How to Choose Bongo Drums

When it comes to delving into the lively and melodic universe of percussion, bongo drums serve as an exhilarating option. These versatile instruments have the ability to produce a wide variety of sounds and are utilized in various musical genres. Whether you’re a novice yearning to learn or a skilled drummer aiming to elevate your collection, this inclusive guide will assist you in selecting the optimal bongo drums. We will delve into different levels of quality, explore supreme choices for beginners, enthusiasts, and professionals alike, provide pointers on substituting drumskins, address frequently asked questions, and offer concluding musings on discovering your perfect pair of bongo drums. So let’s commence on a rhythmic odyssey through the enchanting realm of bongos!

Deciding on Your Quality Level

When it comes to picking out bongo drums, one of the first choices you’ll have to make is deciding on the level of quality that suits your fancy. Taking the time to comprehend the disparities in quality can assist you in finding the ideal pair of bongos that align with your specific needs and preferences. In this particular section, we will delve into the differences in quality among three different price categories: beginner, enthusiast-level, and professional-level bongos. By delving deep into these specifics, you’ll develop a better grasp on what factors to consider when selecting your ultimate set of drums. So let’s take a closer look at how different price ranges influence the quality of bongo drums.

What’s the Difference in Quality Between the Three Price Categories?

In the budget category, you’ll discover bongos specifically designed for beginners or casual players who prefer not to splurge. Although these bongos may be constructed from more affordable materials like plastic or synthetic skin, they can still produce a commendable sound if properly tuned. While they might lack some of the features and durability of pricier options, budget bongos offer an economical entry point into playing this instrument.

Advancing to the enthusiast-level category, you’ll encounter bongos tailored for intermediate players or those dedicated to their musical journey. These bongos often boast superior craftsmanship and materials such as wooden shells and natural drumheads. They provide enhanced sound quality, durability, and resonance compared to budget alternatives. Enthusiast-level bongos serve as ideal upgrades for players seeking progress from beginner instruments.

Lastly, in the professional-level category, you’ll find top-of-the-line bongos meticulously crafted for adept percussionists and serious musicians. These bongos are typically handmade with premium materials like oak or fiberglass shells and animal skin drumheads. They deliver exceptional sound projection, sensitivity, and tonal range. Professional-level bongos epitomize unmatched performance and masterful artistry for those demanding the finest.

While deciding on your preferred price category for bongo drums, take into account your skill level, playing style, and how much you’re willing to invest in your instrument. Keep in mind that irrespective of which price category you choose, there will always exist subtle variances concerning construction, materials used, visual aesthetics, and overall sound quality.

By comprehending these disparities in quality among price categories, you can make an informed decision when acquiring your next set of bongo drums.

The Best Beginner Bongos

When it comes to choosing the best beginner bongos, there are several options available that are perfect for those who are just starting their musical journey. One of the top choices is the Meinl Journey Bongo, a great set that offers both quality and affordability. Another excellent option is the Pearl Travel Bongos, which are designed with convenience in mind as they come with a compact carrying case. Additionally, you can consider a set of Bongo Drums for Professionals that can also be used by beginners due to their versatility and easy playability. These sets often feature natural wood construction and synthetic heads, providing a durable and consistent sound. Regardless of your choice, it’s important to look for bongos that are easy to tune and offer good sound quality, ensuring an enjoyable experience as you learn to play.

What To Look For In Beginner Bongos

When it comes to choosing beginner bongos, there are a few key factors to consider. First and foremost, look for bongos that are designed to be played by beginners. These sets often come with features that make learning easier, such as a comfort curve II rim or lightweight construction. Another important consideration is the quality of the instrument. While beginner bongos may not have the same level of craftsmanship as professional-level drums, it’s still important to choose a set that is well-made and durable.

Next, think about the materials used in the construction of the bongos. Beginners will likely want a set of bongos with synthetic drum skins, as these are generally more durable and easier to maintain than natural animal skins. Additionally, look for bongos that have a solid wood shell for improved resonance and sound quality.

