January 29, 2023 23 min read
Calm Panda drums check all the relevant boxes, making them the best steel tongue drums to create soft and soothing melodies. Other good options are the Yinama, Beat Root multi-scale, Pearl Awakening Series, Unlax, IPHUNGO, VIVOHOME, Asmuse, FOUR UNCLES, Moukey, and Luvay steel tongue drum.
Did you know that there are sounds that heal? For many centuries now, humans have been using sound wave therapy to promote wellness for the mind and body.
Steel tongue drums are now taking the world by storm as excellent instruments for sound therapy. These drums are percussion instruments that emit different tones from tongue-like cuts.
You may have seen one of these simple drums played in a drum circle or by buskers. However, the steel tongue drums can do much more than provide melodic entertainment. They emit healing frequencies - calming tones that can soothe tension, anxiety, and stress.
With so many steel tongue drums in the market, people often have trouble finding the right one to help them achieve mindfulness. This article will help reduce the confusion when choosing steel tongue drums.
This discussion will reveal fifteen of the best steel tongue drums in the market. We’ll also discuss the important things to consider when buying a steel tongue drum.
The top fifteen steel tongue drums in the market are the following:
Calm Panda steel tongue drums are authentic handcrafted drums that feature precision tuning and are available in two sizes and scale models
Calm Panda steel tongue drum specifications
The steel tongue drums from Calm Panda perfectly combine durability and functionality.
The Calm Panda steel tongue drums are made from high-quality alloy steel and painted with lead-free paint. Each handcrafted Panda drum boasts a glossy finish with tongues shaped like lotus flowers. This ensures your drum will remain an object of beauty for years.
The Calm Panda drums are some of the most lightweight melodic drums on the market. The 11-tone drum is bigger than the 8-tone drum and so is louder. However, you can create beautiful music with each drum.
Each Calm Panda drum is perfectly tuned to produce a clear and delightful sound experience. They are supported with sound stabilizers to produce clean and vibrant sounds.
The drums emit the healing frequency (432 Hz) to calm even the busiest brains, offering a quick path to mindfulness. Thus, Calm Panda steel tongue drums are perfect companions for healing practices, creative thinking, and spiritual quests.
Not only is a Calm Panda steel tongue drum melodic, but it is also extremely easy to play. In fact, anyone can summon up soothing sounds within the first day of owning the percussive instrument. This makes it a perfect candidate for the “best steel tongue drum for beginners.”
The Calm Panda steel tongue drums are also perfect for people of all ages. It is the safest steel drum for your kids. Everyone, from toddlers to seasoned musicians, can easily use Panda drums to produce beautiful soothing music.
Calm Panda drums also come with many accessories. In addition to the standard drumsticks, it comes with finger pads, allowing you to play the instrument with your fingers. Other accessories include a travel bag and music book with adults’ and kids’ classics.
Lastly, the Calm Panda steel tongue drum is available in 6 colors (white, black, red, blue, pink, and gold), allowing you to get a melodic drum that suits your colorful style.
Yinama steel tongue drum is a 10 inches, 11-note steel tongue drum that comes pre-tuned to D major.
Yinama steel tongue drum specifications
Yinama is better known for producing tech and musical accessories. The company has debuted in the steel tongue drum field with this fantastic 10-inch 11-tone drum.
The Yinama melodic drum is portable - being just 10” wide and 5.5” high, it is one of the smallest 11-tone drums you’ll find.
It is made from steel-titanium alloy, making it super-durable. The drum is coated with green-spraying paint, giving it a lacquer finish that guards against tarnishing, scuffs, and scratches. It is available in black and has silicon feet to keep it stable while playing.
The inclusion of titanium in the drum gives it a distinct sound. While the drum produces the soothing chime of steel tongue drums, you can still make out the gentle timbre from the titanium material. So, you can easily distinguish the Yinama steel tongue drum from others just by listening to its sound.
The tongues on the drum have a lotus flower design. Each note is checked with a tuner and has excellent resonance vibration. The Yinama drum produces calming sounds perfect for meditation, music therapy, and even parties.
The package comes with drum mallets, a music book, two sets of note stickers, eight finger pads, and a carrying bag.
You can play the Yiname tongue drum with your hand (using the finger pads). Interestingly, learners and experts can easily produce beautiful melodies with the Yinama drum.
The Beat Root drum is a unique multi-scale steel tongue drum that lets you change scale and explore up to 6 different musical worlds. It lets you play a scale that suits any moment, from relaxing and introspective to more upbeat and energetic.
