Best Cabasa Review – Top Rated Models with Buying Guide
If you want to explore new sonic realms and you’re on the lookout for the best cabasa on the market, the information provided in this paragraph might be of help. Luckily, the market offers many affordable cabasas to choose from, but that also means that finding the one for your needs might be time-consuming. To simplify your decision-making process, we have taken a closer look at the features, quality, and reliability offered by some of the most popular models available for sale, and we have concluded that the first model to consider is the Meinl Percussion Turbo Cabasa with Sound Ports. What makes this unit stand out is its construction that ensures more volume than many other products in this line. The resonating chamber features sound ports that ensure added projection. The stainless steel beads and cylinder will help you get the classic cabasa sounds and do so for a long time. If this product is temporarily unavailable, another product worth paying attention to is the Meinl Percussion Turbo Compact Size Cabasa.
Our Top Choice
Suitable for studio recordings and live performances, this cabasa features a durable construction that should keep up with many playing sessions, and that ensures more volume than many other products available for sale. It comes with five sound ports for added projection and a steel cylinder and a beaded chain for classic cabasa sounds.
The unit is a bit heavier than other cabasa models, which might render it less comfortable for longer performances.
Whether you want a cabasa for live performances or studio recordings, this model might be of interest as it was designed to cover both needs. It comes with sound ports and quality materials for long-term use.
Built with materials that should cover your needs for a long time, this cabasa is suitable for both live and studio performances. Its steel beads and cylinder will get you full tones that will cut through various sonic environments. The sound ports add to the projection delivered, and the compact size makes it portable and easy to store.
This is a compact cabasa, which means that the fewer beads create a slightly thinner sound than larger cabasas.
If you want to flavor your performances with the sounds of a cabasa, but you’d like a smaller model, this option is worthy of attention. It is equipped with a steel chain and cylinder and sound ports for full tones.
Also To Consider
If you want to extend your percussion instrument collection with a standard cabasa, this product might be of interest as it was built to help you explore the sonic capacities of this type of instrument for a long time. It features a steel cylinder and beads, as well as a wooden handle. Plus, wooden flanges complete this item and enclose the cylinder.
Given that this is a standard cabasa, the volume delivered is softer, which makes it less suitable for loud environments.
Thanks to the steel used for the beads and cylinder, this model will get you the classic cabasa sounds. You can play it in different ways so that you can get varying sounds and thus cover more needs.
8 Best Cabasas (Updated Reviews) in 2021
A cabasa shaker can flavor your musical performance and help you express your creativity in new ways, but finding the best cabasas might be a bit more complicated than many of us think since there are so many products in this category. To help you find the cabasa that meets your needs, we have compiled a list of cabasa reviews below.
- 1. Meinl Percussion Turbo Cabasa with Sound Ports
- 2. Meinl Percussion Turbo Compact Size Cabasa
- 3. Latin Percussion LP234A Standard Afuche Cabasa
- 4. Nino Percussion NINO702 Kids Wooden Cabasa
- 5. Ammoon Student Medium Wooden Cabasa
- 6. Muslady Metal Beaded & Chain Medium Cabasa
- 7. Studio Z Kids’ Stainless Steel & Wooden Cabasa
- 8. Mowind Medium Wooden Cabasa Hand Shaker
- Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Meinl Percussion Turbo Cabasa with Sound Ports
If you want to extend your collection of percussion instruments with a cabasa, this model from Meinl Percussion is an option you might want to take into account, given its construction and the volume it ensures. The way this unit was built makes it possible for the instrument to deliver more volume than many other models on the market.
The resonating chamber features five sound ports that deliver added projection so that you can nuance your performance with crisp and full tones. The sounds and volume delivered render this model suitable for both studio and live performances.
Thanks to the stainless steel beads and the rigged stainless steel cylinder, you’ll get the beautiful classic sounds of cabasas, and you should be able to do so for a long time. The wooden handle is padded so that you can use it comfortably. This is a standard size cabasa that measures 4 inches in width and 7 inches in length.
Suitable for both studio recordings and live performances, this cabasa can be played in different ways so that you can spice up your gigs according to your preferences.
The added projection ensured renders it ideal for environments where more volume is needed, and the sound ports featured will make sure that the sounds produced will be heard.
To provide you with the classic cabasa sounds and keep up with extended use, the unit is packed with a stainless steel cylinder and beads.
Thanks to the padded wooden handle, you will benefit from a soft grip so that you can play comfortably.
This is a standard cabasa measuring 7 inches in length and 4 inches in width, which makes it suitable for various applications.
