Castanets – Opinions, Analysis and Buying Guide in 2022
Castanets are an incredible and iconic instrument of flamenco music, so in order to stand out and keep the rhythm, it is necessary to have pairs that allow you to emit the correct sound and are comfortable for you. Choosing a good instrument can be difficult. Luckily, we have models like the South Amateur Castanets, made of high hardness resin, so they generate a bright and clear sound. They are appropriate to start in the art of using this instrument and you can select them in 3 sizes, thus achieving a correct fit. For their part, the LP Professional LP432 castanetsThey are also a good alternative. Featured for their contrasting design and long laces, they will allow you to become the next big star of bulerías, concerts, and will accompany you for quite some time due to their quality.
Opinions on the best castanets on the market
In the world of castanets, there are many options to choose from, however, few deserve the recognition of being the best on the market. In this section, you will find the most outstanding models of today.
Castanets of the South
South Castanets Amateur
For those who are just beginning their learning, it is best to do so with an affordable instrument, but one that is of quality. With them in mind, the Castañuelas del Sur brand has designed this pair of high-strength resin castanets, which can reproduce an intense and clear sound, as well as withstand long-term use.
They can be used by both children and adults, it is only necessary to measure the width of the palm to determine the correct size. In this sense, the model can be purchased in 3 sizes: No. 2 for people with large hands, No. 4, for those with a palm width of 7 to 8.5 cm and, for those with smaller hands, No. 6 may be the most appropriate.
The kit includes a case to transport the castanets and keep them in good condition and their intense black glossy finish will make them stand out during practice.
Now, you will be able to know a summary of the most important aspects of what may be the best castanets of the moment.
Dimensions: Thanks to the fact that they come in 3 different sizes, it is possible to choose the correct size, according to the dimensions of the user’s hands.
Durability: They are castanets made of high hardness resin. This allows them to be useful for a long time, without losing their acoustic qualities.
Ergonomics: The design fits comfortably in the hand, to be able to execute the movements of the instrument and achieve an intense sound.
Double body: Unlike other models, this one only has a single body, but its sound is still bright and resonant.
LP Professional LP432
If you find yourself looking for your ideal product among the range of professional castanets, then this model may be what you need. This product comes with two pairs of hand castanets made from rosewood, a durable material known to last long, despite constant use. The strings are quite resistant so that you have a good handling of the castanets and they fit your fingers properly.
In addition to that, if you don’t know which castanets to buy but want to buy ones that come with a good design, this instrument has a dark brown tone on both the castanets and the strings, however, the brand’s logo stands out in a beige tone. in the central part of the pieces, giving it an excellent contrast. They are light, therefore, using them will not entail much effort on the part of the musician.
These castanets, in addition to being of quality, are also some of the cheapest on the market, making them a good option for anyone who wants to use them.
Range: Being a professional range instrument, this product is suitable for the most experienced musicians.
Material: Rosewood is a resistant material, therefore, these castanets are also resistant and you can use them without worrying about them being damaged.
Light: As they are light, the hands will not tire quickly when using them and it will not be difficult to carry them from one place to another.
Thickness: Some buyers have had complaints due to the thickness of the castanets, since this makes it difficult to manipulate the pieces.
Jale is a well-known name in the world of castanets and it is due to its variety that it is considered, by many people, the best brand of castanets. In this case, this model represents the name very well, since it is about two pairs of castanets from the semi-professional range, but with all the quality of professional castanets. The product is suitable for amateurs but, for greater comfort, it is recommended that it be used by children and young people, since, being size 7, it is ideal for those with palms less than 7 centimeters.
Its design is an outstanding feature, since the tone is more similar to beige than to the usual brown of wood, however, since they are made of wood, specifically the luxurious bubinga, you will enjoy the traditional sound of castanets. The black cord makes a great contrast.
Good design and sound go hand in hand with this incredible product that will help the little ones become familiar with castanets while enjoying professional quality.
Bubinga: Bubinga is a wood known for its great acoustic qualities, which will give castanets an incredible tone.
Children: Since they are size 7, children will have less difficulty adapting to wearing them, since they are small in size.
Quality: The quality is the same as professional castanets, despite the fact that these are for amateurs.
Cover: These castanets do not have a cover, therefore, they will be unprotected when moving them.
This product is ideal for those who are looking for beginner Jale castanets, but still do not know which are the best castanets to choose, as it is a model that will help amateurs to learn, offering them the same quality as the instruments used by expert musicians. They are made of strong special fiber to give you long wear without worry. Although the sound will differ a bit from the traditional one.
This product is quite light and, in addition, its dimensions fit your hands precisely to give you an easier and more comfortable use. Bring strings already tied to the castanets, just as resistant as the fiber pieces to secure them to your hands. This instrument has an elegant black design that, in addition to giving it a great appearance, will also make it more difficult for them to get dirty from constant contact with your hands. You can buy different sizes, as the variety ranges from size 3 to 9.
This is one of the best quality products for castanets enthusiasts who want to improve to the point of proficiency. Nice design and great resistance.
Sizes: These castanets have a much wider range of sizes than usual to offer greater comfort to those who use them.
