When it comes to purchasing a musical instrument, one of the most important considerations is the price. This holds true for the traditional Japanese drum known as the tama. The price of a tama can vary significantly depending on several factors. In this article, we will explore the key factors that influence tama prices and provide valuable insights for those interested in purchasing this unique instrument.

1. Quality of Materials

The quality of materials used in the construction of a tama plays a crucial role in determining its price. Traditionally, tama drums are made from high-quality wood such as oak, cherry, or maple. These woods are known for their durability, resonance, and aesthetic appeal. Tamas made from rare or exotic woods, such as bubinga or wenge, tend to be more expensive due to their scarcity and unique tonal qualities.

Additionally, the type of skin used for the drumhead can impact the price. Tamas with drumheads made from high-quality animal skins, such as cowhide or goatskin, are generally more expensive than those with synthetic drumheads. Animal skin drumheads are known for their rich and authentic sound, while synthetic drumheads offer durability and consistency.

2. Craftsmanship and Brand Reputation

The craftsmanship and brand reputation of a tama manufacturer also play a significant role in determining its price. Tamas crafted by renowned artisans or well-established brands often command higher prices due to their reputation for superior quality and attention to detail.

For example, the Japanese company “Asano Taiko” is widely recognized for its exceptional craftsmanship and has been producing high-quality tama drums for over 400 years. Tamas made by Asano Taiko are highly sought after and tend to be more expensive compared to drums made by lesser-known manufacturers.

3. Size and Design

The size and design of a tama can also influence its price. Tamas come in various sizes, ranging from small handheld drums to large floor-standing drums. Larger drums require more materials and labor, resulting in higher production costs and, consequently, higher prices.

Furthermore, the design and aesthetics of a tama can impact its price. Tamas with intricate hand-painted designs or decorative elements, such as gold leaf accents or inlaid patterns, are often priced higher due to the additional craftsmanship involved.

4. Market Demand and Availability

Market demand and availability are crucial factors that affect tama prices. If a particular tama model or brand is in high demand and limited supply, the price is likely to be higher. Conversely, if there is low demand or an oversupply of a certain tama, the price may be lower.

For example, if a famous taiko group starts using a specific tama model in their performances, the demand for that model may increase, leading to a price hike. On the other hand, if a new tama manufacturer enters the market and offers competitive prices, it may drive down the prices of established brands.


The price of a tama is influenced by various factors, including the quality of materials, craftsmanship, brand reputation, size, design, market demand, and availability. Understanding these factors can help potential buyers make informed decisions when purchasing a tama.

When considering the price of a tama, it is essential to strike a balance between budget and quality. While high-end tama drums may offer superior sound and craftsmanship, they may not be necessary for beginners or casual players. On the other hand, opting for a low-priced tama may compromise on quality and durability.

Ultimately, the price of a tama should align with the buyer’s needs, skill level, and budget. By considering the factors discussed in this article, individuals can make well-informed decisions and find a tama that meets their requirements while providing an enjoyable and authentic taiko drumming experience.

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