So, you’ve decided to embark on the path toward becoming a percussionist? It’s an excellent choice for any aspiring musician. With a wide variety of instruments including drums, marimbas, xylophones, pianos, tambourines, and more, as well as a plethora of rich musical traditions from around the world, the percussion family certainly has a lot to offer.

But because percussion is such a broad field, it takes a lot of work to become an expert. There are a lot of details and aspects of this musical family that one needs to know to become a master percussionist. One of the most important things to be familiar with is the quality of the instruments available to you.

Who are the major manufacturers of percussion instruments? Which brands are known for which features? What are the pros and cons of different drums from different vendors? These are all questions that a competent percussionist should be able to answer.

So, as a sample to get you started, let’s look at four high-quality percussion instruments that we recommend both for those looking to buy and for those looking to be more knowledgeable about what’s on the market.

1. Paiste Masters Cymbals

The cymbals included in the Paiste Masters Series are some of the best cymbals on the market, both for experienced percussionists as well as new beginners. The line is incredibly diverse and versatile, so it’s an appropriate choice regardless of your style.

These cymbals are incredibly lightweight and make for easy traveling. Their quality is unmatched, as is demonstrated by the superior sound they produce. With a full range of acoustic and jazz sounds available, the Paiste Masters Cymbals are an all-around ideal selection. 

2. Pearl Sensitone Snare Drums

If you’re looking for a good snare drum, Pearl’s metal-shelled Sensitone snare drums can’t be beaten. Not only does this line offer suitable options for all different playing styles, but the variety of metals available for the shell is just as vast.

With a snare drum from the Pearl Sensitone line, you can produce high-quality percussion sounds in the style that suits you best! These instruments have proved to be very popular and well-liked by critics for quite a long time, so their reputation precedes them. Pearl is generally considered to be a trustworthy percussion manufacturer overall.

3. Yamaha Piaggero NP-12 Portable Keyboard

When we think of percussion, we often forget about the piano in favor of drums and xylophones and the like. But the piano is actually a member of the percussion family, and it’s an excellent choice for an aspiring musician.

Yamaha is one of the biggest and most trusted names in piano manufacturing, and the quality of their instruments speaks for itself. While the Piaggero NP-12 is a more affordable, scaled-down portable keyboard rather than a cumbersome acoustic or a grand piano, it is still one of the best options available on the market for a pianist who is looking to save on space and money.

4. Pearl Elite Series Bongos

Not only is Pearl an excellent manufacturer of snare drums, but their bongos are top-of-the-line as well. Made of Thai oak and buffalo hide, these bongos are the perfect option for a professional bongo player. Their quality is out of this world, and you can tell just by looking at them.

However, these luxury instruments do come at a heavy cost, so they are recommended more as an investment for a seriously committed bongo player than for a new percussion student.

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This only scratches the surface of everything there is to know about the percussion family of instruments. But the more research you do on percussion instruments, the more familiar you’ll become with the industry. Look into some of the brands mentioned above to learn more about their offerings and business practices!