Though their roots lie in world music, hand drums abound in every genre today. These percussion instruments are a great way to texturize arrangements and push yourself as a performer in new and creative ways.
Whether you're in the market for a single cajon or a full set of congas, Sweetwater's 10,000 ft, climate-controlled onsite warehouse - dedicated strictly to our music gear - ensures your instrument arrives at your door just as the manufacturer intended. Not only that, but our fast, free shipping gives you the best chance of getting your gear in time for your next session.
Here's a breakdown of the major hand drums we carry at Sweetwater. Be sure to call our resident percussion gurus with any questions. We pride ourselves in getting our customers the gear they really want, and at the best prices on the Web.
Love it or hate it, the cajon is here to stay. This flamenco and folk music staple exploded onto the contemporary scene some 20 years ago with its ability to bring drumset rhythms to a softer, more intimate stage. The cajon comes in two distinct flavors: the flamenco cajon, which has internal snares (wires) to produce a snare-like snap; and the Peruvian cajon, which forgoes the snares for a more traditional attack.
Looking for inspiration? Sweetwater's cajon accessories will keep your rhythms fresh and creative juices flowing. Pair your cajon with a specialty kick pedal and a set of cajon brushes for a busk-able drum set alternative. Add a seat or saddle for extra comfort, then toss a few specialty shakers, accessories, and maybe an extra cajon beater into any of our cajon cases for portable percussion that follows you from the campsite to the bandstand.
Desi Arnaz with the conga at his hip. Giovanni Hidalgo with the bongos between his knees. These performers and their Afro-Cuban instruments are as much a part of our musical heritage as Les Paul with his electric guitar. Though they have similar sounds, congas and bongos have some important differences. Congas are much taller, taking up more space in a room, but have the advantage of producing a wider range of tones: warm, tubby low-mids to a crisp, defined slap. The smaller bongos typically come in pairs, mount to a stand or rest on a table, and produce a sharper crack without the low-end richness. Which instrument is right for your music depends on your space considerations - both in your practice area and in your transport vehicle - and where you want your percussion to sit in a mix.
The goblet-shaped djembe, native to West Africa, is a favorite for drum circles to beach bonfires. It owes its popularity to players like Paul Simon and Incubus's Brandon Boyd, who demonstrated its conga-like slap and thunderous bass tones to a wide audience. The djembe's unique shape lends itself to an interesting stage presentation. Seated players can straddle the bowl between their knees, elevating the foot to keep bass notes pure. Standing players can rest the instrument on a stand or strap it to their bodies for maximum stage mobility. Whichever method you choose, your djembe is guaranteed to make a big splash at your next performance.
Traditional conga, bongo, and djembe heads are made of stretched, dried rawhide. For players who want the exacting touch and response of a traditional instrument, LP's rawhide heads are the way to go. But for players who tour, be warned that hide heads will stretch over time and with climate changes. Another option are our Remo Fiberskyn heads. These offer a look, tone, and texture that's similar to rawhide, but with modern convenience: easier seating and better weather resistance.
If you're lucky enough to live in the greater Fort Wayne, IN area, stop in for one of our free monthly drum circles! These are a great way hone your craft and connect with other performers. Be sure to let your Sales Engineer know if you drop by - we'd love to meet you in person.