The unit weighs 15.1 ounces, which, in some cases, might render it less suitable for being used as a shaker.Buy from Amazon.com for ($29.99)
2. Meinl Percussion Turbo Compact Size Cabasa
Sporting a compact design that makes it easy to use and add to your musical gear when traveling, this cabasa is built to enable you to play it in different ways. For example, you can scratch the beads featured or simply spin the cylinder. Moreover, thanks to the sounds produced, you can employ it for both studio recordings and live performances.
Due to the five sound ports, this cabasa ensures added projection, which means that it should cut through various sonic environments. The crisp and full tones will help you color your performances, while the stainless steel used for the beads and the cylinder will get you the beautiful classic cabasa sounds.
The padding used for the wooden handle ensures a soft grip so that you can use the instrument comfortably. This is a compact cabasa, and it thus measures 3.25 inches in width and 7 inches in length.
This cabasa features a sturdy yet comfortable construction that should help you employ it for your musical projects for a long time before replacement is needed.
The resonating chamber comes with five sound ports that enable the unit to render more volume, which makes it suitable for various sonic environments.
The stainless steel used for the beads and cylinder makes it possible for the instrument to create crisp and full tones and keep up with extended use.
Given the padding used to cover the wooden handle, you should benefit from a soft grip and thus employ the unit comfortably.
The compact size makes it easy to engage in longer performances and add it to your gear when on the go.
Since this is a smaller cabasa and it comes with fewer beads, the sound produced is a bit thinner than the one delivered by a bigger cabasa.Buy from Amazon.com for ($15.95)
3. Latin Percussion LP234A Standard Afuche Cabasa
In case you’re interested in getting a standard cabasa that ensures a softer volume and ease of play, this Latin Percussion model is worth a closer look as it is built to deliver such results. The materials used and the product’s size and design should help you create rhythmic patterns that will please your audience and express your sonic personality comfortably.
To achieve such results, the manufacturer used both wood and steel when making this cabasa. The instrument features a stainless steel cylinder and beads, as well as wooden flanges that enclose the cylinder. The unit is also equipped with a wooden handle.
All that translates into durability, and the item should serve your needs for a long time. Given the nature of this product, you can play it in different ways by shaking it or rotating the beads around the textured steel.
What you get with this product is a standard cabasa built with quality materials that should help you engage in many performances before a new unit is needed.
The item comes with a stainless steel cylinder, and the same material is used for the beads, which means that you will get the classic cabasa sounds and also benefit from durability.
This is a standard cabasa that can be played in different ways; you can shake it as it is light enough to enable you to do that comfortably or rotate the beads around the textured steel.
Given its design and the ways you can play it, this cabasa is versatile enough to flavor your performances with varying sounds.
The beads might be a bit too tight to slide as desired against the metal sleeve; plus, this unit delivers a softer volume, so keep that in mind before you make your decision.Buy from Amazon.com for ($44.99)
4. Nino Percussion NINO702 Kids Wooden Cabasa
Designed with young musicians in mind, this wooden cabasa should enable your kid to create the classic cabasa sounds comfortably, thanks to the materials used for its construction and its size. The instrument measures 2.75 inches in width and 6 inches in length, which should make it easy and comfortable for young players to use it.
Even if this model is designed for children, it features the materials used for an adults’ cabasa. It thus comes with stainless steel beads and a rigged stainless steel cylinder that will produce the classic sounds of a cabasa. The instrument requires no assembly or tuning, which makes it a good option for young musicians with no prior experience in playing a musical instrument.
The wooden handle is ergonomically designed so that little ones can play comfortably. What’s more, the compact size ensures easy storage and transportation. The instrument is paired with a 2-year warranty when purchased from an authorized retailer.
If you want to encourage your kid to explore the world of music by playing a cabasa, this unit is built for young musicians and is thus worthy of consideration.
To make it comfortable for kids to play it, the item measures 6 inches in length and 2.75 inches in width and features an ergonomically-designed handle.
Despite being smaller, the instrument is packed with the same materials used for adults’ cabasas; it features a stainless steel cylinder and beads that produce classic cabasa sounds.
The instrument can be used immediately upon arrival as it requires no assembly or tuning and can be played in different ways according to the user’s preferences.
Ease of storage and transportation is another benefit, considering the unit’s dimensions and weight.
Keep in mind that this is a kids’ cabasa and is thus smaller, which means that the volume ensured is also softer.Buy from Amazon.com for ($19.99)
5. Ammoon Student Medium Wooden Cabasa
The sounds produced by a cabasa are attractive not only for adults but also for children, and this model is designed to enable young musicians to discover the world of cabasa sounds and music comfortably. It thus features a compact design that makes it suitable for small hands and easy to play.
