Percussion Instrument List and Complete Guide

Pro Music Vault Home Percussion Instrument List and Complete Guide

Did you know that percussion instruments are thought to be the world’s oldest form of manmade instrument?

This category of musical instruments (alongside the other four families of strings, woodwinds, brass, and the human voice) is also the largest, and could very well be considered the most diverse.

This guide to percussion instruments will do the following:

  • Provide a broad overview of percussion history
  • Cover how percussion instruments work
  • Explain the two main types of percussion instruments
  • Give an instrument-by-instrument rundown
  • Look at which percussion instruments tend to feature in orchestras
  • Provide a Complete Percussion Instrument List from around the world

By the time we’re done, I’m sure you’ll have a newfound—or deepened—appreciation for these infectious instruments.

Table of Contents

How Percussion Instruments Work & Produce Sound

Percussion instruments are played by individuals referred to as percussionists.

These musicians produce sound by striking or scraping the instrument with a beater (e.g. a drumstick, or even one’s hands).

Types Of Percussion Instruments

There are two main types of percussion instruments: membranophone and idiophone.


It’s pretty easy to remember what kind of percussion instrument “membranophones” are—just think of “membrane,” or the thin layer that’s stretched tightly over a frame.

For example, the snare drum and tom drums of a typical drum kit are membranophones.


Idiophones, on the other hand, produce sound when hit by the percussionist, due to the resulting vibrations of the entire instrument—think, for example, of the cymbals of a drum kit.

Tuned & Untuned Percussion Instruments

Also referred to as pitched and unpitched percussion, tuned/pitched percussion can play melodies and has an adjustable pitch, whereas untuned/unpitched percussion cannot.

Unpitched percussion instruments, such as snare drums, are used for their rhythmic purposes rather than tonal purposes.

Pitched percussion instruments, on the other hand, can provide both rhythmic intrigue as well as melodic lines.

Both pitched and unpitched percussion instruments can be either membranophones or idiophones.

There is an incredible diversity of percussion instruments, and dozens of individual instruments in both the membranophone family and the idiophone family.

For this guide, we’ll focus mainly on the better-known varieties, starting with membranophones, and then switching over to idiophones.


Bongos are small, handheld percussion instruments that are commonly associated with Latin American music. They consist of two drums of different sizes that are attached to each other and played with the hands. Bongos are incredibly versatile and can be used to play a variety of rhythms, from fast and lively salsa beats to slow and mournful ballads. They’re also pretty portable, making them a popular choice for musicians who want to take their music on the road.

One of the coolest things about bongos is that they’re not just for professionals. In fact, they’re a great choice for anyone who wants to get into playing music, whether you’re a seasoned pro or a complete beginner. The simple design means that you can start playing right away, and with a bit of practice, you can start to develop your own unique style. Plus, they’re pretty affordable, so you don’t have to break the bank to get started.

When it comes to playing bongos, the key is to have fun. Don’t get too caught up in trying to play the “right” way, or worrying about what others might think. Just let loose and get into the rhythm.

PMV Top Pick – Discover the joy of playing bongos with this high-quality, beginner-friendly option.


The congas, also known as tumbadora, are a staple in Latin American music. Originating from Cuba, these hand drums have become a popular instrument in various styles of music, including salsa, rumba, and reggaeton. Congas come in different sizes, with the most common being the quinto, conga, and tumba. Each size has a unique sound and is used to create different rhythms within a song.

Playing the congas is a unique experience, as it requires a combination of hand and foot movement. The player uses their hands to strike the drumhead, while the feet keep a steady beat. There’s a lot of room for expression and creativity, as players can add variations to their playing by adding slaps, open tones, and other techniques. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, the congas are a fun and challenging instrument to play.

If you’re interested in incorporating the congas into your music, it’s important to find the right type of drum for your needs. While some people prefer the traditional Cuban-style congas, others opt for the more modern, commercially-made drums.

PMV Top Pick – The vintage sunburst finish looks amazing on this congas set.


