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5 Best Tongue drums in 2020 for all levels l +3 Myths busted

Best tongue drums in 2020
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You heard some people playing on the Tongue drum, and you thought.

"Whoa what beautiful music. It is not complicated, and maybe I can learn it".

Your hunch was correct.

Tongue drums are one of the easiest instruments to learn, yet they provide you with such a feeling of calmness.

Many people are using tongue drums with their meditations, and seem to be very happy about it.

If you get a tongue drum:

  • You will get an instrument that doesn't cost much, and therefore you will save money which means that you will be able to get a couple more items related to your interests while you are at it.
  • It will most defiantly look awesome which means that you will receive a lot of attention from everyone, from family, to friends. If you have kids, they will love you extra for getting a tongue drum.
  • Your meditation and yoga sessions will go much smoother, you will feel relaxed, calm and more aware of your surroundings.
  • You will have a simple instrument, so you can play it quickly, which means that you will be able to play graceful music and grab everyone's ears in no time.
  • You will receive a free backpack to move your instrument around with no hassle, and therefore you will be able to go anywhere and everywhere with your tongue drum easily without having to worry about breaking it.

Of course there are many more benefits of having a tongue drum, and some disadvantages as well, these will be covered later on.

But for now, I want us to get to the good stuff.

But first let's address why you are here in the first place.

You are here to see the best 5 tongue drums according to my reviews.

The reason I decided to make these reviews, is because I don't want people to feel confused, and I don't want them having to search everywhere for long periods of time before they can make their decisions.

My goal is to speed up your process, and give you a helping hand.

Therefore I want to quickly clarify to you how I choose these options.

After looking everywhere in the market long and hard, my goal was to find the perfect tongue drums that will fulfill as many criteria as possible.

The criteria were as follows:

Size, number of notes, sound quality, sound sustain, visual quality, add-on options, positioning of notes, durability and color as a bonus.

After hours of research, I found around 100 options which had high quality , and then started looking more in depth into each of the options one by one applying the criteria until I ended up with the following 5 products.

Let's get started

First of all let me say,

I suggest you check the section where I explain different tongue drum facts, answer many questions, and bust some myths about them.

This section is going to be relevant for anyone who wants to buy a tongue drum, and make sure it lasts for a long time.

Also, there is a similar instrument as a tongue drum, called a Handpan, these instruments are also very intriguing and can make very lovely melodies. To check my review on the best Handpan , click here.

What is the best tongue drum in 2020:

  1. Highest quality: Rakumi Tongue Drum Percussion Instrument
  2. Cheapest/ Beginner: REGIS Tongue Drum 8 Notes
  3. Special: Idiopan 14" Tunable Steel Tongue Drum
  4. Most notes/ Professional: Happybuy Blue Steel Tongue Drum 14 Notes
  5. Most colors: Niome 12 Inch Steel Tongue Drum 

I also prepared a table to make it easier for you to compare each of the options with one another.

(If you are on a mobile device, you might have to scroll to the right)

Table of the best tongue drums in 2020

Highest quality

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Cheapest/ Beginner

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Special

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Most notes/ Professional
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Most colors

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NameRakumi Tongue Drum Percussion InstrumentREGIS Tongue Drum 8 NotesIdiopan 14" Tunable Steel Tongue DrumHappybuy Blue Steel Tongue Drum 14 NotesNiome 12 Inch Steel Tongue Drum 
Luigi's rating out of 109.3/10 8,4/10 9.6/10 8.7/10 9.1/10
Price$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Quality★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★
Durability★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★
Size12"x12"x6.88"6"x6"x3.8"/12"x12x8.3"6"/8"/12"/14"14"x14"x3.5"13"x12.7"x8.5"
Notes/Scale13/ C major8/136/8/101411/13
Warranty
OtherClick hereClick hereClick hereClick hereClick here
Price linkCheck price on AmazonCheck price on AmazonCheck price on AmazonCheck price on AmazonCheck price on Amazon

If you are interested in one of the options and would like some more details, then you should check the in depth description below.

It will help you make a decision that you will be satisfied with.

1. Rakumi Tongue Drum Percussion Instrument

Highest quality

The Rakumi Tongue drum provides you with very clear and harmonious sounds with little effort and skills. You can easily make a beautiful calming melody out of this instrument.

