The Different Types of Percussion Instruments

Percussion instruments include snare drums, cymbals, timpani and also exotic instruments like Claves, Guiro, and maracas. These musical tools and the way they are played go a long way in determining the feel and style of music. Latin musicians have been able to use some of these different instruments in creating music.

Anthropologist and historians have repeatedly speculated that these devices were the first musical instrument that ever came into being but the truth is, the human voice was the first instrument that came into being and percussion tools like, hands, feet, rock, sticks came in second to the ongoing music evolution. Having said that here are different types of percussion instruments



It is a musical instrument that consists of metal bars that have been tuned.It is usually struck with a mallet to produce a sound. This device has been used in Asian music for many years.Several types have been employed in Balinese and Gamelan.The instrument has a row of bars that are single and tuned to slendro scales.


Ashiko is a cylinder-shaped drum with its head positioned on its broad end while its narrow end is usually unlocked.Hardwood and goat’s skin are the products that make this drum.You can play it with both hands and tune it by a rope. West Africa, as well as some parts of America, is where you can find it.

Basler drum

It is a string tension two-headed drum.It got its name from Basel, its original area. This instrument is well known for Basel carnival whereby it can be played by more than two thousand drummers. In swiss or german it is called as Tambourine while in France it is referred to as Tambourin.

Bass drum

It is a large drum that can produce definite or indefinite low pitch note.The drum does vary in size and is usually used for some musical genres. You can easily distinguish between the major types of the drum as the favorite type is the ensemble orchestral.The drum is the largest of the orchestra with its kick drum connected to a pedal from where a beater strikes it.

Electronic drum kit

It is an electrical musical instrument that is usually hit by a drummer. For the production of unique sound selections, you can play it in real time. Additionally, this percussion instrument can be classified as an electronic synthesizer that can duplicate the acoustic drum sound thus producing credible and good quality sound.

These have become incredibly popular in the past 10 years – there are even websites dedicated to electronic drum set reviews now!


The device is a percussion instrument and a pure sound musical instrument. It has a hollow form and a cup-shaped resonator and can vibrate when struck. The tool that hits it is usually suspended within it and is known as uvula. It is a separate hammer enclosed within the bell’s body. The metal cast makes these percussion instruments.

Bongo drum

Bongo drum is another kind of percussion instrument of Afro-Cuban origin.The drum consists of small pairs of open bottomed drums of various sizes.In Spanish, the large drum is known as Hembra while the smaller one is called Macho. These musical instruments can create sound by stretch membrane vibration.


Celesta musical instrument can be struck and operated with the help of a keyboard.This device looks like an upright piano or a wooden giant music box. Its keys are connected to hammers and would strike metal plate set.The four and five models usually have pedals that would support the sound. However, the three-octave instrument normally does not have a pedal because of its small design table top.


Claves instruments consist of pairs of short and thick dowels. Initially, these musical instruments were made of wood like ebony, rosewood or grenadilla but today they are made of plastic or fiberglass.When struck they can make a clicking sound.This musical instruments are hollow and have been carved in the middle to support sound intensity.They are popular in Cuban music like guaguanco.


The above are some of the types of percussion instruments. One thing you should know is that as you enter the world of percussion.You will find lots of beautiful musical sounds and surprises.You will hear music from primitive cultures from around the world and also be exposed to orchestral music where percussion section will be vital in performance.