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Best Bongos

Hand drums are found in the heart of any latin music. It is an easy instrument to learn and there is almost always a place for one in a song. But which part of the world you are in, could influence what it is you will be using. There are drums like the djembe which originated in West Africa. Generally they are tuned by ropes that hold down the animal skin across the frame.

 

Djembes

Djembes

There are also the Cuban conga drums which are played as pairs. They have a large wooden frame with a single head, and generally, they have metal clamps to hold the skin down. These are one of the most common drums when it comes to latin music.

 

Conga Drums

Conga Drums

There is also the bongo drums, which is what we are looking at in this article. Bongo drums originated in Cuba and have been part of the soul of their music ever since. Bongos have 2 drums, the smaller one is the hembra (spanish for female) and then there is the larger one, the macho (spanish for male). Generally the sizes for these are either 6” and 7” or 7” and 8 ½”. I got some of this great information from the guys over at X8 Drums, and you can read about what I found and more in this article.

 

Bongo Drums

Bongo Drums

Best Bongo Drums

LP Galaxy Giovanni Series

Price (before shipping)- $359.99LP Galaxy Giovanni Series

LP- Galaxy Giovanni Series (natural/chrome)

LP, or Latin Percussion, makes amazing hand drums. Whether they be bongos, congas, or even cajons, they make some amazing sounding instruments. This pair in particular are fashioned with North American Ash and chrome hardware.

Head Sizes

Shell Head
7 ¼” 8 ⅝” North American Ash

Rawhide

 

Meinl Percussion HB100

Price (before shipping)- $99.99

 

Meinl Percussion HB100

Meinl Percussion- HB100MA (Walnut Brown)

Meinl is another drum brand that has made its own waves in the percussion world. They are known not only for their amazing drums but also their cymbals. With this one, there are multiple color options as well as a few material differences. There is an acrylic option as well as plastic available for those who like those sounds better.

Head Sizes

Shell Head
6 ½” & 7 ½”

6 ¾” & 8”

Maple

Rubber Wood
ABS Plastic

Acrylic

Buffalo

 

LP Bongo Cajon LP1429

Price (before shipping)- $57.99

 

LP Bongo Cajon LP1429

LP- Bongo Cajon LP1429

For those of you wanting to completely diversify their sound, there is the bongo cajon. These have a fully wooden head rather than any animal skins or synthetic materials. They give almost more of a slapping sound than regular bongos that would work great in certain songs. To know what I mean you can watch this clip here. I know of some percussionists who just outright prefer the feel of wood over that of skins when playing with their bare hands.

Head Sizes

Shell Head
L- 15 ¾”

W- 7 ½”

Para Wood

Para Wood

 

LP Aspire Series Havana Cafe

Price (before shipping)- $139.99LP Aspire Series Havana Cafe

LP- Aspire Series Havana Cafe

LP is here yet again with another great set of bongos. Overall, I like the look of these the best. However, if the price is too steep there is another version (different color and wood) that is $89.99. It is the LP Aspire Series LPA601-AW.

Head Sizes

Shell Head
6 ¾”

8”

Oak

Rawhide

 

LP Uptown Series

Price (before shipping)- $249.99

LP Uptown Series

LP- Uptown Series (sculpted ash)

Last but certainly not least is the Uptown Series. I love the sound of them. These are actually one of my favorites in sound. There is a video you can watch here that shows the sound of thes bongos played by a professional.

Head Sizes

Shell Head
7 ¼”

8 ⅝”

Sculpted Ash

Rawhide