A tongue drum is a musical instrument that makes soothing and melodious sounds. People use it for meditating, spiritual healing, and music education. So, if you want to know about how do you play a tongue drum, this article will help you well.
Tongue drums are part of many musical cultures. It is one of the oldest music instruments existing in the world. The incredible thing about this instrument is, you don’t need any unique talents to play this.
Because of the effortless learning process and mesmerizing sounds, the tongue drums are becoming popular every day. It is a great musical instrument for kids as well as adults who want to pick a new hobby.
Tongue drums are tuned to a diatonic scale.
So, it’s simple to make sounds with them. The notes are arranged from left to right across the head of the tongue drum.
So, if you are willing to play a tongue drum, this is all you need to know.
How do you choose the ideal tongue drum for yourself?
Before you dive into the world of tongue drums, you need to know the type of instrument you should get. Follow this section to know about the tongue drum that will suit you best.
Choose a full-sized instrument:
There are varieties of tongue drums available in the market. So, if you are new in the melodic world of tongue drums, you may get lost.
Every tongue drum sounds differently. There also some technical differences like volume, scale, and sound clarity. Size also matters while buying a tongue drum.
The big tongue drums make a louder and better sound. The small ones are handy. But if you want to play that instrument, get the bigger ones.
The diameter of a full-sized professional tongue drum is around 52 cm. The full-sized tongue drums can make a variety of overtones. It makes them sound more rhythmic.
So, getting a full-sized drum will be a wise choice.
Do not compromise with quality for the budget.
Most of the beginners make this mistake at first. They tend to go for the cheaper instruments. But with a high price, comes the superior quality.
What is the point of buying an instrument that does not sound good?
More inexpensive instruments do not make soothing sounds. As a beginner, you do not have to get the highest quality available. But there are some excellent quality tongue drums available in the market with a moderate price range.
If a good quality tongue drum is out of your budget, wait for a sale. You do not want to disappoint yourself with an instrument that sounds horrible; trust me!
Pick the right technique.
There are two ways that you can apply while playing tongue drums. You can either play by hand or using mallets.
Mallets make louder sounds than hands. So, for a beginner, using mallet is the right choice. They usually come with the drum, but you can get them separately.
You can start with playing with hammers, and gradually switch to hands for more professional vibes.
The scale of the instrument.
The next thing to consider while shopping for a tongue drum is to think about the scale of it. But it depends on your preference. What scale would you like to listen to?
Major scales provide happy and cheerful scales. Minor scales give you thoughtful and severe scales.
How do you play a Tongue drum?
As I said before, there are two ways to play tongue drums. You can play either with mallets or with hands.
Playing tongue drum with hands.
Most of the tongue drum players prefer to play with hands. They say you can make a bond with your instrument well this way. It gives you the soothing sound that you want to get from a tongue drum.
Even technically, playing with your hands gives you more control over the tongue drum. You can use any of your fingertips. But the professionals suggest you use the thumbs, index, and middle fingers more often.
While playing it, hit the note quickly, then slap your finger off the note and allow it to vibrate.
Don’t make your fingers stay on the note for a long time. It will stop the instrument from resonating.
You can also use your wrist and palms to create more soulful sounds. Feel your notes, go into the depth. Enjoy every melody you make.
Playing with mallets.
For creating louder and vibrant music, mallets are the best option for you.
Mallets make a different sound than hands. It takes the melody of tongue drums to another level. You can use different types of mallets to make varieties of sounds.
Notes are easy to make with mallets. So as a beginner, you can use mallets until you feel skilled enough to play with hands.
There is also another of playing by combining both techniques. You can play it using both hands and mallets all together.
It is more of an expert level thing to try. So, keep practicing to unlock more creative doors of the tongue drum world.
Things we should consider while playing a tongue drum:
Like any other music instrument, a tongue drum has some maintenance requirements. You should remember the following things while playing it.
- Always use your palms to create force.
- Use your wrist for motion mostly. You can also tap the tongue drum for making a deep sound.
- Never use the fingers in the middle of the tongue drums.
- Keep your elbows steady. Do not move them.
- Avoid wearing any jewelry while playing the tongue drum. It can injure the drum and also make unpleasant sounds.
Always play your tongue drum gently. If you tap it harshly, you may need frequent tuning. Even you may need to buy a new instrument very soon!
If you give enough dedication, you can master any skill gracefully. And when it is about playing tongue drums, you will learn to play this without any hasslSo, if you were wondering about how do you play a tongue drum, I think I have covered all the things you should know about it. I hope you get pleasure from your tongue drum playing sessions.