The djembe is a West African drum that’s been around for centuries. It’s a hand drum that you can play with your bare hands, and it produces a sound that’s nothing short of magic. The sound of a djembe is rich and full, with a deep bass and a bright slap that can fill up a room with energy. It’s a drum that’s meant to be played with passion and intensity, and it’s perfect for any kind of music that needs a little extra kick.

Playing the djembe is a lot of fun, but it’s also a bit of a workout. You have to hit the drum with your bare hands, and you have to do it hard enough to get the sound you want. That means you have to have some strength in your arms and hands, especially if you’re going to be playing for a while.

The djembe is more than just a drum, it’s a cultural icon. It’s been played in Africa for centuries, and it’s now a staple of world music. The djembe is used in all sorts of musical genres, from traditional African music to reggae and even hip hop. It’s a versatile instrument that can be used to create all kinds of sounds, from a deep bass to a sharp, crisp slap. And it’s not just for music, either. The djembe is also used in rituals and celebrations, and it’s a big part of West African culture.

PMV Top Pick – Designed for players of any skill level, this mahogany wood djembe looks great and plays great.


The timpani, also known as kettledrums, are one of the oldest instruments in the world. They were first used in medieval times and have since become an integral part of orchestras and bands. Timpani drums are played by striking the head of the drum with a special drumstick, known as a timpani stick. This stick is made of wood or plastic and has a felt or rubber head to provide a distinct sound.

When you hear the timpani in an orchestra or band, it’s hard not to get pumped up. These drums are used to create a strong, low-frequency sound that is often used to provide rhythm and underscore important moments in a piece of music. Timpani players are typically trained percussionists who have to be able to tune the drums on the fly, in order to create the desired sound.

One of the coolest things about the timpani is that they’re actually very versatile instruments. They can be used to create a powerful, thundering sound in a symphony, or they can be used to provide a soft, subtle rhythm in a jazz ensemble. Timpani drums come in various sizes, with larger drums producing a lower frequency and smaller drums producing a higher frequency.


The tambourine is one of the oldest and most versatile instruments in the world. It’s a handheld percussion instrument with a circular frame and pairs of small metal jingles attached to the frame. This instrument has been used in music and dance for thousands of years, originating in ancient Middle Eastern cultures.

The tambourine can add a fun and energetic beat to any music. It’s a great addition to any drum set or percussion ensemble, and can also be played as a solo instrument. There are many different styles of tambourine playing, from shaking the instrument to playing it with sticks. You can also add a rhythm by tapping your hand against the frame. Just don’t break any of the jingles!

The tambourine is also an important part of many different cultures and traditions. It’s a staple in gospel music, as well as in Latin and Caribbean music. In some cultures, the tambourine is used in religious rituals and ceremonies, adding to the spiritual atmosphere of the event.

PMV Top Pick – Unleash your musical creativity with this traditional wood tambourine, PMV’s go-to recommendation for all musician types.


The mridangam is a percussion instrument that is an essential part of South Indian classical music. It is basically a large, hourglass-shaped drum that is made from jackfruit wood and has two heads – one of which is made from buffalo hide and the other from calf skin. It has a rich history, and has been used for centuries in devotional and classical music, as well as for traditional dances like Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi.

Playing the mridangam requires skill, and a good mridangam player can produce a variety of sounds and rhythms, each of which has its own specific significance. It is said that a good mridangam player can evoke a wide range of emotions just by playing different rhythms and combinations. The instrument is also known for its versatility and can be played in accompaniment to various instruments, including the violin and the veena, as well as in solo performances.

Seeing a mridangam player in action is a mesmerizing experience, and you’ll be able to appreciate the sheer skill and precision that goes into playing this instrument.

PMV Top Pick – Our go-to mridangam recommendation comes with the unique feature of a pitch range of up to 5 whole steps (C to A).


The ngoma is a traditional African drum that has been used for centuries for many different purposes, including religious ceremonies, dance parties, and social gatherings. This type of drum is often made from natural materials such as wood and animal hide, and is typically played in a group setting where everyone takes turns beating out different rhythms and melodies.

One of the coolest things about the ngoma is how versatile it is. It can be used to create anything from a fast-paced, upbeat rhythm to a slow and steady beat that you can feel in your bones. There’s something about the sound of the ngoma that just makes you want to get up and dance.


