue drum at a great price!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Steel Tongue Drum?
The steel tongue drum is a musical percussion equipment that has gained a lot of popularity for its calming tones and extremely simple playing style, which doesn't call for any special skills or musical training.
How Much Does a Good Steel Tongue Drum Cost?
Due to their lower price than other equipment, steel tongue drums have become more and more popular. A small steel tongue drum can be purchased for less than $100 USD, compared to a tongue drum's several thousand dollar price tag. However, unless you locate a vendor that kindly provides them at a fair price, most decent-sized, high-quality drums will be closer to $200 or $300 USD. Tongue drums of high quality often cost little more than $500 USD.
How Does The Steel Tongue Drum Work?
Each tongue plays a certain note. The tongue's weight, width, and length determine the note's tone and pitch. You must strike a tongue with your fingers, palms, or a mallet to play a note. The drum amplifies the sound and emits it through the tongues' slits.
What Type Of Steel Tongue Drum Is Best For Beginners?
While novices choose to begin with a short model with fewer tone fields to try out, more seasoned players might choose a drum with more tone fields. Moreover, you can bring Steel Tongue Drum "Standard" - 8 Tongues – C Major at Sonodrum & start your musical journey.
Is It Difficult To Play A Steel Tongue Drum?
Even without prior musical learning or playing expertise, anyone can take up the equipment and begin playing right away because each note will naturally flow together in harmony. It is significant to note that different scales can be created for mouth drums. As young children often want to put the mallets in their mouths, we don't advise our equipment for anyone under the age of five.
Are Tongue Drums Any Good?
The steel tongue drum is ideal, even if you are completely untrained in music. It is simple to pick up and play, producing lovely tones immediately. This tool really does sound amazing!
How Big is a Steel Tongue Drum?
Steel tongue drums are accessible in several diameters and chord counts. The most typical pairings are:
- Six inches with eight notes.
- Ten inches with eleven notes.
- Twelve inches with thirteen.
- Fourteen inches with fifteen notes.
What is The Purpose of a Steel Tongue Drum?
Steel pans and tongue drums are used for stage concerts and live recordings. Still, they have also grown in popularity for meditation and yoga, with many therapists complimenting the drums' soft, peaceful tones.
Who Made The Steel Tongue Drum?
The wood slit drum is the basis for the steel tongue drum. Evidence shows that several ancient cultures, including those in Africa, the Aztec Empire, and Indonesia, independently invented the slit drum. These ancient civilizations employed them for both ritual and amusement purposes.
Do You Need Help Learning The Steel Tongue Drum?
Even without prior musical theory knowledge or playing expertise, anyone can take up the instrument and begin playing right away because each note will naturally flow together in harmony. It's crucial to remember that tongue drums can be created with various scales.