Finally, consider your budget when choosing beginner bongos. There are many affordable options available on the market that offer good quality and sound for beginners. However, keep in mind that investing in slightly higher-quality bongos may provide a better playing experience and longer-lasting durability.

In conclusion, when selecting beginner bongos, focus on finding a set that is designed for beginners, made from high-quality materials like synthetic drum skins and solid wood shells, and fits within your budget constraints. By considering these factors, you can find a great set of beginner bongos that will allow you to properly learn and enjoy playing this fascinating instrument.

What to Avoid in Beginner Bongos

When choosing beginner bongos, it is just as important to know what to avoid as it is to know what to look for. By avoiding certain features or qualities, you can ensure that you select the best bongos for your needs. Here are a few things you should avoid when shopping for beginner bongos:

  1. Low-quality materials: Stay away from bongos made with cheap materials such as ABS plastic or low-grade wood. These may not produce the desired sound and can easily break or wear out.
  2. Poor construction: Avoid bongos with shoddy construction, such as loose hardware or poorly aligned shells. These issues can affect the overall sound and durability of the instrument.
  3. Unreliable brand: Stick with reputable brands that have a proven track record in producing quality percussion instruments. Research customer reviews and expert recommendations before making a purchase.
  4. Limited tuning capabilities: Look for bongos with adjustable tuning lugs so you have more control over the sound. Bongos without this feature may restrict your ability to achieve different tones.

By avoiding these pitfalls, you can ensure that your beginner bongos provide a solid foundation for your percussion journey while also delivering an enjoyable playing experience.

Best Enthusiast-Level Bongos

Here, I want to chat about some awesome bongos designed specifically for those who are really passionate about playing. If you’re an aspiring percussionist and want to take your bongo skills up a notch, finding the right set that matches your level of expertise and musical dreams is crucial. Let’s delve into the world of enthusiast-level bongos together, examining what features to seek and what mistakes to steer clear of. So, let’s jump right in and uncover the ideal pair of bongos to elevate your playing adventure!

What To Look For in Enthusiast-Level Bongos

When searching for enthusiast-level bongos, there are several key factors to consider. First and foremost is the material used. Enthusiast-level bongos are typically made from high-quality wood, such as siam oak or ash oak, which provides excellent sound quality and durability. Another important feature to look for is drum head material. Buffalo drum heads or rawhide skins are commonly used in enthusiast-level bongos due to their great sound projection and resonance.

In terms of design, enthusiasts may prefer bongos with a larger size for a deeper tone. Additionally, the construction of the shell is essential. Look for sturdy and well-built shells that ensure stability and longevity.

Enthusiast-level bongos also offer a wide range of options when it comes to brands and models. Popular choices include Meinl Percussion’s Journey Series Bongo or Latin Percussion’s Galaxy Bongo.

Overall, when selecting an enthusiast-level bongo set, prioritize high-quality materials, solid construction, and reputable brands that produce instruments known for their superior sound and craftsmanship.

What To Avoid in Enthusiast-Level Bongos

When it comes to choosing enthusiast-level bongos, there are a few things that you should avoid to ensure you get the best quality instrument. Here’s what to watch out for:

  1. Cheap materials: Steer clear of bongos made from low-quality materials like plastic or inferior woods. These can affect the sound and durability of your bongos.
  2. Poor craftsmanship: Avoid bongos with shoddy construction or uneven surfaces. Look for instruments with smooth finishes and well-fitted parts to ensure optimal playability.
  3. Subpar drumheads: Opt for bongos that have high-quality drumheads made from natural rawhide or synthetic skins designed specifically for percussion instruments.
  4. Inadequate tuning mechanism: Stay away from bongos that lack reliable tuning mechanisms or have cheap hardware. A sturdy tuning system is crucial for maintaining proper pitch and tone.

Remember, investing in a pair of enthusiast-level bongos means you’re serious about your craft. By avoiding these pitfalls, you’ll increase your chances of finding a pair of bongos that not only look great but also deliver exceptional sound quality and durability.

