Bongos are popular Afro-Cuban percussion instruments used in many musical genres. Usually consisting of two hand drums with open bottoms, they are fairly easy instruments for anyone to learn how to play. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re an experienced drummer, we recommend these bongo drums.
Choosing a Bongo Drum
There are many bongo drums to choose from. Keep some of these considerations in mind when buying your set:
- Size: Bongo drums come in varying sizes. For a classic sound, opt for 6- to 8-inch drums. However, for smaller hands or a West African style drum, you can choose a smaller option.
- Material: The heads of bongo drums are typically made of natural skins. Some common types are cow, buffalo, or goat, but synthetic skins are also available.
- Features: For a more customized playing experience, you can look for a bongo drum stand, carrying case, or specific drum set color and design options.
Best Overall: MUSICUBE Bongo Drum Set
This 6- and 7-inch drum set delivers a great tone with authentic natural skinheads. It features a well-designed construction for excellent hardware that has a black powder-coated and natural glossy finish. Plus, it comes with a tuning wrench and meets Forest Stewardship Council certification requirements to ensure an environmentally friendly playing experience.
MUSICUBE Bongo Drum Set, 6” and 7” Percussion Instrument, Wooden and Metal Drum for Adult Kids Beginners Professionals with Tuning Wrench
This drum produces a lively tone and a good mix of melodic options.
Best for Travel: RockJam Bongo Drum Set
The RockJam traditional wooden bongo drums are available in two design options, including natural or red and natural stripe. These drums provide great tone and superb construction since they are crafted from wood and fitted with 7- and 8-inch cow skinheads. They come complete with a tuning key and robust black bag with a carrying strap, so you can always play on the go.
RockJam 7" and 8" Bongo Drum Set with Padded Bag and Tuning Key, Natural
This drum features chrome fittings for aesthetic appeal and added durability.
Best Design Options: Meinl Bongos
These Meinl bongos are available in eight design options, including black, transparent, maple, and wine red burst, among others, and at 6.5 and 7.5 inches. They offer durable synthetic shells with hand-selected buffalo skinheads to create a classic sound that delivers consistent resonance, projection, and warmth. They have black powder-coated steel rounded rims, which sit lower than traditional bongo rims and feature a rounded edge for comfort to offer you control so that you can avoid harsh or unwanted contact with the rim as you play with your hands. The set also comes with a tuning wrench.
Meinl Percussion Bongos Hand Drum Set 6.5" and 7.5" with Synthetic Shells and Tuning Key — NOT Made in China — Journey Series, 2-Year Warranty (HB50BK)
These bongos come equipped with soft rubber feet for safe storage and playing on smooth surfaces.
Best for Kids: Remo Bongo Drum
Remo’s bongos, featuring a kid-friendly design, offer a way to add the unique flavor of bongos to your child’s drum circle, classroom, or other musical experience. Its synthetic head guarantees it won’t fluctuate in pitch with temperature and humidity changes, and it’s constructed for holding up to heavy use.
Remo RH-5600-00 Rhythm Club Bongo Drum - Rhythm Kids, 5"-6"
These drums are 5 and 6 inches in diameter to fit smaller hands.
West African Style: B.N.D TOP Djembe Drum
The Djembe wooden drum is suitable for decoration as well as music. It is made with high-quality mahogany, 100% genuine goatskin, and a braided rope handle. It’s offered in three different sizes (4×8, 6×12, and 8×16 inches), so it’s great for kids and adults.
B.N.D TOP Drums Djembe Drum Djembe jembe is a Rope- Goat Skin Covered Goblet Drum Played by Hands West Africa Style (4x8)
This goblet-style drum comes with a rope handle.