If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have one type of drum what would it be? I know for me, I wouldn’t hesitate to choose the paddle drum! Though I love my djembes and buffalo drums, they are not as versatile as a paddle drum which has so much to offer! There are several reasons why I grant the paddle drum supremacy in this debate:
Multiple Sounds- The paddle drum can be played with a mallet to produce the deep boom sound, or a clicking sound by tapping the frame on the side of the drum. In addition, one can play with just their hand to produce the same sounds as on a hand drum.
Adaptability– Paddle drums can easily be adapted so that anyone can play the instrument. For example, they can be placed in a holder on a wheelchair (you can buy these or make your own), or a person can sit on the handle opposed to holding it to play if they have use of only one arm or limited range of motion.
Non-Drum Use – This drum can be used in other ways besides drumming. You can use the paddle drums as frying pans and pass around egg shakers or other objects. Try catching eggs or small objects in the drum as they come your way! Or you can use them as a red side/green side visual for monitoring behaviors in a group!
Light and Easy to Play– Paddle drums are fairly light and are easy to hold. Their padded handles aid with grasp and you can play them with or without a mallet (you can even use your knees!). Since they are light in weight, people with all levels of strength can play them.
They Come in Different Sizes– With different sized drums this opens up possibilities to work on academic skills, create different sounds, and provide a smaller sized drum for those who cannot easily play a larger drum.
Easy to Pack and Transport– Paddle drums are flat, and if you have different sizes they fit into each other which results in less space needed when packing your instruments. They can be packed flat in a suitcase or stacked next to each other in a box. Either way, you can fit a lot of paddle drums into a small space.
So this is why I think the paddle drum is the most versatile drum in my instrument collection. Do you have any other ways you use the paddle drum?