Top 12 Talking Drums

Drums are a fascinating instrument, and while we are all familiar with the traditional acoustic drum sets, there are other variations. One such unique variation of the drum family is the hourglass-shaped talking drum. It has two drumheads on opposite sides connected with strings, and sound is produced by tuning those cords. The talking drum originated in West Africa and was used as a communication device to mimic human speech – hence, the name 'talking drum.'

Browse Best Talking Drums

Meinl African Talking Drum with Mahogany Wood Shell and Wooden Beater - NOT ...

  • Brand Name: Meinl
  • Model Name: ATD-L
  • Size Options: 8 x 16
  • Color Options: Large
  • Item Weight: 1.76 pounds
  • Satisfaction Score: 92%
  • Dimensions: 9.45 x 9.45 x 15.75 inches
  • Overall Score: 9.3
Store Website: www.amazon.com

Handmade Wooden & Leather Classical Indian Folk Dumroo Damroo Damaru Hand Drum ...

  • Brand Name: The Great Indian Bazaar
  • Size Options: 3 (L) x 2.5 (Diameter) Inches
  • Color Options: White Red Yellow
  • Item Weight: 1.58 ounces
  • Satisfaction Score: 61%
  • Dimensions: 3 x 3 x 3 inches
  • Overall Score: 5.1
Store Website: www.amazon.com

Overseas Connection African Talking Drum, 11″ x 5"

  • Brand Name: Overseas Connection
  • Model Name: G-963
  • Satisfaction Score: 95%
  • Overall Score: 7.7
Store Website: www.amazon.com

Classic Heartwood Dondo Talking Drum with stick - Large (8"x18") - Ghana

  • Brand Name: Africa Heartwood Project
  • Model Name: CTDL
  • Item Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Satisfaction Score: 66%
  • Dimensions: 8 x 8 x 18 inches
  • Overall Score: 9.5
Store Website: www.amazon.com

Classic Heartwood Dondo Talking Drum 7x15, African Talking Drum with Curved ...

  • Brand Name: Africa Heartwood Project
  • Model Name: CTDS
  • Item Weight: 2.99 pounds
  • Satisfaction Score: 77%
  • Dimensions: 7 x 7 x 16 inches
  • Overall Score: 8.5
Store Website: www.amazon.com

Remo Talking Drum (TD081618)

  • Brand Name: Remo
  • Model Name: TD081618
  • Item Weight: 1 pounds
  • Satisfaction Score: 100%
  • Dimensions: 10 x 10 x 10 inches
  • Overall Score: 7.9
Store Website: www.amazon.com

Tycoon Percussion ETD Small Talking Drum

  • Brand Name: Tycoon Percussion
  • Model Name: ETD
  • Color Options: DARK BROWN
  • Item Weight: 4.41 pounds
  • Satisfaction Score: 100%
  • Dimensions: 11 x 11 x 18 inches
  • Overall Score: 9.9
Store Website: www.amazon.com

Damaru Indian Folk Percussion Musical Instrument 5 Inches

  • Brand Name: Shalinindia
  • Model Name: MN-damroo001a
  • Item Weight: 6.7 ounces
  • Satisfaction Score: 100%
  • Dimensions: 7.9 x 4.9 x 4 inches
  • Overall Score: 9.1
Store Website: www.amazon.com

Gon Bops Shaker (PSHS1PR)

  • Brand Name: Gon Bops
  • Model Name: PSHS1PR
  • Item Weight: 3.52 ounces
  • Satisfaction Score: 100%
  • Dimensions: 15 x 15 x 4 inches
  • Overall Score: 9.9
Store Website: www.amazon.com

Remo Talking Drum (TD061581)

  • Brand Name: Remo
  • Model Name: TD061581
  • Item Weight: 5.06 pounds
  • Satisfaction Score: 100%
  • Dimensions: 15.5 x 7.75 x 7.75 inches
  • Overall Score: 0
Store Website: www.amazon.com

Toca T-TLKD Talking Drum

  • Brand Name: Toca
  • Model Name: T-TLKD
  • Size Options: #NAME?
  • Item Weight: 3.8 pounds
  • Satisfaction Score: 67%
  • Dimensions: 17.4 x 9.2 x 8.9 inches
  • Overall Score: 6.3
Store Website: www.amazon.com

Remo Talking Drum (TD061181)

  • Brand Name: Remo
  • Model Name: TD061181
  • Item Weight: 3.06 pounds
  • Satisfaction Score: 100%
  • Dimensions: 12.25 x 8.5 x 8.3 inches
  • Overall Score: 7.9
Store Website: www.amazon.com

Talking Drums Buying Guide

The traditional way to play talking drums is by holding it between one arm and the ribs, squeezing the strings to change the tune. But another way to play is by using a wooden striker or beater, which is the proper technique to achieve optimal sound quality. While talking drums were used as a form of speech in the early days, they later became a musical instrument widely used across Africa. But no matter the purpose of buying a talking drum, it is crucial to consider some features.

High-Quality Shell and Ropes

The hourglass body of a talking drum, also known as the shell, is usually made of wood, which offers the best sound quality. There can be different kinds of wood like Tweneboa, hand-carved by artisans, or mahogany, a hardwood timber. Both offer the best results, but the construction should be stable and sturdy for good range and resonance. Besides the shell, a talking drum needs high-quality strings as it performs the primary tuning function. Buyers can either go with nylon or leather cords as both are strong and offer a warm tone for high and low pitch music.

Choosing the Right Drumhead and Striker/Mallet

While the talking drum's cords are an essential part of tuning, drumheads also play an important role. It is best to choose drumheads made of natural materials like sheepskin or goatskin, which are stronger than artificial materials and offer premium sound quality. But it is also vital to ensure that the drumhead is correctly secured in place with the strings for enhanced playability. For a better experience, it is recommended to play the talking drum with a wooden beater, and it is better to choose a drum that includes it.

What More to Consider?

Even though a solid construction is crucial, you can pick out a talking drum with an etched design or motif on its shell for a traditional feel. Since the talking drum has to be held between the arm and the ribs, choosing a lightweight and compact size offers more flexibility and movement to the player. Buyers can even go for drums with shoulder straps or strings so they can be easily carried, especially during performances. Also, the strings/cords on the talking drum should have high tensile strength for extended use and durability.

Categories Simillar to Talking Drums

Categories Simillar to Talking Drums includes Darbukas, Djembes and Udu Drums