Maracas – Buying Guide, Opinions and Analysis
Maracas are percussion instruments widely used in Latin music, salsa, merengue, joropo, bagpipes, cumbia, etc. However, there are many models of maracas on the market, so we have decided to recommend several options. The A-Star AP5111 maracas are one of them, as they have a compact design for comfortable learning by adults and children. Plus, they’re made of durable plastic and deliver brilliant sound. Other recommended maracas are the Meinl MSM2, since they are made by hand with high quality natural leather. They also have an ergonomic wooden handle.
The 9 Best Maracas – Opinions 2022
There are many brands and models on the Internet, so here we present the 9 best maracas of 2022. Our goal is for you to discover which are the most suitable maracas for you. To achieve this, carefully review the details of these maracas.
1. A-Star AP5111 Small Plastic Egg Maracas
These are some of the best value for money maracas, because although they are quite cheap they offer a bright and beautiful sound. Likewise, they are Mexican maracas that are easy to move and store, due to their compact size.
Also, it should be noted that they have small handles on the handles, to hold them more securely. With them you can learn the first rhythms with your young children, creating a musical environment in the family. With small handles, children ages 3 and up will have no problem handling them.
In addition to this, we mention that they are made of robust plastic, both the eggs and their handles. The dimensions of these maracas are 4 x 12 cm, so they fit in any child’s backpack without problems.
Next, we present the pros and cons of these beautiful maracas, they may be the ones you are looking for to make music with your little child.
Material: They are made of resistant plastic, so they withstand frequent use by children and adults.
Education: They serve for musical workshops with children, so that they learn percussion from an early age.
Handles: The handles on each handle will help to hold the maracas more safely.
Sound: They do not sound very good for professional music groups, however, they could be useful in learning.
2.XDrum wooden maracas
These could be the best maracas as they have a sleek Mexican style design with real wood. In addition, its sound is strong and bright, being very useful to accompany Latin music groups.
Also, these Mexican maracas were hand-painted and have a drawing of palm trees on the top. Also, they have the colors of the Mexican flag on the part of the eggs. In other words, they have an artisan design that combines very well with Latin American music, for example, son, cumbia, merengue, salsa, bolero, chachachá, etc.
On the other hand, it should be noted that these maracas are 25 cm long, being comfortable for adult beginners and children 7 years and older. Likewise, its handles have an ergonomic design to easily hold them when playing.
If you don’t know which maracas to buy, these might be the ones for you, as they have a number of qualities that might catch your eye. Here we present some of the most important.
Design: They have an ergonomic design of 25 cm, in addition, their handles have a shape that adapts better to the hands.
Sound: Its sound is high and bright, which is used to practice Latin rhythms or play with groups.
Material: They are made of natural wood and were hand painted. In this way, they offer a very nice handcrafted touch and a long useful life.
Cover: It is missing that they come with a padded cover for storage and transport.
3. Meinl Percussion MSM2 maracas
If you are wondering which are the best maracas, here we present some of the most outstanding. The Meinl MSM2 are Cuban maracas with a natural leather top, providing an authentic and powerful sound for playing acoustically or with amplification.
In addition to this, these maracas have comfortable and safe wooden handles for the hands, with decorative lines that increase stability when playing.
Similarly, you should know that these maracas come in the natural color of their materials, light brown, and the Meinl logo is printed on the part of the eggs. In addition, they have been made by hand by specialists in percussion instruments.
On the other hand, it should be noted that they are mini maracas, that is, smaller than the standard ones, so you can move them or store them comfortably.
Meinl may be the best brand of maracas as it is specialized in making minor percussion instruments such as bongos, eggs, congas, clave etc.
Materials: They are made of leather on the top and wood for the handles, so they are quite resistant and durable.
Sound: They offer a balanced sound to accompany varied rhythms of Latin music.
Ergonomics: These maracas are comfortable and safe for your hands, thanks to the rounded shape of the handles.
Size: They are very small maracas, however, they offer a suitable sound for soft music such as bolero and chachachá.
4. PP World Percussion PP1019 Coconut Maraca
This pair of Cuban maracas is made with real coconut on top and has a total length of 27 cm. In other words, these maracas are sized for adults. Likewise, they offer an ergonomic design, thanks to their rounded wooden handle.