Best Professional-Level Bongos

Are you a skilled bongo player seeking to enhance your abilities? Then it might be the perfect moment for you to consider acquiring a pair of top-tier professional-level bongos. These exceptional instruments are specifically crafted for proficient musicians who demand unparalleled sound quality and performance. In this segment, I will delve into the aspects one should bear in mind when selecting professional-level bongos, as well as what to steer clear from. Regardless of whether you grace the stage or immerse yourself in the studio environment, discovering the ideal professional bongos is instrumental in realizing your musical aspirations. Therefore, let’s embark on this journey together and unravel the secrets of identifying the ultimate professional-level bongos that will undeniably elevate your playing experience.

What To Look For in Professional-Level Bongos

When it comes to selecting top-notch bongos, there are a few key factors that you should definitely keep in mind. First and foremost, the most crucial aspect to consider is the sound quality. As a professional musician, it’s of utmost importance that your bongos produce rich and resonant sounds with deep tones that can effortlessly cut through any musical arrangement. You should be on the lookout for bongos equipped with high-quality rawhide heads and solid construction in order to achieve optimal sound projection.

Durability is another vital factor to take into account when making your choice. Since you’ll likely be using your instruments extensively as a professional percussionist, it is imperative that they can withstand frequent playing and transportation without deteriorating. Bongos crafted from robust materials like Siam oak or other hardwoods will provide excellent durability.

Furthermore, don’t forget about the size of the bongo drums. Professional-grade bongos typically fall into the category known as “full-size,” which means they have larger drum heads and deeper shells compared to beginner-level or enthusiast-level bongos. The larger size affords you a wider tonal range and increased volume.

Last but not least, comfort should not be overlooked. Look for features such as ergonomic drum shells and comfortable grips on the drumsticks to ensure that you can play for extended periods without experiencing fatigue.

By taking these factors – sound quality, durability, size, and comfort – into consideration, you will undoubtedly discover professional-grade bongos that meet your requirements while enhancing your musical performance.

What To Avoid In Professional-Level Bongos

When it comes to professional-level bongos, there are a few things you should avoid to ensure you make the best choice for your needs. Here are some important factors to consider:

  1. Avoid compromising on shell construction: Professional-level bongos often have high-quality shells made from materials like wood or fiberglass. Avoid bongo drums with low-quality shell construction, as this can greatly impact the overall sound and durability of the instrument.
  2. Steer clear of cheap drumsticks: Investing in a good pair of drumsticks is essential for a professional percussionist. Avoid using subpar drumsticks that may not provide the desired tone or break easily during intense playing.
  3. Don’t overlook the sound quality: Professional-level bongos should produce a rich and resonant sound with clear tones and good projection. Avoid instruments that lack in sound quality, as this can hinder your performance and limit your musical expression.

By avoiding these pitfalls, you can ensure that you invest in top-notch professional-level bongos that will meet your expectations and elevate your musical performances.

Upgrading Your Bongos

So, you’ve found the bongos that truly captivate your rhythm, and now you hunger for something more. That thirst for improvement is precisely where the concept of upgrading your bongos emerges. Here in this segment, we’ll embark on a thrilling journey to uncover diverse methods that can enrich your bongo playing adventure. Whether it’s through swapping drumskins or venturing into uncharted accessory territories, fear not! We’ll walk you through the process of elevating your bongos to ensure an extraordinary musical experience. So without further ado, let’s plunge into the realm of possibilities and explore how you can skyrocket your bongo drums’ artistry to unprecedented heights.

Replacing the Drumskins

When it comes to upgrading your bongos, one important aspect to consider is replacing the drumskins. Drumskins, also known as drum heads, are the surfaces that you strike with your fingers or drumsticks to produce sound. Over time, drumskins can wear out or become damaged due to regular playing and exposure to the elements.

To maintain optimal sound quality and performance, it’s essential to replace worn-out or damaged drumskins. This ensures that your bongo drums continue to produce rich and resonant tones. Plus, replacing the drumskins can give your bongos a fresh new look.