Tablas are an integral part of Indian classical music. They are a pair of hand drums, consisting of a smaller right drum (dahina or dayan) and a larger left drum (bayan). The right drum is played with the fingers, while the bayan is played with a larger, heavier stick. Both drums are made of hollowed out teak wood and covered with a tight skin, typically made from goat or water buffalo hide.

Playing tablas requires a great deal of skill, precision and rhythm. The drummer uses a combination of hand movements, finger techniques and drum strokes to produce a range of sounds, from soft, delicate beats to loud, energetic rhythms. Tabla players have to have excellent hand-eye coordination and a good sense of rhythm to be able to keep up with the fast-paced music they accompany.

Tablas are used in a variety of music genres, including classical, devotional, folk, and film music. They are also used in classical dances, such as Bharatanatyam and Kathak. It’s pretty impressive how these small drums can produce such a big sound and add so much energy to a performance.

PMV Top Pick – We love this tabla drum set in large part because it’s handcrafted right in India.


The bodhran is a traditional Irish drum that’s been around for centuries. It’s a simple instrument that consists of a circular frame made of wood or metal and a drumhead made of animal skin, usually goat or cowhide. The drumhead is stretched tight over the frame and is then beaten with a double-ended beater or tipper. The sound of the bodhran is often described as “booming” and “deep”.

One of the best things about the bodhran is how versatile it is. You can play it at a leisurely pace, with a relaxed rhythm, or you can really get into it and play some fast and intricate beats. It’s perfect for a solo performance or as part of a larger group of musicians. And when played correctly, it adds a ton of energy and life to any performance.

If you’re looking to try your hand at playing the bodhran, it’s not as difficult as you might think. You’ll need to invest in a good quality instrument, of course, and a set of tippers. But after that, it’s all about practice, practice, practice.

PMV Top Pick – Handmade quality with an ashwood natural wood finish get this bodhran the PMV Top Pick status.

Drum Kit

Drum kits are the backbone of every great band and the heartbeat of every concert. They’re the backbone that provides the rhythm and beat that drives the entire performance. Every drummer has their own unique style, whether they’re laying down the beat for a rock band, or providing the rhythm for a jazz quartet. From the soft and steady beat of a ballad to the thundering crash of a heavy metal song, drum kits play an essential role in music.

Choosing the right drum kit can definitely be a bit overwhelming. You’ve got your standard kits, electronic kits, and custom-made kits, each with their own pros and cons. Standard kits are great for beginners and for bands on a budget, but for more advanced drummers, an electronic kit might be the way to go. Electronic kits offer a wide range of sounds and drum samples, so you can tailor your setup to your individual needs and preferences. And, of course, you can always go all out and have a custom drum kit built just for you.

But regardless of what type of drum kit you choose, one thing’s for sure, you’ll need to put in the practice to get the most out of it. Drums are not just a bunch of pots and pans you hit with sticks, they require a lot of skill and technique to play well. Make sure you spend some time each day behind the kit, developing your skills and your style.

PMV Top Pick – All mesh heads, eight pieces, hundreds of drumset sounds, and a full suite of educational features – for less than $500? This electric drum set is a Top Pick no-brainer.


The xylophone is a percussion instrument that’s been around for centuries. It’s essentially a bunch of wooden bars of different lengths that are played with two hammers. The different lengths of the bars produce different pitches when struck, creating a unique, melodic sound. It’s a pretty cool instrument!

If you’ve ever heard someone playing the xylophone, then you know how versatile this instrument can be. It’s used in a variety of music genres, from classical to world music, and even in some pop and rock songs. And while it might not be as popular as the guitar or the drums, it definitely holds its own and adds a lot to any musical composition.

When it comes to playing the xylophone, it’s not as easy as it looks. But like the rest of these instruments, with practice they can be mastered.

PMV Top Pick – Discover the joy of playing the xylophone with this high-quality, beginner-friendly option.


The vibraphone is a musical instrument that is part of the percussion family. It is known for its warm, metallic sound and the ability to add a jazzy touch to any song. It’s like having a xylophone with an attitude! It’s played by striking the keys with mallets and using the pedals to create vibrato, giving it that signature sound.