Also, we mentioned that they have the natural colors of coconut and wood, which means that their design is very handmade. In addition, the coconut material in the heads of these maracas provides a brighter and more unique sound, as well as a longer lifespan.
On the other hand, we inform you that thanks to its standard size you can play different genres of music, bolero, chachachá, salsa, Cuban son, Dominican merengue, Colombian or Venezuelan joropo, etc. You can even use them to play in some pieces of symphony orchestras.
Perhaps they are the best maracas of the moment to start playing Latin rhythms, so check out their main pros and cons.
Materials: The heads are made of coconut shells and the handles are made of wood, therefore, they offer a long service life.
Comfort: Its handles are ergonomically shaped for your hands, so you can play for several hours without problems.
Versatility: They are used to play various musical genres such as chachachá, bolero, cumbia, merengue, llanera music, Cuban son, etc.
Simplicity: They have a fairly simple appearance, so they are not very flashy. However, they do their job very well in terms of sound quality.
5. Pixnor Maracas Shaker Rattle Musical Toys
These children’s maracas have been made of robust wood, being a very durable material. In addition, we mention that they are recommended for children from 1 to 3 years old, allowing them to develop motor skills and rhythm. In other words, with this practical toy your little one will have their first contact with music, an important aspect in their cognitive stimulation.
On the other hand, we mention that these maracas come in a pack of 10 units with different designs, so they are a good option for educational workshops. Also, their size is small, since they are only 11.5 cm long. Thanks to this, babies will be able to pick them up without complications.
Also, you should know that the paint used in the design of the maracas is non-toxic, so they are safe and reliable for children.
If you are looking for musical toys to give away at a children’s party and you don’t know which ones to choose, these maracas could be the ones. Next, know its main positive and negative aspects.
Paint: The paint used is safe, reducing the risk of poisoning if your baby puts a maraca in his mouth.
Ergonomics: Thanks to its practical size, the baby will be able to easily hold the maracas and make them sound as long as they want.
Material: They have been made of wood, this being a very resistant and durable material.
Colors: It is missing that the package has a greater variety of colors and they are not repeated.
6. Meinl Percussion ES2-BK Egg Shaped Shaker Set
They are very practical shakers, suitable to be used as an accompaniment in a musical presentation. In addition, they have a good sound, which will give a more pleasant touch to the presentation.
Also, if you are a beginning musician, we recommend these egg maracas, since they are very easy to play. Also, it should be noted that they have been made of resistant plastic, so that they will last you for a long time. Also, we mention that they have a small size and light weight, so they are comfortable to use during long rehearsals or concerts.
On the other hand, we inform you that the package includes two maracas in total, which will allow you to create different musical rhythms. In addition to this, they come in black, combining very well with other percussion instruments you have.
These are some of the cheapest maracas on the list, but they have high-quality materials, so we present their pros and cons in the next section.
Sound: They have a soft sound, being suitable for bolero and chachachá musical accompaniments.
Weight: They have a fairly light weight, therefore, they are very comfortable to wear for several hours of practice or live concerts.
Color: They come in black, so they will not get dirty easily. Plus, it’s a trendy color that goes with just about any instrument.
Case: The package does not include a carrying case, so you will have to purchase it separately.
7. iGadgitz Xtra U7130 Painted Elm Wood Maraca Set
With these maracas you will be able to animate live performances, parties and other celebrations with your musical group, since they have a length of 25 cm, thus offering a strong sound.
In addition, you should know that they have been made with elm wood, which is resistant and durable. Similarly, they are ergonomic, as they have an easy-grip handle, offering greater security and stability in the touch.
On the other hand, they have a nice color combination, green, brown and red. They also have a tropical decoration and a varnish finish, for greater elegance. In addition to this, being of standard size you can play them in open environments without any type of amplification. Even these maracas are very useful to teach the sense of rhythm in an academy or school, both to children and adults.
These maracas are useful for accompaniments in Latin music groups, so we invite you to learn about their pros and cons.
Design: They have a modern and Caribbean design, combining very well with other Latin percussion instruments.
Use: They can be used in percussion schools and musical groups of Latin music.
