To follow up Bill’s post on hand drum companies you have probably not heard of, I’d like to add my favorite percussion instrument family to the discussion.  I have found the frame drum and all variations to be extremely useful in the therapeutic setting.

For anyone not familiar with the family of drums known as frame drums please read the following website article for extensive descriptions of frame drums and introductory cultural information.  The site is published by Scott Robinson, a master frame drummer, early student of Glen Velez, and all around knowledgeable guy.

Frame drums in music therapy have several benefits.  Here are just a few:

  • Portable
  • Light weight
  • Easily adaptable
  • Dynamic ranges
  • Pitched tonality
  • Accessible

In future articles I will discuss some of the unique uses in a one to one and group therapy setting.  We will explore ways which unified frame drum techniques can provide a group leader/therapist with a flexible but solid/functional foundation for providing a ground rhythm for dialog and improvisation.

The following are some companies that make excellent quality instruments for you to explore the world of frame drumming.  Some of these companies make high end and professional instruments.  As the saying goes you usually do get what you pay for.  For example my Cooperman drums have long outlasted many instruments produced by the big companies. Makers of fine quality frame drums and tambourines.  If you can dream it, they can do it.  This operation is run by great people in VT.  A long standing family owned business crafting (in my opinion) the finest frame drums in the world.  They have recently started to produce frame drums at a lower price point that maintain their strict quality standards.  Check out the Glen Velez Handdance line of instruments. This is a site run by a former NYC Jazz guitarist who fell in love with pandeiro and moved to Rio (future posts on pandeiro to follow).  He carries instruments from the top makers in Brazil (mainly Rio).  A bit on the pricey side but again all instruments are hand made and professional quality. An instrument company in Europe making excellent quality frame drums and a variety of other innovative instruments.  The Glen Velez signature shakers are great and their tamburello (Italian tambourine) is wonderful. A German company famous for their slit drums and cajons.  They are also producing high quality natural skin frame drums.  There are lots of videos on the site of their drums in action. Perhaps the easiest to find European company in the U.S.A.  Their products are in practically every retail music shop in the states.  They also have an extensive line of interesting shakers, tambourines, jingle rings, hand drums, frame drums, etc…The prices are competitive with the other big guys and they maintain good quality.