Beat Root multi-scale tongue drum specifications
The Beat Root multi-scale steel tongue drum is a unique piece that includes six different scales in one musical instrument.
It has an innovative and intuitive tuning system that lets you switch from major scales to minor or pentatonic scales in a blink of an eye. Simply move tuning magnets to the colors that match your desired scale, and you’ll produce melodies for happy, melancholic, or introspective moods.
There are six scales to explore:
The Beat Root multi-scale drum is an excellent modern steel tongue drum. It is perfect for people who don’t want to limit themselves to one scale.
The Beat Root steel tongue drum also has an impressive electro-acoustic system, making it excellent for live or studio performances.
The system consists of a piezo microphone and a 6.35mm jack output. So, you can plug the drum into a sound system (to be heard within a band) or a sound card (to record your musical session).
The Beat Root drum delivers a rich and hypnotic sound whether you play it with your hand or the drum mallets. It's easy to play, as it only takes a few minutes to get started.
While it’s suitable for seasoned musicians and composers, it’s also suitable for learning music or musical awakening. The package comes with drum mallets and a carrying bag.
The Beat Root has a durable construction. It weighs 11 lbs, making it one of the heaviest steel tongue drums you’ll find.
Pearl Awakening Series drums are 10” hardened steel drums with precise laser cut tongues, available in 6 pentatonic scale models.
Pearl steel tongue drums specifications
Pearl is a reliable manufacturer of steel drums. The company’s awakening series are some of the best tongue drums in the market. The series consists of 6 tongue drums - three 8-note and three 9-note drums tuned to specific pentatonic scales.
Each Pearl drum is a 10” hardened steel shell with a burst lacquer finish, making them incredibly durable and beautiful. Each drum features 8 or 9 precise laser-cut tongues, ensuring accurate and consistent tuning.
The pure, soothing sounds of the Pearl Awakening Series will have you in tune with your surroundings. This makes a Pearl steel drum perfect for healing practices like yoga and meditation.
Each Pearl drum has rubber feet that keep it stable while playing and ensure you get unfettered sound. You can play the melodic musical instrument with the included rubber mallets or your fingers. It’s also very easy to play, making it suitable for both beginners and professionals.
The Unlax tongue drum is a 12 inches, 11-full octave tongue drum that comes pre-tuned to D Major.
Unlax 12” tongue drum specifications
Unlax pride itself as a company that makes tongue drums that can be played by anyone. True to that, the Unlax Original 12” tongue drum is 100% intuitive. You can play it freely without needing any musical knowledge.
The Unlax 12” tongue drum is built tough. It is made from strong and durable titanium alloy. Each drum surface sound tongue is precisely cut and spots a simple design.
The 11 tongues produce beats that sound harmonious and vibrant. The drum’s melodic sound is similar to that produced by singing bowls used by Buddhist monks for meditation.
The Unlax drum emits healing frequencies that slow down your body and mind and take you to a calm mood. The soothing sound from the Unlax makes it a good companion for Yoga, meditation, and sound therapy.
The Unlax drum comes with drumsticks, a carry bag, and a songbook. You can play the drum using the drumsticks or your hand. You can create your own songs or use the songbook to recreate beautiful music.
IPHUNGO steel tongue drum is a 10-inch piece having a standard C key with 11 notes.
IPHUNGO steel tongue drum specifications
IPHUNGO steel tongue drum uses steel alloy as a material. Thus, this drum is stronger and more corrosion-resistant than carbon steel options.
The drum’s surface is coated with protective spray paint and spots a superior frosted black look. The drum has a silicon base that stabilizes it during a performance and ensures unfettered sounds.
Laser positioning cutting perfectly fixes the drum’s tongues, making the tone more accurate. The titanium component of the IPHUNGO tank drum gives it a stable timbre, making its sound richer than many other melodic drums.
The IPHUNGO steel tongue drum has 11 tongues, allowing you to play more types of music. It also comes tuned to the C major pentatonic scale.
The sound of the drum is ethereal, making it excellent in religious practices, mental healing, meditation, etc.
The package comes with the tank drum, two drumsticks, a music score, a set of tone stickers, six finger picks, and a padded travel bag. You can play the IPHUNGO tongue drum using drumsticks, finger picks, or your fingers.
Lastly, the IPHUNGO steel drum is very easy to play. Even beginners can play expert-level melodies with ease. So, it’s excellent for children's music education.
