I came across this 14-inch Steel Drum that was made by Steel Drum Source. It caught my eye because it’s homemade, which is not that often with small and affordable drums. It looked like a solid learning steel drum, so I decided to do this short review.
What I liked a lot is that it came complete with sticks, stand, music booklet, and even a free instructional DVD. Basically, it has everything you get started.
This handmade steel drum is a piece of art or…?
The steel drum is handmade and carefully shaped. Which I can appreciate because it gives the pan that authenticity you want. It is a little bit rough on the edges, but I actually like that.
The drum was well-tuned and sounded good. It’s not professional grade, but good enough for learning and playing for fun. It’s a great starter drum.
Drum only has 10 notes, but I like that all notes are marked, so you’ll know where is each note. This will make learning much easier for beginners.
It shouldn’t take you long to become good at it especially with the learning kit.
It’s that all I get or…
Of course not. Besides a decent handmade steel drum, you also get a steel drum stand, mallets, and everything you need to start learning how to play it.
If you are a total beginner or you just want to learn how to play a few new songs, that you gonna love booklet. Some of the songs in the booklet include Jingle Bells, Happy birthday, London Bridge, This Old Man, Twinkle Twinkle little star and few more.
Beside booklet, you also get instructional DVD that will help you get started if you never played it before.
What I liked about this 14-inch steel drum is…
The great thing about this steel drum is that it’s handmade. Most of these low-end steel drums are not handmade and don’t have that authentic look. If you don’t like the handmade look and are looking for something similar, then check out this Jambie jam review I did some time ago.
The price is great. Not the cheapest one I saw for this type and size, but is well worth the price you pay. It’s also lightweight which is great for carrying around. The entire set weighs about 9 pounds which is pretty decent.
As I mention before, you get everything you need to start learning to play this wonderful instrument. You can start learning in just a few minutes.
This is not a professional steel drum by any standards but does sound ok. It’s good enough for you to learn how to play on the steel drum, but not to play professionally.
But I hated…
What I didn’t really like is that the stand was made from PVC tubing. It makes stand a little bit unstable. But on the other hand, that makes it lighter to carry around.
Mallets were a bit small and not that well made. But given the price, I guess I can’t really complain. But if you don’t like it, you can always buy a different set and it will cost you just a few extra bucks.
Overall this is a solid piece of musical instrument and I would rate it 4/5. If you are looking for a steel drum to learn how to play it or play it in your free time than this is a great one to buy. I think you get a lot for what you pay.
Barbara Grant-Yopko says
My son is 26 years old and is an accomplished keyboard player. I would like to get him a steel drum for Christmas and I found your site helpful. I do not think a “beginner” steel drum would work for him because he might quickly outgrow it due to his musical experience. He plays with some local groups and they play a full range of music from rock to reggae, blues, blue grass, even dance electric. I think a steel drum would really be a good musical adventure for him. Can you suggest which size and range I should look for to be most versatile for him? Thank you so much