The Best Percussion Music for Your Instrumental Needs

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Looking for the best percussion music for your next performance? Check out our top picks for the best percussion music for your instrumental needs. From classical to contemporary, we’ve got you covered.


Percussion instruments are some of the most versatile in the world and can be used in a wide variety of genres. Whether you’re looking for something to keep the beat in a rock song or provide a rhythmic foundation for a jazz standard, there’s a percussion instrument out there that’s perfect for the job.

In this guide, we’ll introduce you to some of the best percussion instruments for different genres and styles of music. We’ll also provide tips on how to choose the right instrument for your needs and give you some pointers on how to get started playing.

The Different Types of Percussion Instruments

Percussion instruments are some of the most versatile in the musical world. They can be used in a wide variety of genres, from classical to rock. Percussion instruments come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from the massive bass drum to the small tambourine. In this section, we’ll take a look at the different types of percussion instruments and what makes them unique.

The Drum

The drum is a percussion instrument that is played by hitting it with your hand or a stick. The most common type of drum is the snare drum, which is a drum that has a piece of wire called a snare stretched across the bottom. The snare vibrates when the drum is hit, and this gives the snare its characteristic sound.

There are many other types of drums, including:
-Timpani: A large drum that is usually played with two sticks.
-Bongos: A small drum that is played with the hands.
-Congas: A tall, narrow drum that is usually played with the hands.
-Tablas: A pair of small drums that are played with the hands.

Percussion instruments are often used in orchestras, bands, and ensembles. They can be used to provide rhythm or to add color to the music.

The Cymbal

The cymbal is a percussion instrument that has been around for centuries. It is most commonly used in orchestras, but can also be found in bands and jazz ensembles. Cymbals come in a variety of sizes, weights, and shapes, and are made from different materials. The most common type of cymbal is the ride cymbal, which is used to keep time and provide a steady beat. Most ride cymbals are between 18 and 22 inches in diameter, and are made from bronze or brass.

Crash cymbals are used to create accentuated sound effects, and are usually between 14 and 18 inches in diameter. Hi-hat cymbals are used to produce a sharp, staccato sound, and are played by pressing down on two equally sized cymbals that are attached to a stand. The size of hi-hat cymbals can vary, but they are typically between 8 and 14 inches in diameter. Other types of cymbals include chinacymbals, which produce a high-pitched sound; gongs, which produce a deep resonant sound; and splashes, which create short sounds with rapid decay.

The Gong

The gong is a percussion instrument that has been used for centuries in a variety of cultures. It is a large, round, metal disk that is struck with a mallet to produce a deep, resonant sound. The gong has a long history and has been used in everything from religious ceremonies to classical music. Today, it is commonly used in symphony orchestras, jazz bands, and rock groups.

The Triangle

The triangle is a percussion instrument that has been used for centuries in a variety of musical styles. It is primarily made of steel, although there are also versions made of brass, aluminum, and even plastic. The triangle produces a bright, distinct sound that can be heard over other instruments in an orchestra or band.

The triangle is suspended from a string or cord and is struck with a stick or beater. It can be played with the striker held in the hand, or it can be suspended so that it can be struck with two sticks. The sound of the triangle can be varied by changing the size of the instrument, the material it is made from, the tension on the string or cord, and the type of stick or beater that is used.

The triangle is an inexpensive instrument that is easy to learn to play. It is often used in elementary school music programs and in orchestras and bands at all levels.

The Different Percussion Music Styles

Percussion music comes in all different styles. From the elegant and flowing sounds of classical music, to the high energy and fast paced rhythms of rock and roll, there is a percussion style to fit any need. You can use percussion music to add an extra element of excitement to any performance, or simply to provide a more relaxing and soothing background ambiance.


Percussion music is as varied as the instruments used to create it. It can be soft and restrained or it can be loud and exciting. It can be simple or complex. It can be performed on a single instrument or by a large group of musicians.

There are many different styles of percussion music, each with its own unique character and history. Here is a brief overview of some of the most popular styles:

Classical percussion music is performed on a wide variety of instruments, including the piano, xylophone, timpani, and snare drum. This style originated in Europe during the 18th century and quickly spread throughout the world. Classical music is typically very orderly and precise, with each note carefully measured and played in an exact manner.

Jazz is a style of music that originated in the United States in the early 20th century. It is characterized by its syncopated rhythms and blue notes (notes that are played slightly off-key to produce a mournful sound). Jazz percussionists often use improvised techniques, such as scat singing (vocalizing nonsense syllables) and playing with their hands instead of drumsticks.

Rock music is a style that developed in the 1950s from a blend of jazz, R&B, and country & western sounds. It is characterized by its heavy beats and electrically amplified instruments. Rock percussionists often use drum kits (also known as trap kits), which include a bass drum, snare drum, tom-toms, cymbals, and other auxiliary percussion instruments.

Latin percussion music comes from a variety of countries in Central and South America, including Cuba, Brazil, Peru, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Venezuela. This style is characterized by its infectious rhythms and playful melodies. Latin percussion instruments include the conga drum, bongos, timbales, claves (pair of thin sticks), cowbells, maracas, castanets, and güiro (a type of scraped percussion instrument).


Jazz is a style of music that was developed in the early 20th century by African Americans in the United States. It is characterized by a unique blend of improvisation, syncopation, and swing. Jazz has been described as “the sound of America,” and it has had a significant impact on all genres of music.

Some of the most famous jazz musicians include Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Ella Fitzgerald. Jazz has influenced everything from rock ‘n’ roll to hip hop, and it remains one of the most popular genres of music today.


Rock is a popular music genre that originated in the 1950s. It is characterized by a strong back beat, catchy melodies, and often distorted electric guitars. Rockabilly, surf rock, and punk rock are all subgenres of rock music.

Jazz is a style of music that originated in the early 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It is characterized by a syncopated rhythm, improvisation, and often brass instruments. Jazz has influences from both European and African musical traditions.


Latin percussion music is very diverse, with many different styles and sub-styles. It can be broadly divided into two main categories: Afro-Cuban and Brazilian.

Afro-Cuban percussion music is heavily influenced by African drumming traditions, as well as the music of the Cuban people. This style is often very complex and rhythmically layered, with a lot of syncopation and polyrhythms.

Brazilian percussion music is also quite diverse, but tends to be more melodic than Afro-Cuban style. It often features a lot of drums and percussion instruments playing together in a very tight, interlocking way.


Percussion music can be an excellent addition to any musician’s arsenal. Whether you’re looking for something to add intrigue to your sound or simply want to improve your skills, these five percussion albums are sure to please. Do you have a favorite percussion album? Let us know in the comments below.

Similar Posts