tongue drum brands

beat root

Beat root

To start this list of tongue drum manufacturers, here is a tongue drum 100% made in France: the beat root! It is marketed since 2014 and has received the award 2015 of the safe value by Audiofanzine website.

This tongue drum is very qualitative with a deep and captivating sound much resembling the sound of the hang drum. Its design is sober but worked and all the manufacturing steps are carried out within 15 km of their workshop in Besançon (France) where they perform the tuning and take care of the finishes.

Spotted in 2015 at the Musikmesse Frankfurt by Yamaha, the Beat Root tongue drum has been distributed by the Japanese firm throughout the archipelago of Japan!

They were already distinguished from the competition with an electro-acoustic model (a tongue drum incorporating a microphone and a Jack wire) but in 2018 they sink the nail by proposing a multi-scale model that allows from a single tongue drum to obtain 6 scales thanks to a very easy system of tuning. system of formidable efficiency and simplicity!

There is no doubt that Beat Root team will continue to make themselves known thanks to their innovative ideas, their attention to detail and the prices more than affordable.

Their different models:
After starting with the classics Akebono, Sol minor, Sol major or pentatonic, in acoustic or electro-acoustic version, Beat Root has developed the multiscale tongue drum which combines major scales, pentatonic and minor (6 scales in all), all in electro-acoustic at a price of 496$.

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HAPI drum

HAPI drum

HAPI is an American brand inspired by the work of Dennis Havlena that can be considered the inventor of the Hank drum. HAPI began production of its tongues drums in 2008, so relatively early. The brand therefore positioned itself fairly quickly in the world market at a time when the offer was not as wide as it is today.

HAPI is distinguished by the number of references available, almost 40 counting the different scales, shapes and colors and they even started to make Hang Drum!

Difficult to know where the instruments are made, they do not specify "made in USA", the low tariffs and the rather slight finishes on the models tested let think of an Asian manufacture...

Anyway we are far from the sound quality of European tongue drum like the Rammerdrum, the Zenko or the beat root, but it takes for all tastes and all the scholarships, their price range starting at $169 for mini tongue drum up to $525 Pou r the "UFO" model.

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Meinl

Meinl

The German percussion giant Meinl was recently placed on the tongue drum niche, shortly after having positioned itself in the hang market.

Those who already knew the reputation of the Meinl cymbals had something to be enticed by this new... Unfortunately they simply appealed to another manufacturer, with strange similarities with the tongue drum HAPI (especially the rubber feet that are rigorously identical), and the result is rather disappointing: a design of a unusual ugliness and just correct sounds.

Add to this an extremely limited number of models (the minor in two colors) and one obtains an opportunistic and very little interesting product.

Once again only the tariffs (€299) and the notoriety of the brand could tilt the balance on their side.

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Melodrum

Melodrum

It's time to get back to authentic with the Melodrum!

I met this passionate of the first hour at a salon and I was immediately seduced by the "handmade" side of his tongue drum, with this uniqueness that gives an extra soul to an instrument. With him we return to the sources, each piece is different, possesses its character, its qualities and its own faults.

Here no model series, everything is hand painted and many scales are available.

Of course the look will not appeal to everyone and it will be difficult to place an order without having tested the model that will seduce you, but the approach is integrity and it is important to say it!

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Pearl

Pearl

A little in the image of Meinl, Pearl felt the growing interest in the tongue drums and decided to take advantage of his immense notoriety to release his own models.

This Japanese firm has been part of the big names of the drums for decades alongside Yamaha, Tama, DW and I'm going... Unfortunately, with regard to their tongue drum we are not here in the presence of instruments "made in Japan" with impeccable finishes and sounds worked, but rather we have to do to kinds of Chinese imitations of what should be a tongue drum.

You will have understood: point of magic, point of craftsmanship, the Pearl offer the bare minimum, an insipid design, an industrial manufacture to the Antipodes of the methods that made known the instrument, metallic and soulless sounds...

So yes: "it's cheap"... but with this kind of approach all we are going to win is to see one to one the real manufacturers, the real know-how, and farewell the bewitching sensations and the pleasure that one can feel when one has in the hands the result of a work sincere and authentic.

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Rammerdrum

Rammerdrum

Direction Italy now with the manufacturer Napolitain Rammerdrum!

Marco Tirino, the creator of the box has long worked in the metal industry (not the style of music!), his technical knowledge and his passion for music then pushed him in 2012 to design his "harmonic discs", recognisable Immediately.

The Rammerdrum tongue drum has a sleek and "raw" design that is rather unique, they are both sober but have a certain character!
Everything is handmade in Italy, there are several sizes, from the disc harmonic 9 "(about 22 cm in diameter) of 6 notes up to the largest model 18" (45 cm) which comprises 9 notes "tripled" and whose shape strongly recalls the hang, passing by models I 12 "and 15", all at Rammerdrum breathes quality!

Note that Marco also manufactures very beautiful kalimbas, these "pianos in thumb" of African origin but again, entirely of metal.

In terms of tariffs the prices of their tongue drum range from 220 euros for the 9 "to 950 euros for the 18".

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Zenko

Zenko

Back in France now with the Zenko from Metalsounds.

Located in Haute-Garonne, Metalsounds is a company created in 2011 that manufactures tongue drum (Zenko) but also hang under the name of Spacedrum. In a few years they managed to establish themselves in many countries by skillfully surfing the wave of success that this new generation of instruments knew.

The Zenko is divided into 8 scales (Ionien, Penta C, Akebono, Equinox, harmony, Solstice, Pygmy, Omega) which cover the main tones that can be searched in a tongue drum.
It is made in France: the cutting part is outsourced and the tuning part and finishes has places in their workshops. This tongue drum is inspired by the shape of the hang, which it also incorporates the principle of a central note that serves as a kind of "pivot" when played.

On the model I was able to test this central note was not of a great accuracy and overall the instrument lacked a little clarity, in any case to my liking. However, it remains a safe value and given its fairly wide distribution it is likely that you can test one in a store near you!

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The tongue drum scales