Though often overlooked, good percussion can take music to a whole other level.
Shakers and guiros filling in 16th notes drive the music on, while the tambourine adds some colour and pop to the backbeat. Cowbells and jam blocks carve out a funky clave, adding just the right amount of syncopation to make the music bounce. Bongos and congas weave in and out of the groove, closely followed by chimes and timbales accenting the mood of the music. So if you're asking yourself why a song feels so good it could well be down to the percussion.
Some of the biggest names in percussion instruments are Meinl, LP and Toca. They feature signature instruments from greats such as Sheila E, drummer and percussionist with Prince, and the late Latin Jazz master Tito Puente. They also make everything from the amazingly strange Flex-A-Tone and Vibra Slap, to the classic egg shaker and triangle. Even masterminding innovations like the One Shot Shaker, which only sounds on the down stroke, or the Spin Spark Shaker, which can alter in pitch.
As well as complimenting a groove, percussion instruments such as the Cajon and Djembe are more than capable of holding it down solo. The ability to replicate the high and low tones of the kick and snare drum make them ideal for acoustic music or even busking.
And lets not forget the tuned percussion. From timpani to tubular bells, marimba to metallophone, and made by the likes of Yamaha, Adams and Percussion Plus, there's a whole other world out there of things you can hit with sticks.
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