This particular model is a medium-sized unit that weighs 3.99 ounces, which renders it suitable for children aged 4 and up. However, it is also available in a smaller size. Even if this is a kids’ model, it is designed just as adults’ cabasas and, therefore, features a steel cylinder and beads to create beautiful sounds.
The unit also comes with a wooden handle that is designed in such a way to ensure a comfortable grip. Plus, considering the instrument’s size and weight, storing and transporting it should not pose any difficulty. You can easily take it with you on holidays or when traveling and thus help your little one learn something new and have fun wherever and whenever needed.
Ideal for kids, this cabasa is designed in such a way to encourage young musicians to explore the sonic beauty of this instrument and do so comfortably.
This is a medium-sized cabasa suitable for children aged 4+, yet the same model is available in a smaller size to cover a wider variety of needs.
Although this is a kids’ model, it is a musical instrument and thus built as such, so it can be played in different ways, and it produces the classic cabasa sounds.
To deliver such sounds, the item sports a steel cylinder, as well as steel beads; plus, the wooden handle ensures a comfortable grip.
The item is light and small enough to ensure comfortable playing but also easy storage and transportation.
The unit might not be as durable as expected, and it might not handle heavy use or a kid’s energetic playing style that well.Buy from Amazon.com for ($16.99)
6. Muslady Metal Beaded & Chain Medium Cabasa
Measuring 4.5 x 7.1 inches and weighing just 15.3 ounces, this cabasa is a good option for the small hands of young musicians. The product was built with ease of play in mind and therefore features a light and comfortable design that should help encourage children to explore its sonic capacities.
To produce the classic cabasa sounds, the instrument is equipped with a nickel-plated metal beaded chain and cylinder. It can be played by manually rubbing the beads over the cylinder or shaking the entire instrument, which makes it suitable for any beginner player.
The unit can thus be used as a spare-time fun or added to a teacher’s educational gear. Its weight and size make it easy to store and transport so that you can take it with you wherever you go to keep your kid entertained. The wooden handle adds to the comfort and ease of use ensured.
Whether you’re a teacher or a parent interested in a cabasa for kids, this model is an option you might want to consider as it is designed with young musicians in mind.
To make it easy and comfortable for kids to handle and play it, this model weighs just 15.3 ounces and measures 4.5 x 7.1 inches.
Even if this is a kids’ model, it is a musical instrument and thus the beaded chain and cylinder featured are made from nickel-plated metal to produce the classic cabasa sounds.
The instrument is easy to play, and it can be employed in different ways; you can rub the beaded chain over the cylinder or shake the unit entirely.
The wooden handle adds to the ease of use and comfort delivered; plus, the product ensures ease of storage and transportation.
Even if this is a medium-size cabasa built for children, it might still be a bit big for very young children, and this particular model is not available in a smaller size.Buy from Amazon.com for ($27.99)
7. Studio Z Kids’ Stainless Steel & Wooden Cabasa
The benefits of playing a musical instrument come in plenty, and if you want to encourage your kid or a child you know to explore the sonic capacities of a cabasa, this model shouldn’t be left unchecked before you make your final decision.
The unit is specifically designed for young musicians and beginner players, so it makes a good choice when in need of an educational gift. The product is advertised as being suitable for kids aged 4 and up, and this particular model measures 5.1 x 7 inches. However, it is also available in a 4.3 x 7-inch version.
Even if this instrument is designed for young players, it is built to create the classic sounds of cabasas. That’s why it features a steel cylinder and chain. It is easy to play as the kid can either shake it or rub the beaded chain against the cylinder.
This musical instrument was designed to make it comfortable and fun for young musicians to play, and it thus features a durable and easy-to-use design.
The product measures 5.1 x 7 inches and comes with an ergonomically-designed wooden handle, which renders it suitable for the small hands of children aged 4 and up.
To help the young musician develop their hearing ability and skills, the product is equipped with a steel cylinder and chain that produce the classic sounds of cabasas.
Since it requires no assembly or tuning, the instrument can be used immediately upon arrival; users can shake it or rotate the beaded chain over the cylinder.
Thanks to its dimensions, the item is portable and can be easily stored or added to one’s gear when traveling.
This cabasa model is a bit pricier than other models that offer the same features; however, given its materials, it should keep up with long-term use.Buy from Amazon.com for ($31.99)
8. Mowind Medium Wooden Cabasa Hand Shaker
Whether you’re a teacher interested in a new cabasa for your students or a parent on the lookout for an educational gift, this model from Mowind is an option you might want to consider, given its child-friendly design. The product is a medium-size cabasa that should enable young musicians to hold and play it comfortably.