  • Colors Available: 6
  • Weight: 5.5 pound or 2.2 kg
  • Size: 12" Length x 12" Width x 6.88" Height
  • Number of notes: 13
  • Scale: C Major
  • Warranty: 30 days money guarantee

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Pros

  • Produces high quality sounds
  • Many colors to choose from
  • Colors don't fade
  • Comes with mallets
  • Comes with a backpack and a music book
  • Many users loved it
  • 30 Day warranty with money back guarantee

Cons

  • Playing with the fingers won't give you the perfect noises and requires more skill

Description:

This tongue drum is a great option that is hand made with high quality and a lot of skill.

The manufacturer Rakumi is very confident in their product, and expect you will love it straight away.

The drum has 13 notes which are assigned in the C major scale. (known as the scale of no accidents) because it is hard to make it sound wrong.

If you are interested in hearing the instrument out, then here is an example of it in action:

Even when someone is trying to improvise, you will still somehow get it to sound good.

And It plays at 440 Hz.

Now, the size of the drum is around the average size of 12" width and length and 6.88" in height.

It comes with 2 mallets and 4 finger sleeves.

The mallets are really important to be able to make perfect noise in the tongue drum. (More information on how to play a tongue drum later)

But the finger sleeves aren't. It is not easy to get the enough power into the tongue drum using the fingers, and therefore it sounds dull and you miss out on the vibrations, which are essential in a tongue drum.

Another awesome factor with this instrument is that it comes in many colors, which are:

Black/ Blue/ Brown/ Gold/ Green/ Bronze

You shouldn't have any problems finding the right color for you.

Naturally it also comes with a handbag to store it in, which makes it much easier to move around with without damaging it.

Rakumi is so sure in their quality, that they have given you the option to purchase the tongue drum and then return it within 30 days for a money back guarantee if you didn't like it.

Who is this for?

This option is for anyone who is trying to play an instrument that provides you with a calm aura whether it is for fun, meditation or yoga.

It is quite good for beginners also since it is in the C major scale.

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2. REGIS Tongue Drum 8 Notes

Cheapest/ Beginner

The REGIS Tongue drum is a cute smaller option for anyone who is looking to try this instrument out.

  • Colors Available: 3
  • Weight: 0,44 kg or around 1 pound/ 3.7kg or 8 pounds
  • Size: 6" in length and width 3.8" In height /11.8" in length and width 6.8" in height
  • Number of notes: 8/13
  • Scale: C scale

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Pros

  • Sound is louder than other tongue drums
  • Sound is good quality
  • Easiest tongue drum to learn for beginners
  • comes in 2 size options
  • Nice colors
  • Very cheap

Cons

  • No warranty
  • There is a little more distortion with this tongue drum

Description:

With the cheap price of the REGIS tongue drum you can afford to try out a new instrument to see if you like it or not.

What is nice about this product is that it is cheap, but the quality is still there.

It comes in 2 different options to choose from.

A smaller one with 8 notes for beginners, and a larger one with 13 notes for when you are more advanced.

Both sizes are tuned into the C scale, which allows for easier playing as well.

While it is true that the 13 notes require more skills to play smoothly, a beginner will still be able to learn to play it fairly quickly as well.

The tongue drum comes in 3 different color options which are:

Blue/ Light blue/ Sea ripple color

And it also comes with 2 mallets, a backpack, a music book and extra stickers for the numbers.

Although it is possible to play with the fingers, generally when playing the tongue drum, you should use the mallets to be able to produce more resonance and a louder sound.

The backpack has a handle and a shoulder carrier to make it easy to transport wherever you need while keeping the drum safe from falling.

Even if the instrument falls, you will likely still be safe, thanks to how sturdy it is.

But it is better to be safe than sorry in any case.

The instruction manual shows you how to play some music pieces and the different notes and what they represent.

Who is this for?

Overall, this is the best option for anyone who is a little hesitant about getting a tongue drum, who is a beginner and wants to see how the instrument sounds like.

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3. Idiopan 14" Tunable Steel Tongue Drum

Special

What makes the Idiopan 14" tongue drum special, is that you can tune it's notes to many different scales. This opens open many opportunities of variety for you.

  • Colors Available: 2
  • Weight: 2.24/4.3/9.3/12pounds
  • Size: 6"/8"/12"/14
  • Number of notes: 6/8/10
  • Scale: Original is A minor for the 6"(you can tune it to others)

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Pros

  • Tunable notes
  • Tunable octaves
  • Comes with instruction manual
  • Easy to play after some practice
  • Comes with mallets
  • Many size options to choose from
  • Amazing colors

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Playing with mallets isn't as common, requires finger technique

Description:

The Idiopan Tongue drum is an awesome option for anyone who is in the intermediate to professional level in instruments similar to the tongue drum.

