Drum Buying Guide
Things to Consider When
Buying A Hoop Drum
Ease of Playing & Transporting
Colors / Decorations
The Drum's Voice
ABOUT HOOP DRUM SIZE
THE SMALLER A DRUM...
The easier it is to pack and carry.
The lighter in weight it will be.
The higher its voice will be.
THE LARGER A DRUM...
The deeper its voice will be.
The greater its heft will be, relatively speaking, as all of these drums are made of strong yet lightweight laminated frames.
THE DEEPER A DRUM'S FRAME IS...
The richer its voice will be. (That's why Shaman Bob uses very deep frames on most of the Hoop Drums he makes.)
NEW! 20-Inch Drums!
About The Decorations
A most unique service!
When you choose to purchase a Decorated or Painted version of one of Bob's Hoop Drums, he will correspond with you about your choices of colors and other things. Considerations include types of decorations, drum head color, and the painting if you chose that option.
Some prefer not to get so involved in the process, and that's fine too. Bob will happily handle it all!
Your satisfaction is guaranteed!
About Painting Your Drum
Unheard of! Have your drum painted with whatever image you supply! Yes, and for a very reasonable rate.
You can see artist Glenn W. Lewis's incredibly beautiful drum art throughout the Thunder Valley Drums site. He can paint your animal totem, or any other image you supply (subject to his approval). You have a vision? Glenn can paint it. He is a descendant of a Dutch Master. (Read more on the About page.)
Not all drums qualify to be painted, so just look for Painting Information on the store listings to see which is available for Glenn's masterful touch. After your purchase, Bob will contact you to discuss the painting.
THUNDER VALLEY DRUMS
There are A LOT of drums on the site, so you may wish to download this Price List to help you sort through all of the beautiful drums and options.
Some More Details & Factoids
Who? What? ... and Why Wait?
Thunder Valley Drums are made by hand by one person, Shaman Bob, specifically for you. He does not make cookie-cutter drums then throw one in a box to send your way when you order. He's far too old-fashioned for that!
He prefers to make your drum after he contacts you via email (he really does this!) to inquire about your intended use for the drum (like in ceremony, or drum circles, or whatever), and in that way it becomes YOUR drum because your energy influences his hands when he makes it.
He also assures that your drum is properly and respectfully prepared for you through various rituals and ceremonies to cleanse and energize your drum.
And finally, others may have ordered drums before you ordered yours, so he makes them in the order that orders are received. Thus, it can take some time to make your drum. Once you receive your drum, though, you will know for sure that it was worth the wait!
You can expect your painted drum to take about 3 - 4 weeks to be finished. It's worth the wait!
More Details, Please
Bob makes all TVD drums and they're listed here as "Shaman Bob's Drums." He also chooses the other drums you see on the site that are made by other drum makers. All hoop drum frames are made for Thunder Valley Drums with the requirement for sturdiness and lightweight qualities that will allow you to play your drum longer and not get tired!
He makes the frames for Lightning-Struck drums himself from lightning-struck trees. Rawhide on drums is buffalo, goat, elk, deer, cow or horse (these last two are the only hides available for international orders), depending on availability. All of these are combined into drums considered to be sacred expressions of the wheel of life and honored partners in the search for spiritual healing and union.
The Budget Drums are American-made to Bob's specifications. (Please see individual listings for whether a drum can be exported beyond U.S. borders.)
TVD's faithful guard cat "Flash" keeps vigilant watch while we photograph yet another wonderful drum painted by Glenn Lewis.
Wonderful Natural Drum Heads
Owning a drum made from natural materials is a partnership of care, respect and deep reverence. Together, the two of you are healers and seekers, and it all begins by taking care of each other.
It is in the routine and ritual of caring for another that the richness of life emerges. Bob makes the drums very strong and yet, any drum with a natural hide drum head will tend to lose some of its tone in rainy or very humid weather. It is a part of its natural qualities and adds to its personality. In shaman circles, the drum's voice is often secondary to the drum's rhythm.
Yet, the drum can be tuned easily by slightly heating the drum head a few minutes in the sun, under a lamp, near a campfire, or even with a hairdryer or rapidly rubbing your hand over the drum head. You can hold your drum against your chest, too, to add some drying heat and a lot of heart!
You will receive full details for taking care of your drum at the time of your purchase.
"Many, many thanks for visiting Thunder Valley Drum's 'Hoop Drum Buying Guide.' May I answer any more of your questions?"
About Sound Files
Hoop drums made with all natural materials will vary in sound because the animal hide used for the drum heads varies in thickness and texture. The sound files on this site, then, will probably differ slightly from the sound of your particular drum, although they are good guidelines. Also, your computer's speakers may alter the sound, too. And let's face it, Bob is a drum maker, not a recording expert!