Toca Flex Drum Review
As I player and fan of Toca for years (and now a Toca artist!!!), I was really excited when my friend and fellow Toca artist Mike Veny introduced me to the Toca Flex Drum. As a drum circle facilitator living in a New York City apartment…, I was super excited to give these drums a try. Multiple days a week, my day involves 2 or more drum circles in different locations. Obviously load in/load out time is very important when your day includes loading drums in and out of a double parked vehicle on a busy city street multiple times a day.
For those of you not familiar with the Toca Flex Drum, check out this video by the creator of these drums; well-known percussionist, author, educator, and facilitator, Kalani.
I took these drums for a test drive over a 2 week period, and this is what I dig about them;
- They are very light and a bag of 6 could weigh as much as 2 full-size wooden djembes.
- 6 of them fit easily into this Gibraltar Large Hardware and Drum Accessory Bag allowing you to roll into a drum circle for under 20 people in less than 2 trips from the car.
- Small percussion items such as shakers, Boomwackers, and bells can be stored inside the drums.
- The plastic head is easy to clean. This is very important, helping you and your clients stay healthy!
- The plastic head can be taken off and used with a small mallet for a participant who may be intimidated by a full drum.
- When you are traveling in urban environments, theft is an issue. I like that the drums when in black Gibraltar bags fit nicely in my car and do not draw attention like a car full of colorful djembes would. It makes me feel safer leaving the car in a space I can’t see when grabbing a quick meal.
- Safety!!!!! Breaking news! “Drum Circle Facilitator hit by car while adjusting 20 djembes so he could see out the back window!” It sounds silly but seriously it could happen. Who doesn’t get frustrated while loading out gear??? When we get frustrated because stuff doesn’t seem to fit as well as it did on the trip over we are not paying attention to our surroundings. I threw 3 bags of 6 drums into my back seat with no problems.
Truthfully, there was nothing I didn’t like about the drums. But….there is one thing I would like to see improved upon. When working with seniors and developmentally disabled adults, I found their legs were not strong enough to hold around the drum. Sometimes they would attempt to wrap their legs around the drum but not have the strength to keep the drum in place. This would cause the drum to fall away from them. I think the best way to solve this would not be to make any adjustments to the drum itself but to manufacture a “drum riser”. Something that rises the drum slightly and holds it firmly in place while letting air escape from the bottom. This would be the perfect solution as a bag of these “risers” could be brought when working with certain populations that would need them.
The bottom line…..
These are awesome drums for facilitating or teaching. They are light, compact and easy to use. As self-employed professionals we are expected to do everything!!!! When something we generally loath (loading in drums) becomes so easy and painless, we not only save time and money but also our sanity! In the past few weeks, I have noticed two drum companies with similar drums being released. My guess is that in five years this concept will have grown to many different percussion instruments and it will save us time and money across the board. Thanks to Kalani and Toca for coming up with this great idea and putting it into the market, thus innovating the future of hand drums.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials.”