Basic Multipurpose Cowbell Recommendations is an update of my previous posting: Cowbell Recommendations for Drum Set. I have slightly changed from my original recommendations to now include Agogo Bells. Essential to Brazilian music. I really like the Pearl Elite ECB23 Mounted Agogo Bells. They have a nice sound and mount solidly on a 3/8 rod along with two other LP cowbells. The picture below is my current “Basic Multipurpose (don’t know what will be needed) Cowbell Setup”.
First of all – there is a wide variety of cowbells. In fact, there are over 65 different cowbells bells listed on the LP Percussion website alone. Each bell is normally associated with a specific genre, style or rhythmic pattern. Secondly – all Latin music is NOT the same. Notably, there is a significant distinction between Afro Cuban and Brazilian musical styles. Afro Cuban (Salsa) includes styles such as Campana, Mambo, Cha-Cha, Mozambique, etc. Brazilian styles include primarily Samba and Bossa Nova. These distinctions also apply to cowbells. Brazilian musical tradition is basically limited to Agogo Bells. While all the other types of cowbells are associated with Afro Cuban musical styles.
Basic Multipurpose Cowbells
I use the Pearl Agogo Bells for Brazilian styles – primarily Samba. For Afro Cuban styles I still like to use a LP 228 Black Beauty SR and a LP 205 Timbale Bell. When it comes to playing a Cha Cha ostinato you MUST use a Cha Cha Bell like the Black Beauty. There is no substitute – I’ve tried. The Senior (SR) version has a slightly lower pitch and drier sound than the original LP 204AN version. For other Afro Cuban styles, I like to use the Timbale Bell. It has a nice pitch, articulate sound with just enough resonance, and nice contrast between the open (mouth) and closed (body) sounds. I can play Mambo – Mozambique style bell patterns AND Campana – Bongo Bell patterns on the same bell. I no longer have to set up a LP ES-5 Salsa Timbale Bell and a LP 206A Bongo Bell.
Recommended Cowbell Mounting Options:
This DW Claw Hook Clamp is designed to simply, yet dependably, clamp onto both sides of the hoop of your bass drum. It places percussion instruments in a location that is both accessible and out-of-the-way without fear of slippage. Attach a cowbell, block, or other percussion instrument to the clamp via DW’s patented V-Clamp which features memory lock, so it’s easy to repeat your favorite setup. Included is a 1/2″-diameter L-arm but the V-Clamp can accommodate a variety of arm diameters.
You may want to view this youtube video: DWSM2141 Claw Hook Accessory Clamp
Meinl Percussion Rim Clamp with Adjustable Rod (pictured above) Grab on to any common drum rim with the Meinl rim clamp to securely mount percussion accessories, small cymbals, or microphones exactly where you need them. Useful in drum kit setups, percussion rigs, and on marching drums. The rim clamp is equipped with a standard percussion rod that is angle adjustable. The clamp can also hold cymbal attachments to mount a Splash or small Crash. I use one to mount multiple cowbells to my floor tom.
With a Pearl ECB23 Agogo Bells, LP 228 Black Beauty SR and LP 205 Timbale Bell mounted together, I am able to cover virtually all Afro Cuban and Brazilian musical styles that use cowbells. These three bells take up very little space (mounted on floor tom) while providing me with authentic sounds and expanded possibilities. These are the basic multipurpose cowbell recommendations for drum set applications.