Although my primary instrument is the drum set, I regularly use world percussion and auxiliary percussion for live performances and recordings. I’ve found an incredible orchestra of sounds in the instruments made by Toca Percussion. They sound great, look great, and are quite sturdy.
Today’s singer songwriter music calls for more than just a drum kit. Here are three instruments that help me color singer songwriter music.
Toca Freestyle Mechanically Tuned 14″ Djembe
My djembe travels around a lot with me. This great sounding drum has serious bass tones (reminiscent of hip hop) and piercing slap tones (like those in ska music). It allows me to fill in the musical space that an entire drum set would. I find it great for singer songwriter music because it adds a tribal color to it. When I perform a duet with an artist who sings and plays guitar simultaneously, this drum really compliments music. In addition, it’s super lightweight and fits in a comfortable padded backpack.
Toca Player’s Series Cajon
All the artists that hire me refer to this as my “box drum”. This inexpensive cajon (pronounced “kuh-hone”) has a sharp bass tone and good slap tones. When a mic is put behind it, it shakes a room with an earthy sound that really moves people. The great thing about a cajon is that it’s also the seat that you sit on.
Toca Egg Shakers
I am the proud owner of too many Toca egg shakers. Although any Toca shaker would work for music that requires one, the advantage of the egg shakers is that I can choose how many to hold in one hand. I can also give them to other people who I am performing with. We can create different rhythms or just shake them in unison.
Toca Percussion in Action
Here’s a small clip of a live performance I did in New York City several summers ago at a street fair. If you fast forward to about 4 minutes into it, you can check out my little djembe solo.