Replacing the drumskins on your bongos is relatively straightforward and can be done by following a few simple steps:

  1. Remove the old drumskins: Carefully remove the old drumskins from each of the bongo shells using a screwdriver or similar tool.
  2. Clean the shells: Take this opportunity to clean the inside of each shell by wiping them down with a soft cloth or brush.
  3. Choose high-quality replacement drumskins: There is a wide variety of replacement drumskins available in various materials such as natural rawhide or synthetic options like Mylar. Consider factors like sound quality, durability, and personal preference when selecting new drumheads.
  4. Prepare the new drumskins: Follow any manufacturer instructions for preparing new drumheads for mounting on your bongos. This could involve soaking them in water if using natural rawhide skins or ensuring they are evenly tensioned for synthetic options.
  5. Mount the new drumskins: Carefully stretch and mount each new skin onto its corresponding shell while ensuring an even tension across all areas of the head surface.
  6. Tune: Once mounted, tune each individual drumskin by adjusting their tension using tuning lugs or rods until you achieve desired pitch and tone.

Remember that proper maintenance plays a crucial role in extending the lifespan of your bongos. Replacing the drumskins is just one aspect of maintaining your instrument. Regular cleaning, proper storage, and careful handling are also important for preserving the sound quality and longevity of your bongos.


What are the different price categories for bongo drums?

The three price categories for bongo drums are budget, mid-range, and high-end.

What are the best beginner bongos?

The best beginner bongos are typically those that are affordable, easy to play, and durable. Some popular options include the Meinl Headliner Series Bongos and the LP Aspire Bongos.

What should I look for in beginner bongos?

When choosing beginner bongos, look for features such as sturdy construction, comfortable grips, and adjustable tuning systems. It’s also important to consider the sound quality and resonance.

What should I avoid in beginner bongos?

In beginner bongos, it’s best to avoid drums with poor-quality materials, cheap hardware, and limited tuning options. Additionally, avoid bongos that are too heavy or uncomfortable to play.

What should I look for in enthusiast-level bongos?

Enthusiast-level bongos should have higher-quality materials and construction compared to beginner bongos. Look for features such as professional-grade hardware, premium drumskins, and enhanced resonance.

What should I avoid in enthusiast-level bongos?

When choosing enthusiast-level bongos, avoid drums that are overpriced for the features they offer. Also, stay away from bongos with overly complex tuning systems or poor-quality craftsmanship.

What should I look for in professional-level bongos?

For professional-level bongos, look for top-of-the-line materials, exceptional craftsmanship, and superior tonal qualities. Professional bongos often feature hand-selected drumskins and precision-tuned hardware.

What should I avoid in professional-level bongos?

In professional-level bongos, avoid drums with subpar drumskins, inconsistent tuning, or weak tonal projection. It is also advisable to avoid bongos with unnecessary or gimmicky features.

How can I upgrade my bongo drums?

One way to upgrade your bongo drums is by replacing the drumskins. High-quality drumskins can greatly improve the sound and responsiveness of your bongos.


In conclusion, choosing the right bongo drums for your needs requires careful consideration of various factors. Whether you are a beginner, enthusiast, or professional player, there are options available that will suit your skill level and budget. It’s important to prioritize quality when making your decision, as this will directly impact the sound and durability of the drums.

When choosing beginner bongos, look for models that are easy to play and provide a good learning experience. Avoid bongos with poor construction and inconsistent sound.

For enthusiasts looking to upgrade their skills, consider bongos with more advanced features such as adjustable tuning systems and higher-quality materials. Avoid overly expensive options unless necessary.

Professional-level bongos should offer exceptional sound quality, durability, and craftsmanship. Look for reputable brands with a history of producing top-notch instruments. Avoid compromising on quality just to save money.

Remember to regularly maintain your bongos by replacing drumskins when needed. This will ensure optimal performance and prolong the lifespan of your instrument.

In summary, explore different options based on your skill level and budget while prioritizing quality. Take the time to research various brands and read customer reviews before making a purchase. With the right choice of bongo drums, you can enhance your playing experience and create captivating rhythms that resonate with passion and authenticity. Happy drumming!