The vibraphone has been around since the early 20th century and has been a staple in jazz music for decades. It’s been used in countless recordings and live performances, and can often be heard in the background of films and television shows, adding a touch of sophistication and class.

If you’re interested in playing the vibraphone, it’s not as hard as you may think. It does take some time to get the hang of playing with mallets and using the pedals, though.


The Glockenspiel is a percussion instrument that’s often mistaken for a xylophone, but they’re not exactly the same thing. The Glockenspiel is made up of a series of metal bars that are hit with mallets to produce sound. It’s a bit like playing a xylophone, but instead of wooden bars, you’re using metal ones. Plus, the Glockenspiel has a more piercing and bright sound that’s perfect for adding a touch of pizzazz to a marching band.

If you’ve ever been to a German Oktoberfest, you’ve probably seen a Glockenspiel in action. It’s a staple in traditional German folk music and is often played along with other instruments like the accordion and clarinet. However, the Glockenspiel has found its way into a variety of musical styles, from classical to rock. You can even hear it in video games and movies, like in the famous “Final Fantasy” theme.

The Glockenspiel is an instrument that’s both fun to play and to listen to. It’s not as complicated as a piano or guitar, but it still has a unique sound that can bring a smile to your face. And don’t worry about breaking the bank to get one – there are plenty of affordable Glockenspiels available for those who want to try their hand at playing.

PMV Top Pick – We like the fact that this beginner-friendly glockenspiel is also foldable and easy to take around with you.


The marimba is a pretty rad instrument, if you ask me. It’s got a super cool sound that’s somewhere between a xylophone and a piano. It’s got wooden bars that you hit with mallets to make music. Plus, it’s got that really warm, round tone that just makes you want to sit back, relax, and enjoy the music.

One of the coolest things about the marimba is that it can be played in a variety of styles, from classical to jazz to Latin. So, whether you’re into the smooth sounds of classical music or the upbeat rhythms of salsa, you’re sure to find a style of marimba music that you love. It’s also a pretty versatile instrument – you can play it as a solo instrument, or in a percussion ensemble with other drums, xylophones, and other percussion instruments.

I think one of the reasons why the marimba is so likable is that it just looks so cool. With its beautiful wooden bars, it’s like a work of art in itself.

PMV Top Pick – Play on a table-top or use the stand – this marimba is a top pick of ours in part because it has such great versatility.

Tubular bells

Tubular bells, also known as orchestral bells or chimes, are a type of percussion instrument that is often used in orchestral or classical music. They consist of multiple metal tubes of different lengths and diameters that are suspended vertically. When the tubes are struck with hammers, they produce a ringing sound that can range from soft and delicate to loud and powerful, depending on the type of mallets used and the force of the strike.

One of the most famous uses of tubular bells is in Mike Oldfield’s groundbreaking album “Tubular Bells,” which was released in 1973. This album was one of the first records to feature the instrument prominently, and it quickly became a classic of the progressive rock genre. The opening notes of the album’s title track are instantly recognizable and have been used in many films, television shows, and commercials over the years.

Aside from their use in classical and progressive rock music, tubular bells have also found their way into other genres of music, including pop, rock, and electronic. Some contemporary musicians have even started using electronic versions of the instrument, which can produce a wider range of sounds and be controlled via MIDI. No matter how they’re used, tubular bells add a touch of drama and excitement to any musical composition.

PMV Top PickThis 12-note set of tubular bells earns a top pick for the handmade care that is put into them.


Timbales, my friends, are the heart and soul of Latin music. These little drumming wonders have been around for centuries, bringing rhythm and energy to music genres like salsa, merengue, and son. They’re so important, in fact, that you could argue that Latin music wouldn’t exist without them. Timbales are the MVPs of Latin percussion.

So, what are timbales exactly? They’re two small single-headed drums that are played with sticks. The shells are usually made of metal, with the heads made of animal skin. They sit on a stand and have a simple design, but the sounds they produce are anything but simple. When played correctly, timbales can produce a wide range of sounds, from deep bass tones to sharp, crisp hits. Timbales can really heat up a performance and get people moving.

