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How To Choose The Best Drum For Parties

Author: Robert Gombos

When you’re going to a party you want to light up with music, what instrument should you take? A hand drum seems the most versatile solution, being an energetic and easy to carry instrument. But what is the best drum for parties where you are invited and ready to play? Here is what to consider. In short, a hand drum (or a pair of them) will be the best option, but there is still something more to it.

What Type of Drum?

While there are many varieties of hand drums, not all of them are made equal. Some are designed to be a part of a band, some are meant for professional musicians rather than for people having fun at parties, and some are just made for other purposes. If you are not coming there to play all night as a professional, you better not think of drums keeping you too busy.

If your party is going to be rather meditative and contemplative than about dancing and rocking, you can consider a steel tongue drum. Still, this instrument, as great and unique as it is, will not suit just any party. Steel tongue drums create atmosphere rather than energy, so if your party is physical rather than spiritual, the one with a steel tongue drum will feel out of place.

A cajon? A great option in terms of sound and energy, especially if you play it well. But cajon is jealous. It will keep you focused and busy, and its appearance and sound will separate you from the rest of the party. It’s okay if you give it just a little time but bringing a cajon can be complicated. So, it’s the option if you love playing it really deeply.

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So, what’s the best drum for parties? Everyone may have their views, but, as for us, the best option is a pair of congas or bongos. A djembe would also do. These drums are quite self-sufficient, with them, you’ll be able to fill the room with sound and energy, and – the most important – they won’t separate you from the rest of the party. You can sit among the others and play these drums as you communicate, making a background noise or rocking the party.

How to Rock a Party With a Drum

If you are the only musician at the party, prepare to be at the center of attention. It may take you some time to tune up both your instrument and yourself. Don’t hurry, take your time. Even warming up can be rather spectacular. And as you start playing, you’ll spread your vibes around, so make sure they are positive. Luckily, music has a great quality of fixing issues in your mind.

Self-control is important. Not that you should refuse even a single drink to focus on playing. But playing a rockstar doesn’t always pay. Music requires control of your body, especially if you are playing solo, and there’s no one to cover your failures. This understanding comes with experience. If your party is arranged for having fun, though, staying too sober can separate you from the rest. In the end, you know better where you’re going and what you are expected to do.

It’s also important that these drums combine well with other music.

  • If there is a DJ, you’ll add some rhythm to the music, and maybe you won’t even need an extra mic to amplify your performance. If your drum is big enough, it’ll break through.
  • Drums would also make a good ensemble with a guitar, a banjo, or an ukulele. It’s quite a classical combination.
  • You can even make a duet with a piano if there is one! Doesn’t sound like rock-n-roll but may be quite funky.
  • Drums-and-vocals, though, is the most probable option. It doesn’t even require a good singer around you: a good singalong gets it all done.
  • You may suddenly discover someone rhyming to your beat, turning your party into a rap battle. Others may have drum machine apps on their smartphones, but none of them compares to a live drum sound!
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And another important question is: what should you play? Well, good improvisation is always great. As for popular songs, very few of them have recognizable drum patterns. Of course, you don’t have to stick to them. A drum has a lot to say without checking what’s trending. If you suddenly form a duo or a band at the party, you may need to recollect the beats of some popular songs. But you don’t have to necessarily try to copy the original. Again, improvisation is king.

Carrying and Caring

It’s important to have a good sound, but you have to get to the party (unless you’re having it at home) and return from there. The heavier your stuff is, the more problems it causes. If you got paid for it, it wouldn’t be an issue. But we assume you’re not invited as a pro, but as just a guest, so why overtrouble yourself? You better just choose a lightweight drum. Luckily, you can find congas by Eastar or bongos by Musicube that are quite carriable.

Drums need tuning, even though, to a stranger, they may look just solid pieces of wood or plastic. You’ll need (at very least) a tuning wrench and a cleaning cloth. A stand is also often desired, though not necessarily. Good drums usually come with these accessories, though an analog by a third-party manufacturer may have better quality and even better compatibility. Don’t hurry to buy them, though, until the original one wears out.

Last but not least: if you often visit parties with your hand drums, you must take care of them. Extra vibration may (and eventually will) damage them, so if you’re driving, try to do it smoothly. If you’re walking, you better avoid bad weather. Rain, fog, or freeze won’t do your drums any good. Drums often come with carrying cases. You better look at it as you buy the drums because it may be hard to find a compatible case for certain drums, especially paired ones. If the model you like comes without a case, you better search for a compatible one immediately.

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The Coda

A drum and some skill will make you a party star. We won’t emphasize the necessity to rehearse or to evolve; you know better than neglecting that. But as we focus on the drum itself, here is our choice. A pair of smaller hand drums will be the perfect option, powerful enough for a small or medium room, easy to transport, and compatible with other instruments if there are any. With these, you are ready to carry the music throughout your life and set the rhythm to have a drumtastic time!


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