The outdoor drum is indubitably the oldest instrument in the world, from a hollowed out log covered in animal skin to a dried gourd, the drum has been the anchor of rhythm throughout the ages. A member of the percussion family, drums come in many shapes and sizes and can be used in practically every style and genre of music. Some drums are more common than others, notably Timpani, Snare and Bass playing an integral role in the overall feel of a piece of music.
With such a variety available we have something for any drummer wannabe.
Drumming outdoors and the outdoor drum stretches back in time, often used in religious ceremonies and rituals. Used for communicating over long distances, drums were used to communicate between tribes. Leading warriors into battle, war drums have been employed for thousands of years to motivate and direct combatants. Originally made from animal skins, the first plastic drumhead was invented in 1956 and now enjoys popularity all over the world. The body of the drum, known as the shell, is the chamber that amplifies the sound of the vibration as it resonates through the body. Also known as a membranophone, the drums sound is created by the vibration created by the membrane or drumhead being struck with either the hands or other object – often a stick with a rounded end. Outdoor drumming is now back on the increase, with permanent installations of sets of drums appearing in parks and playgrounds, encouraging children to begin to grasp the concepts of rhythm and timbre. The challenge with outdoor drums permanently installed and subject to the vagaries of the world’s weather, is of course ensuring their longevity and integrity. This is done by combining modern technologies and hand finishing techniques. Probably the best combination in the construction of the outdoor drum is a PVC shell and an ABS head. Outdoor drums are nowadays permanently installed often with a concrete base ensuring that they are not vandalised or easily removed. They can be installed individually or in groups of different sizes. With the growth and popularity of outdoor instruments in the last few years, new and exciting designs are appearing. The Cajon originally from Peru , played by slapping the front and side is now reproduced in stainless steel and permanently installed street scenes and playgrounds. The stainless steel tongue drum is also appearing in more outdoor locations. This differs to many traditional drums as it is often tuned to a specific scale bridging the gap of beat and melody. Conga drums are a pair of single headed outdoor drums mounted onto a stainless steel post to be installed directly into the ground. Made of heavy-duty PVC these strong and durable drums are painted in a variety of funky colour combinations.