This is because you can manage feats that are not possible with any other tongue drum.

Such as tuning the tongue drum to around 4 different octaves in hundreds of scales.

And you can tune it to 432 Hz

It does not require a professional to tune them either.

You receive an instruction manual that shows you what to do in the process.

Here is a video showing you how to tune the tongue drum.

Sadly as there are such unique features in this tongue drum, it means that it will be at a higher price than the average tongue drum.

Also, this tongue drum does come with mallets, although they could also work on it, mallets for this instrument aren't necessary.

Colors available in:

Ruby red/ Sapphire blue

Overall the music and sounds coming out of this tongue drum, are on the high end.

They provide a lot of quality and have a long lasting resonance.

Since it comes in 4 different size options, the smallest size has 6 notes, which makes it very simple and easy to play and make beautiful melodies with.

Keep in mind:

There are strong magnets in this tongue drum, and you should be very careful to expose them around kids (who could swallow them), make sure they know what to do and what not to do with this instrument.

Who is this for?

The option is wonderful for anyone who is looking for a tongue drum that they will never get bored of. Thanks to the hundreds of scales you can tune to, and the beautiful sounds.

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4. Happybuy Blue Steel Tongue Drum 14 Notes

Most notes/ Professional

The Happybuy blue steel tongue drum is a little more designed towards users who are already accustomed to tongue drum and are looking for more notes to play on.

  • Colors Available: 8
  • Weight: 10 pounds
  • Size: 14" Length and width by 3.5" height
  • Number of notes: 14
  • Scale: C Major

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Pros

  • Many notes to play a lot of melodies
  • C Major has many common songs
  • Comes with mallets
  • Comes with a backpack and a music book
  • Very nice colors
  • Surrounded by a rope cover

Cons

  • Playing with hands won't produce the same quality
  • Some notes are small and need accuracy to hit
  • No warranty

Description:

The way this tongue drum looks is a little different than other tongue drums.

It doesn't have as much height to it in comparison to the other ones.

Its size is 14" in length and width and only 3.5" in height.

It plays at 440Hz in the C Major scale, which is a scale that has many many songs to play in.

A nice feature that gives it an extra cool look is the surroundings of it.

It is covered around the edges beautifully.

It has many available colors :

Blue/ Gold/ Green/ dark Purple/ Purple/ bright Black/ bright Red/ navy Blue.

As the other options in the list, this one has a handbag, mallets and a music book.

The handbag is sturdy and made nicely.

And the mallets aren't exceptional, but they do the job.

Also, the music book contains a lot of very interesting pieces of music that you will most likely know and like.

They are great pieces of music for the kids as well.

Furthermore the drum comes with silicon legs to help absorb the shock of being hit all the time, this will make it last even longer.

Who is this for?

This is a great option if you are looking for a tongue drum that has many notes to produce as much music as your brain can think of.

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5. Niome 12 Inch Steel Tongue Drum 

Most colors

The Niome tongue drum is yet another high quality product that provides you with all the core qualities needed, and some special colors as a bonus.

  • Colors Available: 10
  • Weight: 8 pounds
  • Size: 13" length x 12.7" width x 8.5" height
  • Number of notes: 11/13
  • Scale: C major
  • Warranty: 30 day money back guarantee

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Pros

  • Good sound quality
  • A good amount of notes
  • Comes with a mallet
  • Comes with a handbag
  • So many colors!
  • Good warranty

Cons

  • The tongues are quite small and need more accuracy

Description:

And for the final option you have the Niome Tongue drum.

With this tongue drum you will find all of its specifications to be on point.

It has a good shape, good colors, very nice sound quality, and a lot of notes.

It plays at 432 Hz, in the C Major scale, which allows you to play many different popular songs easily.

The tongues are a little smaller than the other drums, because there are so many on the drum.

This means that you will need to be more accurate to get the right sound. Especially since you need to hit the tongue in the middle to get the best resonance.

Nevertheless, with mallets you will still be able to accomplish such tasks, and thankfully the drum does in fact come with 2 mallets, a backpack to store the tongue drum safely alongside the mallets, and a music book to quickly get a hang on the instrument.

As for the colors:

Black/ Brown/ Red /White/ Gold /Light Blue/ Navy Blue/ Green/ Purple/ Malachite Green

All in all this is a great option.

