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The Best Tongue Drums for Relaxing Percussion

Close-up with the hands of a Caucasian musician playing a modern hand pan steel tongue drum percussion instrument in a green forest near a lake.
Gabriel Pahontu/Shutterstock

Are you feeling stressed or burnt out? One way to relax is to listen to music, but it can be an even greater joy to play the music yourself. The tongue drum is one of the best instruments to enjoy while doing yoga or practicing meditation due to the melodious tone it creates. The percussion instrument is relatively easy to play compared to other instruments and produces a distinct, mellow sound that can instantly calm your nerves — anyone can play the tongue drum and enjoy themselves. Here are some great tongue drums that we recommend.

What to Look for in a Tongue Drum

Here are some differences between tongue drums that you may want to consider before you make a purchase:

  • Size: Tongue drums can range from large sizes to small sizes, from foot-long diameters to ones half that size. While larger drums provide more room to play and better accuracy, smaller drums may be more suited for children or on-the-go play. Before selecting a size, you should know that larger drums are likely to produce better depth in their sound than their smaller counterparts.
  • Key and Range: While instruments like guitars and pianos can be played in virtually any key and have access to a very wide range of notes, tongue drums are different. These drums are configured to a specific key in their design and offer a limited number of notes. However, a small number of notes can be an advantage for beginners, especially for a beautiful sounding instrument like this. The key of the instrument can impact the emotions you feel during play. The key of C is a common scale that elicits happiness and joy, for example.
  • Craftsmanship: Tongue drums are crafted with different materials and cut with different designs. The type of material used in a drum can affect its resonation and durability. The design, however, is a personal preference and does not affect its sound quality or performance.

Best Overall: FOUR UNCLES Steel Tongue Drum

A green tongue drum with thirteen notes played by tapping with two hands.

This steel tongue drum from FOUR UNCLES is one of the best combinations of sound, craftsmanship, and playability that you can find. The 12-inch drum offers 13 tones and produces a high-quality ethereal, relaxing tone in the key of C or D. Along with helpful numbered notes, the drum also provides an indication for low, medium, and high notes with black dots above and below its numbers. The hand-crafted instrument also comes with a variety of accessories, including a carrying bag, two sets of mallets, fingerpicks, and a music score.

Best Overall

Best for Travel: REGIS Steel Tongue Drum, 8-Note 6-Inch Drum Set

A small tongue drum with eight notes played with finger picks.

Lugging around a big, bulky tongue drum is definitely a tough task. If you’re looking for a compact, portable tongue drum, this one from REGIS is your best bet. It’s a 6-inch tongue drum with eight notes available to play in the standard C key. Additionally, the set also provides drumsticks, a music score, a carrying bag, and finger accessories for your use. Whether it’s at a yoga session or during meditation, this tongue drum is your best portable option that also offers the melodious sound you are looking for to create music on the go.

Best for Travel

REGIS Alloy Steel Tongue Drum 8 Notes 6 Inches Chakra Tank Drum Steel Percussion Padded Travel Bag and Mallets (Navy)

This 6-inch drum provides eight beautiful notes that can be created with either finger picks or drumsticks.

Most Accessories: Yinama Steel Tongue Drum Percussion Instrument

A brown tongue drum with eleven notes played with ring-like finger mallets.

Mallets, stickers, picks, a music book — you name it, this set has it. Everything you need to start playing as soon as possible is included with this tongue drum from Yinama. You will get two sets of drum mallets and note stickers, eight picks, a music book with instructions, and a carrying bag along with the instrument itself. The 12-inch drum offers 11 notes in the key of C, each tested with high-quality resonance and accuracy. It’s hand-crafted with a steel-titanium alloy in a lotus flower design.

Most Accessories

Yinama Steel Tongue Drum Percussion Instrument 11 Notes 12 inches

The drum includes two sets of mallets, picks, a music book, and more.

Also Consider: ANCROWN 13 Note 12 Inch Steel Tongue Drum

A navy front-facing tongue drum with twelve notes along its edges and one in the middle.

This steel tongue drum from ANCROWN is designed with 13 notes in the key of C. Each of the notes on this 12-inch drum has high-quality resonation and is pre-tuned. The drum is made with durable carbon steel and has a protective layer of rust, wear, and scratch-resistant paint. Along with the drum, you will get drumsticks, a drumstick stand, six finger accessories, a music book, a carrying bag, and note-labeling stickers. Personalize this steel drum to your style with one of the six color options.

Jonah Chin Jonah Chin
Jonah Chin is a freelance writer for LifeSavvy where he's able to openly share his thorough product considerations, critiques, and recommendations for you to benefit from. When he's away from the keyboard, he enjoys competing in sports like wrestling and playing instruments like the guitar. Read Full Bio »
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