What’s more, to make it even easier for children to discover the instrument’s sonic capacities, this model features an ergonomically-designed handle that ensures a comfortable grip. In order to help musicians produce the classic sounds of cabasas, the unit comes with a steel cylinder and chain.
By rotating the beaded chain over the cylinder or shaking the instrument, players can produce varying sounds according to their needs and preferences. Since it is smaller than many other cabasas, it won’t take too much room when stored or added to your holiday/travel gear.
Easy to play and store, this medium cabasa is suitable for young players and even for adult musicians with smaller hands.
Despite its dimensions, the instrument produces the classic sounds of cabasas thanks to the steel beaded chain and cylinder featured.
To make it comfortable for children to explore the instrument’s sonic capacities, the item is equipped with an ergonomically-designed wooden handle.
It can be played in different ways, which ensures varying sounds and makes the unit suitable for use in classroom teaching, band accompaniment, and musical games.
Keep in mind that this is a kids’ musical instrument, and given its dimensions, it is not too loud, although the sounds produced are the ones typical of cabasas.
Also, it is a bit smaller than many brand medium cabasas even if it is advertised as being a medium model.Buy from Amazon.com for ($15.99)
Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
There are many benefits linked to playing a musical instrument, yet not too many instruments are easy to play, which might make many of us give up too early or hold back from studying certain instruments altogether. Things are different when it comes to cabasas, though. They are easy to play and small enough to ensure easy storage and transportation, unlike other larger and heavier instruments.
The cabasa musical instrument is thus suitable for young musicians and beginners of all ages. Creating beautiful rhythms with the cabasa instrument is not complicated, which is why the market also offers many cabasas in small sizes specifically developed for kids. Many people with no prior experience in music choose to study the cabasa, given that it is relatively easy to learn the elements of rhythm with this instrument.
It does take consistent practice to be able to create various rhythmic effects with this instrument, but practice makes perfect. If you want to advance as a percussionist and make the cabasa sound memorable and enchant your audience with it, perseverance and regular practice should get you there.
If you’ve decided to give the cabasa percussion a try, there are a few key factors to consider before picking a model out of the many available for sale. Since cabasas come in different sizes and are built with various materials, and goals differ from one player to another, the one-size-fits-all does not apply in this case. Here are the things to keep in mind when looking for a cabasa.
The first thing to take into account when buying a cabasa, just as is the case with many other products, regards your goals and needs. How often do you intend to play? Is it just a spare-time fun thing or something more serious?
If you’re already a percussionist interested in extending your percussion instrument collection and advancing, then looking for a brand cabasa featuring a durable construction that will keep up with extended use and create the beautiful sounds of cabasas is the thing to do.
Even if you’re just interested in playing the cabasa casually from now and then, it is best to invest in a quality model that won’t break after a few uses.
As an amateur, you might do with a less expensive model, but if you’re a professional engaging in live performances and studio recordings, going for a premium model will help you avoid the unpleasant moments that might occur when using a cheap cabasa.
When searching for a cabasa, you will see that this instrument comes in different sizes, and this is another highly important factor to consider before making your purchase. Many affordable cabasa models come in small, medium, and large sizes. The size of the cabasa you use is not just a matter of comfort but also of sonic performance.
Large-sized cabasas produce a deeper and fuller sound. Plus, the beaded chains they come with are easier to rotate with your hands if you don’t want to limit your cabasa performance to simply shaking the instrument. By rubbing the beads over the cylinder, you can create varying sounds and effects for more nuanced sonic results.
The market also offers small-sized cabasas specifically designed for kids as they are more comfortable for their small hands.
However, if you’re interested in a cabasa for an adult with smaller hands, you might want to take a closer look at the materials used for the unit you’ve set your eyes on since a small-sized cabasa for adults may sound different than a small-sized unit designed specifically for kids. The ones made for young musicians may sound more like a toy.
Materials, design, and budget
A cabasa is a musical instrument, and thus, the materials used for its construction, its design, and size will shape its sonic outputs. The materials featured affect the way a cabasa sounds and how much it lasts. Cheap cabasas are made from less durable materials that are likely not to keep up with heavy use and that might also have a cheap sound.
Professional cabasas feature quality wood and metal that create the classic cabasa sounds and are chosen based on their durability. Many such cabasas come with a stainless steel cylinder and beaded chain to create crisp and full tones and wood for the rest of the body.
Kids’ cabasas may feature cheaper materials since they are often designed as toys and thus sound as such. If you need an adults’ cabasa yet in a small size, it is best to check the materials employed for the unit’s construction and, if possible, listen to the way that model sounds.