Who is this for?

If you are a fan of a certain color, and would like your tongue drum to be in that color. Then you should think about going for this drum. Because, it has everything necessary for me to call it a great tongue drum, and the colors are a bonus.

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Now that you are done checking the top 5 list, make sure to see what the myths are about tongue drums below.

what to know about Tongue drums
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Frequently asked question:

1.How do I choose a steel tongue drum?

When choosing a steel tongue drum, you have to take many things into account. The most important of which are the price, number of notes, the scale, the duration of resonance, the size, and the color options if preferred. You should also think about whether you want a tongue drum that can be tuned as well.

In this list, I have already proofed the options to make sure that most of the criteria are established.

As for the add on options, I leave those for you to decide upon.

2.How does a tongue drum work?

The way a tongue drum works is by taking a piece of steel around 20 lbs and creating a convex shape out of them which is then hand cut by manufacturers to have a various number of notes on it, the number of notes could vary between 4 and 14.

As for the tuning of the tongues, each tongue produces a different note according to it's size, which is then assigned to a certain music scale.

Most tongue drums are assigned to the C major scale.

As for how the music is produced, when you hit the tongue, it vibrates at a certain frequency inside the drum, this vibration keeps hitting the different interior walls, which intensifies the sound and keeps it sustained for longer durations.

Normally a scale would be tuned as the following example.

C, bottom right

D, bottom left

E, middle right

F, middle left

G, top right

A, top left

and so forth.

Sometimes major and minor notes are included depending on the scale.

How does a tongue drum work?
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3.How do you play steel tongue drums?

To properly play a steel tongue drum, First of all, one should strike the note in the middle of the tongue, this will produce the most sound and most quality. The second part is to use mallets which ensure higher accuracy and power.

Then all you have to do is tap the notes enough times until you get the hang of it.

Which is easy and hardly takes any time at all.

You will be able to play beautiful music in no time.

4.How much does a tongue drum cost?

A tongue drum can cost anywhere between around 50 dollars and 600 dollars. depending on the number of notes and quality . For beginners, a 50 dollar tongue drum would have around 6 notes. For professionals, a 400 dollar tongue drum would have around 13 notes.

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Tongue drum myths
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Tongue drum myths:

1. You can play tongue drums with your hands and fingers.

It is generally known that you can use your fingers on tongue drums or you can use mallets. However most of them don't support the finger technique as you would expect them to. In fact, if tapping the instrument with fingers will produce very weak sounds.

If you tap the instrument, you will get weak notes, which don't produce a lot of reverb and don't have much sustain.

This means that you will be missing out on the greatest qualities of the tongue drum.

So, you will either have to get very good at striking it with enough power with your fingers.

Or.

You can use the mallets and automatically get the best sounds.

2. Tongue drums and Handpans sound the same.

The only thing that is similar between a tongue drum and a handpan are their shape and the number of notes possible on them.

Apart from that, you will notice a great difference in sounds, how you create the sounds, and what you use to make them.

The sounds in a tongue drum are far more reverbed, meaning that the sound will last for a long duration of time for each time you hit a note.

Depending on the tongue drum it can last anywhere between 4 and 10 seconds at a time.

This helps keep the melody going and can have many advantages.

The handpan however, produces stronger and more clear noises which last for a lower duration of time.

from around 1 to 4 seconds.

Handpans require a more on hand application to get the best out of it. And you require a special striking technique with your hands to make the sound clear.

On the other hand, a tongue drum doesn't really need a lot of skill to produce the noise.

That is because you will be using mallets which perfectly produce the vibrations onto the instrument.

3. Tongue drums keep their tuning for ever.

Since tongue drums produce melodies when applying pressure on to them through tapping with a mallet. The level of pressure afflicted to the tongue drum is not so severe. That is why it is capable of maintaining its form for such long amounts of time.

But, if you consistently play on the tongue drum constantly and apply the same small force a crazy amount of times during the years. The structure of the tongue drum will subtly change, making the note to go out slightly of tune.

In general you don't have to worry about the tuning of your tongue drums for years, as long as you don't hit it hard or drop it.

If you notice it is out of tune, then you can contact the manufacturer to get it back in tune for you.

Or, by the time it is out of tune.

You should be ready to buy the next option that requires more skills.

That is all from my side. Hopefully I was able to help you in making a better decision in choosing the right tongue drum. If you know anyone who might also need a hand in choosing their tongue drum, make sure to share this post to them below.

Have a nice day!

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