VIVOHOME steel tongue drum is a 12 inches, 13-note, C key percussion instrument that produces a wider range of sounds.
VIVOHOME steel tongue drum specifications
VIVOHOME is better known for its home products. But with this 13 notes steel tongue drum, the company has produced one of the best tonal percussive instruments in the market.
The VIVOHOME hank drum is made from high-quality steel titanium alloy coated with a spray that protects against scratches and tarnishing. This makes the drum durable for years of use.
The VIVOHOME steel tongue drum has 13 laser-cut tongues and is tuned to C major pentatonic scale. Most steel tongue drums have a note range of 8 - 11, but VIVOHOME handpan drum is based on 13 tones, allowing it to play a broader range of sounds.
Each tongue emits perfect resonance vibrations. The clean and ethereal sounds can quicken your journey to mindfulness. This relieves anxiety and fatigue and helps you achieve relaxation and peace.
The VIVOHOME drum can be adapted for many applications. You can use it for spiritual rehabilitation, yoga meditation, concert performance, etc.
The drum is also friendly to novices. Even if you have not played a melodic drum before, you’ll easily use the VIVOHOME drum to create beautiful music.
The drum has non-slip rubber feet to provide stability while playing. The drum’s 12-inch diameter is fine for a 13-tone piece. However, it weighs 7.3 lbs, making it relatively heavy.
The drum comes with many accessories, including two drum mallets, one mallet stand, a portable drum travel bag, two tone stickers, one music score, and one cleaning cloth.
The Asmuse steel tongue drum is 10 inches, 8-note percussion drum instrument tuned to F major pentatonic scale.
Asmuse steel tongue drum specifications
When looking for the best tongue drum for beginners, you cannot go wrong with Asmuse steel tongue drum. The Asmuse tank drum is a piece that novices and professional players can use to play different melodious songs.
The musical instrument also ticks the relevant boxes. First, it features high-quality materials and excellent craftsmanship. It is made of stainless steel, which withstands dent, corrosion, and rust. So, the drum is built to last long.
The drum is meticulously handcrafted. It combines modern innovative design and sound theory to produce a good resonance effect. The drum is 10 inches wide and has 8 notes in C major scale.
The drum produces an ethereal sound that is Buddha-like. The clean, soft sound makes the Asmuse drum excellent for yoga meditation, religious activities, performances, etc.
The Asmuse tongue drum has three rubber feet that prevent slipping when playing. They also isolate the sound, making the drum sound brighter and nicer.
The Asmuse drum package has many accessories, including two mallets, one mallet bracket, one songbook (instruction book), and one premium drum carry bag.
The package does not include finger picks/ pads. However, you can play the drum and create beautiful music using the mallet or your hands.
The FOUR UNCLES steel tongue drums are three 6 - 12” tank drum percussion instruments in 8, 11, and 13-note options tuned to C and D keys.
FOUR UNCLES steel tongue drums specifications
FOUR UNCLES steel tongue drums are made from a high-quality steel alloy. They feature an anti-corrosion finish, ensuring durability. The lotus flower-shaped tongues are intricately cut by hand to ensure a pure sound.
Whatever size you choose, you can get an ethereal, Buddha-like sound. However, the bigger drums allow you to play a wider range of sounds. The FOUR UNCLES steel drums are suitable for yoga, zazen, religious activities, and more.
The beautiful finish of the FOUR UNCLES steel tongue drums also makes them excellent decorations accents in an interior space. The 6” 8-tone drum is available in five color options, the 10” 11-tone drum is available in four color options, and the 12” 13-tone drum is available in three color options.
The drums are suitable for people of all ages and skill levels. So, beginners can easily create sweet melodies. You can play the drum with the included drum mallets, finger picks, or bare hands.
The FOUR UNCLES drums are accessory-rich. Each package comes with a drum bag, extra drum mallets, drum mallets holder, music score, and four finger picks.
The Moukey tongue drum is a 10 inches portable handpan drum, having 8 tones in C major.
Moukey steel tongue drums specifications
Moukey continues to innovate with high-quality audio products, and the Moukey steel tongue drum is one of them.
The Moukey steel tongue drum is of outstanding quality. First, it is made of durable steel alloy and finished with hand spray painting. Also, the drum is handcrafted by artisans, with its full and round body spotting clean C-shaped tongues.
The 8 tongues of the drum mean it has 8 tones. The drum comes tuned to C Major scale. The Moukey steel tongue drum produces pure and angelic melodies.