Now, you might be thinking that playing timbales sounds easy, but trust me, it’s not. Timbale playing requires precision, speed, and a lot of hand-eye coordination.

PMV Top Pick – Easily achieve professional-sounding results with this timbales – cowbell combo package, designed for optimal performance.


Cymbals are one of the coolest instruments in the drum kit. They add that extra special “sizzle” to a drum beat and can really make a song pop. But what makes a cymbal sound different from another? What makes a cymbal crash different from a cymbal ride?

First of all, cymbals come in all different shapes and sizes. You’ve got your big, meaty cymbals that are great for crashing, and your smaller cymbals that are perfect for more delicate beats. Then there’s the type of metal that’s used to make the cymbal. Some cymbals are made from a combination of metals, which creates a unique sound, while others are made from one type of metal, like bronze. The type of metal used affects the tone and durability of the cymbal.

Lastly, how you hit a cymbal will also affect the sound it makes. A light tap will produce a delicate sound, while a harder hit will give you a louder, more intense sound. You can even vary the way you hit the cymbal to create different effects. For example, you can hit the edge of the cymbal for a sharp, cutting sound, or hit it in the center for a more sustained sound.

PMV Top Pick – An excellent “entry level” option from one of the undisputed kings of percussion brands makes this cymbal pack a top pick of ours.


Claves are the backbone of Latin American music. They’re two short sticks that are hit together in a specific pattern to create a rhythm. It’s like having two drumsticks that you can carry around in your pocket! They’re usually made out of hardwood and come in various sizes and shapes. It’s said that the traditional claves are made from a specific type of wood that gives the best sound.

Claves play an important role in many Latin American genres like salsa, son, and rumba. The rhythm created by the claves sets the beat for the music and helps to keep the musicians in sync. In fact, some musicians say that if the claves are off, the whole song falls apart. So, next time you hear some Latin American music and you hear those two sticks hitting together, now you know what they are and how important they are.

If you’re thinking about picking up the claves, don’t worry, it’s not rocket science. All you need is a pair of claves, a little bit of patience and some rhythm in your bones. The best way to start is by listening to some music and trying to copy the rhythm.

PMV Top Pick – Take your musical abilities to the next level with these traditional style white wood claves, expertly crafted for optimal playability.


The gong is one of the most fascinating instruments out there, not just for its sound, but for its history and cultural significance. People have been making gongs for thousands of years, and they’ve been used for all sorts of different purposes. In ancient China, gongs were played in orchestras and used as signals to announce important events. In Southeast Asia, gongs were used in religious ceremonies and to signal the start of a battle.

When it comes to making gongs, there’s more to it than just whacking a piece of metal with a hammer. To get the right sound, gong makers have to put a lot of time and effort into making sure the metal is the right thickness, shape, and has the right amount of tension. Some gongs are made with a single piece of metal, while others are made by welding together several pieces. And once a gong is made, it needs to be tuned to get the right pitch.

What’s really cool about gongs is the way they sound. They can make a soft, gentle sound that’s perfect for meditation, or they can make a huge, thundering noise that’ll make your ears ring. And when you hit a gong, it doesn’t just make a single note – it makes a whole bunch of notes at the same time, which creates a beautiful, shimmering sound.

PMV Top Pick – Experience unparalleled sound quality with this 22″ gong, complete with a traditional Chinese gong mallet.


Maracas are a staple in Latin American music, and for good reason! These hand-held percussion instruments create a lively rhythm that is sure to get people up and dancing. But don’t let their small size fool you, maracas can make a big impact when played correctly.

Maracas are typically made from gourds or wooden shells that are filled with small beads or seeds. The sound is created by the beads or seeds rattling inside the shells as the maracas are shaken. There’s no denying that maracas add an extra layer of excitement to any song.

But maracas aren’t just for parties and Latin American music. They’ve found their way into a variety of different genres and styles, including rock, pop, and hip-hop.

PMV Top Pick – Discover the joy of playing maracas with this option bringing a traditional and authentic look.