Cabasas may also differ a bit in design since some models feature sound ports to deliver more volume. Consider your needs and choose accordingly. A cabasa with sound ports is more suitable for loud environments.
Plus, you might also want to pay attention to the handle of the cabasa you intend to buy. An ergonomically-designed one is ideal. A padded handle that ensures a soft grip is also desirable.
Your budget will help you filter the many products available for sale. However, if you’re serious about playing the cabasa and you intend to master it and use it for studio applications and live performances, it is best to invest in a professional cabasa as it will not only sound better, but it should also stand the test of time.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: What family is the cabasa in?
Any cabasa definition you’ll find describes cabasas as part of the percussion musical instruments. Inspired by the western African instrument known as the ‘shekere’, cabasas are hand percussion instruments classified as idiophones like most non-drum percussion instruments.
This refers to the fact that the cabasa produces sounds through the vibration of the instrument itself, unlike a membranophone that, as the name suggests, creates sounds via a membrane that is attached to the frame of the instrument.
Cabasas feature a cylinder that is made of wood or, as we’ve seen in the product list above, metal, and that is covered with loops of steel ball chain. These instruments also include a handle that is usually made of wood.
To play the cabasa and create sounds that are similar to the ones produced by high hat cymbals, it is enough to hold the unit by the handle and shake it. However, cabasas can also be played by rubbing the beaded chain over the cylinder for varying sound effects.
Q: How do you play the cabasa?
What makes cabasas so popular among players with no prior experience is how they are played. Like many other hand percussion instruments, a cabasa is simple to play. It does take a bit of practice to advance and create varying precise rhythmic effects, but it is not complicated to use it for basic rhythms.
There are two main ways to play the cabasa, yet you can get creative with it and even adapt it to other styles of playing. Use your dominant hand to hold the handle and shake it in rhythmic patterns similar to the rattles.
Sometimes, that is enough to get the sounds desired, yet in some cases, the player is also required to use the non-dominant hand to hover over the loop ball chain that covers the cylinder. The metal beads can be tapped and released to produce more complex rhythms.
Instead of shaking the cabasa, you can also hold the handle with your dominant hand and twist the cabasa back and forth while keeping the other hand on the metal beaded chain to apply pressure. Cabasas can also be attached to foot pedals specifically designed for them or for drum kits.
Q: What does cabasa mean?
As we’ve said above, cabasas are percussion instruments featuring a wood handle and a metal cylinder that is looped with a beaded chain, and the instrument that inspired and led to the invention of cabasas is the one that helps us understand the meaning of this term.
Cabasas are similar to the shekere, which is a West African percussion instrument made of a hollowed out gourd that is covered with a net of beads or cowries. The Portuguese word ‘cabaça’ means gourd, and even if the modern cabasas made of wood and metal come with differences, they are called so because of the similarities with the African instrument that inspired their development.
The original version of the African instrument is known as ‘agbe’, yet there are several versions of this instrument, such as the axatse, saa saa, lilolo, or the djabara. While modern cabasas are available in standard sizes, the ones featuring a dried gourd differ in size and handle length depending on how much the gourd grows.
Q: What’s a cabasa made of?
The materials used for the various cabasas available these days differ. When it comes to the African instrument that inspired the metal cabasa we find in stores today, the instrument features a dried hollowed out gourd that is covered with a network of beads or cowries and finishes in a single handle.
Martin Cohen is the founder of Latin Percussion and the one who created the metal cabasa, which is often referred to as afuche. As the name suggests, the cabasas available for sale these days are usually made of metal and wood. They typically come with a rigged steel cylinder covered with a steel beaded chain and feature wood for the rest of the body.
These materials differ from one brand to another, and cheap cabasas are even made of plastic. You might see such items in the kids’ cabasa section as they are built more as toys than real musical instruments.
Q: Where did the cabasa originate from?
The cabasa resembles the African percussion instrument known as the shekere and is thought to be of African origins. The agbe is the original African version of cabasas, an instrument featuring a dried gourd covered with a network of beads. However, roots of this instrument can be traced to a few native Latin American instruments as well.
Although the term ‘cabasa’ is often used to describe all the instruments that resemble the shekere, there are other terms used to describe the instruments in this category. For example, the generally-used term for metal cabasas is afuche, an instrument that was created by the Latin Percussion’s founder, Martin Cohen, in the second half of the 20th century.
The afuche was developed as a substitution for the Latin American instrument referred to as cabasa, which is why the two terms, afuche and cabasa are used interchangeably and why the cabasa as we know it today can be linked to both African and Latin American origins.