The steel tongue drum sound is like singing bowls. The ethereal sound will still busy minds, relieving you of stressful thoughts and worries and helping you find inner peace. This makes Moukey steel drum the ideal healing mate.
The drum is beginner-friendly. It is easy for anybody to learn to play the Moukey drum. Players can use their hands or the provided drum mallets. The package comes with a music score/ book, allowing people to play beautiful music without prior music knowledge.
Other accessories in the package include two tone stickers, a dedicated carrying bag, and a carrying strap bag.
The Luvay steel tongue drum is a huge 22 inches tank percussion instrument, with 9 notes tuned to D Minor.
Luvay steel tongue drums specifications
The Luvay steel tongue drum looks different from the other drums on this list. You’ll first notice its massive size, as the drum is 22 inches long. So, the Luvay is not for you if you want smaller drums.
The massive drum weighs 8 lbs. While this is comparatively heavy, it is lightweight for a 22 inches drum. The drum is made of carbonized steel, with protecting plastic around its edge.
The previous tank drums have round shapes, but the Luvay has the saucer shape of the infamous alien spaceship (UFO). Also, the Luvay is inspired by the whale drum, so its tongues are not the regular cuts on the surface. Instead, they appear as slight depressions.
The Luvay steel drum comes tuned to the D Minor scale (D3 A Bb C D E F G A). It produces quality soothing sound based on the principle of the Helmholtz resonator.
This Luvay piece is one of the best steel drums for beginners because it is easy to learn and play. You can play the Luvay steel drum using your hands or the provided drum mallets.
The package comes with a carrying bag, which makes transporting the huge Luvay drum easy. Other accessories include drum mallets, a drum stand, and a cleaning cloth.
The GUDA Freezbee is a unique 14.7 inches wide percussion instrument with decorative painting, having 8 notes tuned to the arcane scale in A key.
GUDA Drum Freezbee specification
GUDA is a unique instrument that is a hybrid of a tongue drum and a handpan. The GUDA Freezbee drum is built to last. Its alloy material combines stainless steel, brass, and aluminum, creating a strong and rust-resistant drum.
The GUDA Freezbee is a big drum with a 14.7” diameter. However, weighing just 4 lbs, it is relatively lightweight.
The drum features eye-catchy paintings and soft rope decoration. The engraved design is one of its best-selling points, making the GUDA an excellent decorative accent.
Besides its outward beauty, the GUDA Freezbee also produces beautiful sounds. It is an 8-tone drum based on the arcane scale (A C D E F G A C).
It emits a clean, percussive sound with wooden overtones, making its sound superior to many other steel drums. The unique tone of the GUDA Freezbee makes the drum suitable for meditation, yoga, etc. It’s also ideal for outdoor performances.
The Freezbee is easy for beginners to master and also interesting for professionals.
The Regis tongue drum is a 6 inches tank drum with 8 notes that comes tuned to a standard C key.
REGIS tongue drum specifications
Like most other steel tongue drums, the REGIS drum is made of steel titanium alloy. It is also sprayed with protective paint for a beautiful finish. Thus, it’s a quality drum that is durable and beautiful. It’s also available in fancy colors like navy, light blue, red, and malachite.
REGIS is a small tank drum measuring just six inches. However, it produces a quality sound. It has eight (8) lotus flower-style tongues. The drum has a standard C key and creates soft, calming melodies.
Thus, though it is a smaller drum, the REGIS steel tongue drum can help you relax and achieve mindfulness. Its ethereal sounds can be used for yoga, spiritual rehabilitation, and more.
The REGIS drum is easy to learn and play. You can create a beautiful rhythm without any music knowledge.
The hand drum comes with accessories like drumsticks, a music score, a travel bag, and finger pads. You can play the drum using your hand (using the finger pad) or the provided drumsticks.
Lomuty steel tongue drum is a 12 inches, 11-note tongue drum that comes pre-tuned to the Mixed C Major.
Lomuty tongue drum specifications
The Lomuty drum is a classic steel tongue drum. It is made from a titanium-steel alloy and sprayed with corrosion-resistant protective paint. Thus, it features durable construction.
The drum body has eleven (11) lotus flower tongues. The drum is pre-tuned to the C Major pentatonic scale. Being an 11-tone drum, this Lomuty piece can give a wider range of sound, allowing you to play more music.
Interestingly, even music novices will enjoy the Lomuty tongue drum as no musical background is needed to play it. You can play with your hands or a drum mallet. Within a few minutes of exploring it, you’ll be able to make beautiful melodies.