Material: They have been made of elm wood, which is resistant and durable, so you will enjoy these maracas for a long time.
Size: It is missing that these maracas also come in a small version, since they would be much more comfortable for children.
8. LP Latin Percussion LP862160 Maracas
The LP brand is recognized for offering quality products for percussionists, this time it brings you a pair of combined maracas, that is, one with a low pitch and another with a high pitch. This is how traditional maracas come.
The sound of these maracas is bright and strong, giving a great contribution during the interpretation of Caribbean and Latin rhythms. In other words, if you want to use it outdoors, you won’t have a problem, because they have a powerful sound.
Also, we inform you that they come in yellow with respect to their heads and the handle is made of wood. Likewise, they are 28 cm, so they are useful for adults or adolescents who want to start in minor percussion.
As an additional fact, we mention that the heads are made of robust plastic, so they will withstand frequent use without difficulties.
If you like LP brand instruments, you should review the most important aspects of these maracas, they may be the ones you need.
Durability: Thanks to the materials used in their manufacture, these maracas offer a long useful life.
Design: Their heads come in yellow and the handles are made of wood, so they are quite striking.
Handle: They have easy-grip handles, so you won’t feel discomfort in your hands, even if you spend a lot of time playing them.
Volume: These maracas sound very loud, so it is not recommended to use them indoors. However, this does not affect its sound quality.
9. Tiger MAR7-BK Maracas
These maracas have a handle made of wood and its upper part in plastic, very resistant and durable materials. In addition, its dimensions are 26 x 9.5 cm, being large enough to play them live without the need to amplify them with a dynamic microphone.
Since they have a strong and bright sound, you can use them in different musical rhythms such as bolero, joropo, salsa, Cuban son, Colombian cumbia, etc. Also, you should know that they are very ergonomic maracas, since their handles are easy to grip. This way, you won’t get tired when you have to play long performances or practices.
Also, it should be noted that they come with black heads and brown handles. The latter are made of natural wood with beautiful grains.
On the other hand, keep in mind that these maracas are not recommended for very young children, only 4 years and older.
These maracas have features that might catch your eye, so check out their main pros and cons below.
Sound: They have a bright and strong sound, being a good option for the accompaniment of different musical genres, bolero, salsa, cumbia, merengue, etc.
Ergonomics: Since its handle is easy to grip, you can use them for a few hours and they will not bother your hands.
Durability: They are made with robust materials that will provide them with a long useful life.
Cover: They do not come with a cover to protect them from dust and scratches while moving or storing them.
If you want to choose the most suitable maracas for you, you must know various characteristics of these musical instruments. For example, construction materials, size, ergonomics of the handle, etc. Next, we explain some of these qualities.
In a guide to buy the best maracas, this point cannot be missing. This is because the construction materials must be resistant and durable, in addition, it is important that they provide a pleasant and strong sound.
Maracas are mainly made up of two parts, the head and the handle. The head must have seeds, stones, rice, plastic balls or other material that hits the inside.
Likewise, it should be noted that the heads can be made of coconut shell, since this material, apart from being resistant, offers good resonance for the maracas. In the same way, there are wooden heads, a fairly light material, but usually less robust than coconut.
Likewise, there are maracas that have plastic, metal or leather heads. The plastic ones do not offer high sound quality, but they are often cheaper, since they are not made by hand. And regarding the metallic ones, the truth is, they are not very common, but they are quite brilliant in terms of sound.
For their part, leather heads offer a more natural and warm sound, of course, depending on the type of skin. If the heads are made of real skin, the sound is more pleasant and authentic.
In another order of ideas, the handles of the maracas are almost always made of wood or plastic. The wooden handles are used to make peals between them, for example, when the classic salsa key is made in some Latin rhythm. For the key to sound good, the wood of the handles must be of high quality.
Before asking yourself how much certain maracas cost, you should know this aspect. Generally, size influences price, so you should look carefully if you want to find good and cheap maracas.
Small maracas are almost always made of simple materials, as they are for children or beginner adults. On the other hand, the large or standard 25 cm maracas are made with better materials. However, this is not always the same for all maracas, since everything depends a lot on the manufacturer.
