There is a new product on the market that will let just about anyone play percussion; the Rthymring.
Each Rhythmring is small shakers made out of highstrength Polycarbonate, approximately 1 ¾ inches long with a ¾ of an inch diameter. The hollow, cylinders are filled tiny metal balls and capped on each end. Sounds pretty standard so far, but hold on. Rhythmrings sport a small elastic strap that allows you to slip the shaker onto the back of your finger. The elastic is nice and snug to keep it in place. With a small indentation machined into the Rhythmring, it is comfortable to wear and won’t come sliding off.
According to the Rhythmring website, it is aimed at musicians playing acoustic instruments: guitar, ukulele, djembe, cajon, bongos, congas, etc. Basically, any instrument you play by strumming or hitting can be enhanced with a Rhythmring or two. The key is you need to be in an acoustic environment. I assume that you if you play in front of a microphone, that is really not the intent. Think coffee house, gathered around the camp fire, classroom, drum circles, etc.
I received three Rhythmrings; clear, yellow and black. I noticed that the yellow and black Rhythmrings had a slightly higher pitch when shaken while the clear was just a little lower. Just to make sure it was not my imagination, I closed my eyes and mixed them up. With my eyes still closed, I was able to pick out the clear one each time. That is not a problem in my book. I liked the variety in the sounds. It must be a slightly different composition to the Polycarbonate that accounts for the effect.
Enough about the construction: How did the Rhythmrings perform? Well, firstly, you should know that I don’t play any stringed, strummy type of instrument. I play the drums, as in, drum set with foot pedals, drum sticks, etc. I am not a percussionist, I am a drummer. I never feel very comfortable playing hand percussion. I am happy to report that uneasiness is a thing of the past! These things were great.
I wore these all over the house, clapping, tapping, shakin and bakin. That’s right, I even wore them while cooking. I wore them while driving in the car, banging on the steering wheel to my tunes.
The Rhythmrings made me sound like a percussion pro. Their small size makes them easy to wear and achieve excellent results right away. I look forward to putting them to use with an acoustic group I play with on occasion.
The Rhythmring sells for $4.95 and can be purchased from their website: www.rhythmring.com. I was not able to locate any music stores in the Rochester, NY area that carried them. But I’m sure it won’t be long before you can pick up Rhythmrings at any local store.