Best Bongos for Beginners – 2017 Edition

The bongos are beginner friendly percussion instrument typically played with the hands. You’ve certainly seen these being played at some point in your life as they’re the most popular portable percussion instrument.

As a quick note, if you’re looking to buy bongos for kids, head over to our best bongos for kids page to see some options that are better suited for the young ones.

The bongos consist of a set of two drums of different sizes, typically 6 inches and 7 inches, attached by a bridge between the two. They are typically played with the bigger drum on the right side of the musician.

The bongos were originated in Cuba sometime during the 1800’s, and are easily recognized by their high-pitched and varied beats. By striking different areas of the bongo and using different parts of your hands, you can produce a variety of beats.

Here’s a video demonstrating some of what’s possible with the bongos.

Best Bongos for Beginners

Tycoon Percussion 6 Inch & 7 Inch Ritmo Bongos - Mahogany Finish

Tycoon Percussion Ritmo Bongos

When it comes to buying your first set of bongos, finding a quality instrument can be a bit of a struggle if you don’t know what to look for. That’s why we’re here to tell you the best bongos for beginners under $50 are the Tycoon Percussion Ritmo Bongos.

tycoon bongos

Tycoon Percussion is an very well known and respected instrument manufacturing company that has been building a brand based on quality for over 30 years.  The Ritmo Bongos consist of 6″ and 7″ drums made of Siam Oak. The drum heads are made of water buffalo skin, and the drums come with a tuning wrench.

Here’s what one user had to say about these bongos –

I purchased this for my son several months ago. I must admit to being very surprised at the quality of this bongo set. It is so much higher than I ever imagined. Even though I read the positive reviews before ordering, I never expected the great product I received.

Even my son’s music instructor was extremely impressed at the quality and even more so when I told him the price. Sturdy, well made, durable, wonderful sound.

I especially like the fact that this set is hand made with renewable resources…a “green” bongo. So not only am I doing something for my son’s future, but also helping the planet’s future.

I highly recommend this to anyone looking for bongos. You won’t be sorry.


Check out the short video below to hear these bongos in action.


Most Popular Bongos for Beginners

GP Percussion B2 Pro-Series Tunable Bongos 6 & 7 Inch (Clear Finish, Hickory)

GP Percussion B2 Bongos

These bongos by GP Percussion feature a set of 6″ and 7″ drums, and come with a tuning wrench for adjustments. While not as reputable as a brand as Tycoon Percussion, these bongos are extremely popular, garnering over 200 reviews and a 4.5 out of 5 average. Here’s what one review had to say about these bongos –

I’m a musician with a decent ear. I’ve my own studio, professional gear and decent set of drums. My daughter’s always playing my guitars, pounding on my drums so I got her these. WOW… these are not toys. They are solid, durable, far more beautiful and thick in person and sound fantastic even detuned. The other reviewer is correct about wetting the “skins” then tuning them, but be cautious. You don’t want to over tighten them and have them break.

They sound fantastic and I highly recommend you learn the various techniques to get rich variety of sounds these are capable. I will use them in my recordings. I had a vintage set from the early 60’s with aged wood and a rich tone. Passed down from one of my mom’s boyfriends. These sound just as good if not better and I will be recording with them.

gp bongos b2


To hear a comparison of the above bongos, check out our video below.


Learning to Play the Bongos

Once you’ve picked up your set of bongos, you need to learn how to play! The good news is, the bongos are some of the easiest musical instruments for beginners to learn. I would suggest you start on this YouTube channel for starters, which has a wealth of helpful instruction.