Steel drum

The steel drum, also known as the steel pan or pan, is a percussion instrument made from a recycled 55-gallon oil drum. It originates from Trinidad and Tobago and is commonly used in Caribbean music genres such as calypso and soca. The steel drum is played by striking the surface of the drum with mallets to produce various musical notes.

The unique sound of the steel drum is produced by the shape of the drum and the way it is tuned. Each note on a steel drum is created by hitting a specific area of the drum that has been tuned to a particular pitch. The drum is usually played by a single person, but can also be played in a group with multiple steel drum players. The steel drum is also portable and can be played in various settings, making it a popular choice for street performances, festivals, and concerts.

Fun fact: The steel drum was originally created as a replacement for traditional percussion instruments that were banned by British colonizers. The locals in Trinidad and Tobago used the recycled oil drums as a way to continue playing music and thus the steel drum was born. So, the next time you hear the sweet sounds of the steel drum, remember that it’s a true symbol of cultural resistance.

PMV Top PickThis steel drum is a top pick of ours for bringing professional caliber sound without a professional price tag.


Alright, so let’s talk about that little metal instrument with a lot of personality – the cowbell. The cowbell has actually been used in music for centuries. In fact, it’s been a staple of Latin and Caribbean music, playing a key role in the rhythm section. It’s hard to imagine a salsa band without a cowbell!

The cowbell comes in different shapes, sizes and weights, but they all have one thing in common – they produce a unique, clanging sound. And, when played with skill, it can add a lot of energy and drive to a song. Just think of that iconic opening beat of Blue Oyster Cult’s “Don’t Fear the Reaper” – it’s all cowbell! But, the cowbell isn’t just for rock music. It’s been used in jazz, funk, and even classical compositions.

Now, if you’re thinking about picking up a cowbell for yourself, here’s a little tip: make sure to get one with a good amount of volume. And, if you’re playing live, make sure to have a solid grip on the cowbell – the last thing you want is to have it slip out of your hand!

PMV Top PickWe love this cowbell for its great build and smooth surface – big sound without big effort.

Percussion Instruments In Orchestras

Percussion forms a vital part of the orchestra. Percussion instruments help set, maintain, and alter the rhythm, make unique and exciting sounds, and add novelty and color to the mix.

Another unique aspect of percussion is that percussionists will often play multiple instruments throughout one piece of music, unlike, say, a cellist.

Percussion Instruments Used In Orchestras

The most standard percussion instruments found in orchestras are the timpani, snare drum, bass drum, xylophone, triangle, cymbals, tambourine, maracas, gongs, chimes, and piano.

  • Timpani
  • Snare drum
  • Bass drum
  • Xylophone
  • Triangle
  • Cymbals
  • Tambourine
  • Maracas
  • Gong
  • Chimes
  • Piano

Wait, piano?! While this controversy lies beyond the scope of this brief overview, the piano holds a unique position, similar to both percussion instruments and string instruments, as it is struck like a percussion instrument, but this in turn triggers hammers that hit its strings.

Sections | Where Do They Play?

Where do percussion instruments play in an orchestra? Percussion instruments usually play in the fourth section (last section) of the orchestra.

A Brief History Of Percussion Instruments

At some point, one of our early ancestors hit one thing against another and appreciated the sound and/or rhythm that was produced.

This practice is so ancient and universal that drums are found in nearly every culture in the world, and have likely existed since well before 6,000 B.C.E.

We know this thanks to Mesopotamian culture, which was depicted in the Epic of Gilgamesh, featuring the following lines: “Come then Enkidu, to ramparted Uruk… Where every day is set for celebration, where harps and drums are played.”

In addition to their use in celebrations (think parades) and armies, percussion instruments have long served significant roles in religious practice and are particularly known for their use in sacred ceremonies.