The Lomuty tongue drum produces sounds that heal - a soft and melodious tone that still racing minds. Thus, the drum is perfect for yoga meditation and mind healing.
The Lomuty steel tongue drum comes with drum mallets, note stickers, a music book, finger picks, and a portable drum bag.
The RAV Vast 2 blends classic handpan and tongue drum designs, creating a 20 inches, 9-tone percussion instrument tuned to D Major scale.
RAV Vast 2 handpan tongue drum specifications
The RAV Vast 2 drum is a blend of a handpan and a tongue drum. This means it has a flying saucer (UFO) shape. However, it has artistically cut tongues instead of the slight depressions of traditional handpans.
The RAV Vast 2 is a large drum that measures 20 inches, making it suitable for busking and other live performances. It is made from patented 2mm thick steel and has a protective rim of thick rubber. So, the RAV Vast 2 is extremely durable and resistant to all forms of weather.
The RAV Vast 2 drum is fine-tuned to D Major (D3 G3 A3 B3 C4 D4 F4 A4). It produces very beautiful sounds and melodies. The soft and sweet sound of the RAV Vast 2 makes it excellent for healing practices (like yoga meditation) and jamming with friends.
Like other tongue drums on this list, playing the RAV Vast 2 is very easy. People (from beginners to expert musicians) can easily use the drum to create beautiful music.
The RAV Vast 2 comes with a portable case, making it easy to carry the drum around.
When choosing a steel tongue drum, some of the things to consider are:
The durability of a steel tongue drum largely depends on the material it is made from. So, when you want a drum built to last, you should check that it is made from high-quality materials.
Will you like a drum that sounds nice but looks awful? Most likely not.
So, the best steel tongue drums also look nice. Of course, “beauty” is subjective. However, there are some features that take a steel tongue drum from plain to gorgeous. These include:
If you understand steel tongue drum basics, you’ll know that the scale is one of the most important things to consider when choosing these drums. This is because a drum’s scale determines how it sounds.
For example, major scales are uplifting/ happy and suitable for a playful environment, while minor scales are melancholic and suitable for a meditative atmosphere.
Thus, when choosing a tongue drum, you need one having a scale that gives the right emotions.
If you’re caught up between two scales, you may buy two drums pre-tuned to the two scales. Another option is to buy a tunable tongue drum.
The number of tones a tongue drum can produce depends on the number of tongues it has. The more tongues a drum has, the more notes and tones it produces.
Thus, if you want to play a wider range of music, you need a drum with more tongues. For example, the Calm Panda 11-tone drum will take you on a far-reaching musical journey that no 8-tone tongue drum can dream of taking you.
However, note that the 8-tone drums are suitable for beginners and many musicians who may not need to create a wide range of music.
The tank drums come in different sizes, ranging from compact to huge. When choosing a tongue drum, go for a size you are comfortable with.
Know that the bigger drums are more accurate as they have more room to play. However, smaller drums may be better for beginners and people who travel with their drums.
A steel tongue drum comes in a package with accessories that make using it easier. Typical drum accessories include:
Other common accessories include a mullet holder, drum stand, and cleaning cloth.
Since you need one or more of these accessories to use the drum, you’ll buy them separately if they do not come with your drum. This means you’ll spend more than is necessary.
Thus, when buying a tongue drum, people usually check that it comes with all the necessary accessories.
The steel tongue drums are available at different prices, ranging from double to four figures. Thus, when buying these drums, you should consider whether it is budget-friendly or pricey.
The price of a steel tongue drum depends on many factors, including its size, complexity, and accessories.
Smaller 5 - 6-inch drums with simple designs should cost around $30 - $60. Bigger models usually have more complex designs and cost around $60 - $250.
This makes the $129.95 price of the standard-sized 11-tone Calm Panda drum a steal.
Tongue drums costing over $250 will be considered expensive. This is regardless of its design or accompanying accessories.
The tongue drums are easy-to-play percussion instruments that produce soft sounds that heal.
You will not go wrong with any of the fifteen tongue drums listed above. However, the top pick is the Calm Panda steel tongue drums.
Factors to consider when choosing a tongue drum are scale, tone, material, design, size, accessories, and price. Interestingly, the Calm Panda tongue drums check off ALL the factors.
Made from non-toxic premium material, so the drum is durable and safe
Features lotus flower-styled tongues and a beautiful finish
Available in two scales, so it gives different emotions
Can play a wide range of sounds
Available in portable and standard size
Comes with everything you need to use the drum easily
Both options are budget-friendly