Despite having many guitars, as well as pianos, a flute, and a half dozen other instruments, I’m no musician. I am, however, a dabbler, and experimenter, and musical instruments are certainly one of my fascinations. I was familiar with the sound of steel tongue drums, but never worked with the instrument myself. With the choice of four colors and a seemingly impressive all-inclusive bundle, I felt that this WUDIEYIN Steel Tongue Drum would be a great introduction.
Opening the box, you’re greeted with the steel drum in a nice, form-fitting padded case. Underneath the case is an 83-page music book, two wooden mallets (drum sticks) with rubber ends, two sets of alternate numbers, and a little bag with rubber finger picks and a mallet holder. It’s a fantastic package, but I was most impressed by how the drum looked, only to then be topped by how it sounded.
This particular drum is available in four colors: blue, navy blue, red, and yellow. I went for the least bold choice in the navy blue, and I’m quite happy with it as it looks quite sophisticated set off against the grey rope mesh border (another stunning touch). While the pre-stuck number labels are a bit of an aesthetic let-down, I do appreciate the inclusion of two alternate sticker sets.
The most important part, the sound, is clean and pure. Whether you use your fingers, your fingers with the picks, or the mallets, the 15 notes in the C key ring true.
The included music book is a nice touch and describes proper technique. Play is accomplished by hitting the right number, although you’ll also want to know basic percussion theory so you can understand some of the additional nuances of proper play.
If you’re looking for a quality steel tonque drum, the WUDIEYIN is a great choice.