In any case, it is best to buy some small maracas if you want to move them anywhere more easily. Otherwise, you can buy standard sized maracas, about 10 to 11 inches. They usually have a louder sound and can be used to play almost any type of music.
When making a comparison of maracas you should think about this aspect, because you may have to play them for several hours of practice or in a live show. The shape of the handles is essential for the comfort of your hands. If the maracas have rounded handles, they will be more stable and comfortable for your hands.
Fortunately, most manufacturers make handles with various rounded designs. So, you should carefully review the handles of the maracas to check whether or not they adapt to your requirements and preferences.
Design and finishes
The design of maracas varies too much, as they are sometimes made by hand. The craftsmanship is very original, you will never find maracas that sound the same, even if they are made by the same craftsman. We say this because the materials of the maracas are very varied. For example, one cut of wood is not the same as another, which can cause significant changes in the final sound of the instrument.
Also, it is necessary to highlight the type of finish that the maracas have, since this can be natural or with different colors. Generally, the handles are made of wood, so they have a natural finish, to highlight the grain and the real tones of the material.
Likewise, there are maracas of various colors, which sometimes have a direct relationship with a particular country. However, this aspect is something that you can change yourself in the future, in case the maracas lose their factory paint.
On the other hand, you should know that there are maracas without a handle, which are known as “eggs” in English or “huevos” in Spanish. They are also known as “shakers”.
Frequently asked questions
Q1: How to make homemade maracas?
Making some homemade maracas is very easy, for this you will need some materials such as scissors, markers, string, 2 empty jars of baby yogurt, a handful of lentils and a balloon.
Next, the first thing you need to do is cut two exactly the same pieces of string. Then, cut the nozzle of the balloon and leave only the circular part, you should cut this in half in equal parts. Next, what you will do is add the handful of lentils in each of the boats. Subsequently, cover the top of each boat with the balloon and the rope, making a tie. Also, cut off any leftover string.
Finally, paint the boats with the markers and that’s it, you already have a couple of homemade maracas.
Q2: How to make maracas with recyclable material?
To make a pair of maracas you will need the following recyclable materials: aluminum foil cardboard tube, tape, pencil, paint pots, scissors, 2 small plastic pots, DAS plaster strips, and red, green, and blue paints. In addition to this, you will need water, ruler, markers, Giotto varnish, brush No. 6, Giotto Acrylic Paint black and white, markers and a brush No. 14.
The first step will be to introduce a little rice in each pot to give it sound. Second, paint the boats with white Giotto Acrylic Paint using brush no. 14. Once the paint has dried, apply a second coat.
Next, mark with the pencil and the ruler 12 cm on the cardboard tube and paint it in black, using the number 14 brush. When the paint dries, cut it out, do this same step again to make the handle of the other maraca.
Next, join each of the tubes to the canisters, using the adhesive tape and leaving the tube inside the canister. Subsequently, cut DAS plaster bands 2 cm wide, glue them to the handle of the maracas with water. Apply a second coat and let it dry. Also, start painting the tops of the maracas using the markers. You can make geometric figures and points. Also, at the base you can paint flowers of different colors.
Similarly, decorate the handle with black Giotto Acrylic Paint. Using the #6 brush, make vertical lines and divide it into 6 parts, then paint with the red, blue and green paints. Finally, she applies the varnish over the entire surface of the maracas.
Q3: How to paint maracas?
To paint your maracas you can do it using markers of different colors and draw geometric figures, dots, stripes as you wish. Also, paint them with paint in water; Choose the colors that you like best.
Likewise, once you have painted the maracas, we recommend applying a layer of transparent varnish, so that the paint lasts much longer.
Q4: What family do maracas belong to?
Maracas are minor percussion musical instruments and belong to the idiophone family. These types of instruments are so called because they use their own body as resonating matter.
Q5: Who invented the maracas?
There are various hypotheses about the invention of this instrument, but here we will talk about two outstanding theories. The first is that the maracas were created by the Arawak Indians, these were inhabitants of the Antilles, as Father José Gumilla wrote in his book “Natural History of the Orinoco River” published in 1791.
The second hypothesis affirms that the maracas have Guarani origin, specifically they come from the southern cone region, in Latin America.