Full Percussion Instrument List:

Here are some of the many percussion instruments commonly played in the Western world and elsewhere:

  • Bangzi
  • Bass drum
  • Beatbox
  • Bell
  • Bongo
  • Bonsho
  • Bougarabou
  • Cajón
  • Castanets
  • Castanets
  • Celesta
  • Chenda
  • Chimes
  • Chimes
  • Clapper
  • Claves
  • Clavichord
  • Conga
  • Cowbell
  • Cymbals
  • Dadaiko
  • Damru
  • Davul
  • Dhad
  • Dhak
  • Dhimay
  • Dhol
  • Dholak
  • Dholi
  • Dholki
  • Dimadi
  • Djembe
  • Dollu
  • Dora
  • Drum
  • Duggi
  • Egg shaker
  • El bombo leguero
  • Gaku daiko
  • Ghat singhari
  • Ghumot
  • Glockenspiel
  • Gong
  • Güiro
  • Gummeta
  • Handbell
  • Hi-hat
  • Hyoshigi
  • Idakka
  • Jew’s harp
  • Kagura suzu
  • Kakko
  • Kane (atarigane)
  • Kanjira
  • Khol
  • Kosika
  • Madal
  • Maracas
  • Maram
  • Mardala
  • Marimba
  • Mizhavu
  • Mokugyo
  • Mridangam
  • Musical saw
  • Muyu
  • Naal
  • Nagara
  • Ngoma drums
  • Paiban
  • Pakhavaj
  • Pambai
  • Pandeiro
  • Patayani thappu
  • Piano
  • Pung cholom
  • Rainstick
  • Rattle
  • Sand blocks
  • Sannotsuzumi
  • Sasara
  • Shakubyoshi
  • Shouko
  • Sleigh bells
  • Snare drum
  • Spoon
  • Stomp box
  • Table
  • Taiko
  • Taiko of Okinawa
  • Tamate
  • Tambourine
  • Thavil
  • Thimila
  • Thumb piano
  • Timbales
  • Timpani
  • Triangle
  • Tsuzumi
  • Tubular bells
  • Tumbak
  • Turntable
  • Uchiwa daiko
  • Udukai
  • Udukku
  • Urumi
  • Vibraphone
  • Washboard
  • Water drums
  • Wind chime
  • Wood block
  • Xylophone
  • Yotsudake
  • Yu
  • Zhu

Conclusion | Wrapping Up

It’s no wonder why percussion is likely the oldest instrument, and continues to exercise such global appeal. We are, after all, deeply attuned to rhythm, and love moving our bodies to it. Percussion helps provide this, but not ONLY this!

As we have covered, percussion refers to a broad assortment of instruments, including pitched percussion (like the xylophone), which can play melodies.

This makes them more like the controversial piano—Is it percussion? Or a stringed instrument? Or both?—in that they can provide rhythm and melody.

No matter which percussion instrument you pick up, you’re likely to have a fun time playing it. True mastery of these instruments, however, tends to take a lifetime.


What are percussion instruments?

Percussion instruments are musical instruments that produce sound through striking, shaking, or scraping.

What are the different types of percussion instruments?

The different types of percussion instruments include drums, cymbals, tambourines, maracas, xylophones, gongs, castanets, triangle, chimes, and bongos.

What is the purpose of percussion instruments in music?

Percussion instruments serve as the rhythm section in music and provide the beat, tempo, and groove for the music.

What are the best percussion instruments for beginners?

The best percussion instruments for beginners include tambourines, maracas, and shakers, as they are simple to play and don’t require much skill or coordination.

How do I choose the right percussion instrument for me?

When choosing a percussion instrument, consider factors such as your musical preferences, experience level, and the type of music you want to play.

What is the history of percussion instruments?

Percussion instruments have been used for thousands of years in various cultures and have evolved over time to become the instruments we know today.

How do I take care of my percussion instrument?

To take care of your percussion instrument, store it properly, clean it regularly, and handle it with care to prevent damage.

What are the benefits of learning to play a percussion instrument?

The benefits of learning to play a percussion instrument include improved hand-eye coordination, increased musical creativity, and enhanced rhythmic skills.

How long does it take to become proficient at playing a percussion instrument?

The time it takes to become proficient at playing a percussion instrument varies depending on factors such as the instrument, your experience level, and the amount of practice you put in.

Can I play a percussion instrument without prior musical experience?

Yes, you can play a percussion instrument without prior musical experience, as many percussion instruments do not require extensive musical knowledge or training.