Bongos are a pair of small, open bottomed drums, with one slightly larger in size than the other. They are an essential percussion accompaniment in Latin and African musical styles.
These Afro-Cuban drums are handheld and hit by the palm of the hand rather than with a drumstick. The beauty of the bongo is in the simplistic and often ad-lib drumming style and the rich tone these small drums provide.
Comprising a conical body with a single skin coverage, bongos are used in many genres of music and make a stunning impact in songs including The Yardbirds 'For Your Love' and Queens of the Stone Age 'Better Living Through Chemistry'.
Now widely used in all styles of music, bongos are a fun and unusual choice of percussion instrument.
What to expect from your bongos
- Variable prices from premium to budget models
- Vintage models may be of interest to collectors
- Branded and unbranded models available
- Luxury gloss finish on professional bongos
- Bongo stands available
- Rich, light tone with an iconic sound
- Ideal for those looking to learn a percussion instrument
- Available in various colours and natural wood finishes
- Available in smaller sizes for younger musicians
Choosing your bongos
If you've decided to learn this interesting and unusual percussion instrument – whether professionally or just as a hobby – it's important to consider your budget before deciding whether you want a branded or unbranded bongo. Most are sold at competitive rates, with branded items only slightly more expensive and available with either real or synthetic skin.
Tuning your bongos is something you'll find comes with practice and tutorials can easily be found online. Should you wish to have your bongos professionally tuned, this service is offered by drum technicians. Bongos require little specialist care, and should be cleaned with a non-abrasive cloth.