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The Best Salsa Music Instruments In The UK

A hot and spicy mix of various genres of Cuban music that developed in 1960s New York City, salsa now is played and loved around the world. Find the UK’s best-quality salsa music instruments at Dawkes, where you can shop online or visit us in store.

The genre, among whose founders were Celia Cruz, Bobby Valentín, and Ray Barretto, fuses the Afro-Cuban son montuno, Afro-Cuban percussion, mambo, guaracha, Latin jazz, and Puerto Rican bomba and plena. Salsa ensembles usually follow one of two formats – horn-based Son Conjunto and string-based Charanga.

Son Conjunto Salsa Instruments

You’ll find the following salsa music instruments in a typical Son Conjunto ensemble:

Congas

Congas

Narrow, tall, and single-headed, the drums known as congas developed in Cuba, where they were originally used in Afro-Cuban music. They’re also known as tumbadoras.

Bongos

Bongos

Bongos are a pair of small, open-bottomed drums that developed within Afro-Cuban musical traditions.

Bass

Bass

Most modern Son Conjunto ensembles use a bass guitar rather than a double bass to create that famous salsa groove.

Piano

Piano

The piano (or keyboards) often makes appearances in Son Conjunto ensembles.

Trumpet

Trumpet

Two or three trumpets usually comprise the horn section in salsa ensembles. Find the best Bb, Eb, C, Piccolo, and plastic trumpets right here at Dawkes. We also carry a full range of spare parts, maintenance essentials, and more.

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Hire a Trumpet
Trombone

Trombone

Some ensembles prefer to use trombones instead of trumpets in their horn section. You’ll find tenor, valve, bass, alto, and plastic trombones, as well as all the care and maintenance and other essentials you need, at Dawkes.

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Saxophone

Saxophone

Some salsa ensembles include saxophones in their horn section. If you’re looking for an alto, soprano, tenor, or baritone saxophone, or for mouthpieces, reeds, ligatures, cases, stands, or other accessories, you’ll find plenty to choose from in store and online.

Are you a beginner? Hire an alto or tenor sax from Dawkes from approximately £30 per month. Alternatively, take a look at our other Saxophone options, such as sopranino, soprano, and baritone saxophones.

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Hire a Saxophone
Handheld Percussion

Handheld Percussion

A characteristic element of the sound of salsa music is thanks to handheld percussion. The most common instruments include the pair of wooden sticks called claves, the rattles better known as maracas, and the notched, hollow gourd called the güiro.

Charanga Salsa Instruments

In addition to congas, bass, piano, and handheld percussion, the following instruments are used in many Charanga salsa ensembles:

Timbales

Timbales

Also known as pailas, timbales are single-headed shallow drums with a metal casing. Players may strike the head or the shell of the drum.

Flute

Flute

The flute, one of humanity’s oldest instruments, is a regular feature in Charanga salsa ensembles. If you’re looking for a flute, you’ll have no trouble finding the perfect instrument for you at Dawkes. We stock flutes in C, alto flutes, piccolos, bass flutes, and plastic flutes. If you’re not sure the flute’s the instrument for you, why not rent one from us for a few months?

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Hire a Flute
Strings

Strings

String instruments including the viola, violin, and cello also are included in salsa ensembles that use the Charanga format.

Find a Local Music Teacher

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Authenticating DBS/ CRB or safeguarding training must be undertaken by the individual (or parent) seeking instrumental lessons. They must additionally undertake their own investigations as to the suitability of the teacher and make contact to discuss directly as detailed. Dawkes Music Ltd. accepts no liability for such matters.