Colour: The black color prevents the castanets from getting dirty quickly. Additionally, they give them an elegant look.
Quality: The professional quality is noticeable, despite being initiation castanets.
Case: This product does not come with a case, therefore, the instrument will not be protected when it is not used.
Jale castanets are characterized by their high quality, as the brand has been dedicated to manufacturing them for a long time. For that reason, this professional range model is an attractive option for more experienced players and could be considered the best pressed fabric castanets on the market. They come in size 7, the smallest size in the professional range, so it is a correct option for young people with experience in the use of castanets.
The material used in its structure, in addition to giving it a characteristic sound that differs from traditional castanets, also gives it a different black color design. With circular shapes in the center and long laces that match the pieces, this product makes it easier to fit the fingers, with total comfort and safety. With good care, castanets can remain as good as new for quite some time.
These castanets, in addition to standing out for their good sound, will also stand out for their materials and good looks.
Sound: The sound differs a bit from traditional castanets due to the material, however, it is unique and resonant.
Professional: This model is of the professional range, therefore, it can be used in concerts, presentations, etc.
Brand: Jale is a recognized brand in the world of castanets for its quality and, therefore, these castanets will also give you that quality so that you can use them without worries.
Cost: The price of these castanets is higher than that of other models, so it may not be your best alternative if you want to save.
The positive opinions of this instrument make many consider it one of the best castanets of 2022. This is not only due to its resonant sound, ideal for large spaces, but also to its lightness that allows the flamenco dance with total fluidity. They are made of rosewood, a prominent element in the manufacture of these products that, in addition to being resistant, offers the classic tone of traditional castanets.
They are easy to use, according to various opinions, even by young people and children, since they are size 6 castanets. A size that corresponds to small measurements, ideal for hands with palms less than 7 cm. The two pairs have a dark brown color and black laces that will allow you to adjust and adapt the castanets to your fingers so that you can play comfortably and safely, as you will have a good grip and less risk of accidents.
These beginner castanets from the Triana brand are ideal for both children and young people alike, offering an excellent sound and adequate comfort.
Light: The light weight of their structure will make them easy to use and also suitable for use while dancing.
Size: Being size 6, these castanets are suitable for children and young people who want to learn. Even adults with small hands will be able to use them.
Use: They are easy to use, as they are made for beginners.
Amateur: These castanets are for beginners, so if you have experience with the instrument, these pieces are not suitable for you.
Among the instruments of this type, this model stands out among the cheapest on the market and, for that reason, it is one of the most sought-after alternatives. The dimensions of these castanets are 7.2 x 6.5 x 2.5 cm, therefore it is a medium size, suitable for youth and adults alike. Due to the lightness of both pairs, you can wear them when dancing with ease, if you wish. The black laces on both pieces will allow you to adjust them to your hands without difficulty, so you have a good grip.
The wood used is quite special. It is made of Indian rosewood, a material that, in addition to giving very good resistance and durability, also has a beautiful dual tone of light and dark color that will make the castanets stand out among other models on the market. Their economic cost makes them affordable for everyone and the sound offered is traditional, ideal for folk music.
Made of a beautiful and resistant wood, these castanets combine traditional sound with resistance and comfort when playing music.
Colour: The duality of colors that Indian rosewood gives your instrument will make its unique appearance stand out at all times.
Adjustment: The adjustment of the laces will allow the castanets to always be safe in your hands.
Measurements: The dimensions of the castanets make them easy to handle, whether you are a young person or an adult.
Range: These castanets are not from a professional range, therefore, they can only be used by amateurs.
These are definitely the best value for money castanets on the market, because with low cost, you can get a pair of castanets, comfortable to use and with an impeccable sound that you will probably love. With dimensions of 8.1 x 5.8 cm and, in addition, a weight of 40.8 grams, this instrument, in addition to being quite light so that you do not strain when using it, also has measurements that will adapt to the hand.
These hand castanets have been manufactured with all the necessary detail and rosewood has been used as the main element, like the classic ones, therefore, you will be able to produce the characteristic sounds of traditional music without problems. These are ideal to use in flamenco. They come with an elastic cord so you can adjust the pieces to your fingers, until they are secure. They are suitable castanets for both teachers and professional musicians.
Stagg is a brand known in the world of instruments for its quality, something in which, fortunately, this pair of castanets also excels.
Wood: Rosewood offers good strength, durability, and the classic tone of traditional castanets.
Professionals: Professional musicians will delight in the sound of these castanets and feel comfortable using them.
Cord: The cord, being elastic, will make it easier to adapt the castanets to your fingers.
Pair: This product only includes a pair of castanets, contrary to most models that come with two pairs, one for each hand.
How to choose the best castanets
Castanets are one of the best known and loved instruments in Spain, however, as they are not such a famous product internationally, it may be a bit difficult to know what to take into account when making a comparison of castanets, since information about them is somewhat scarce. Here you can find some features that are worth considering when making the purchase.
If you like flamenco and traditional Spanish folk music, then you should know that materials are one of the first things you should take into account when buying a good musical instrument for you, otherwise, you could end up buying a pair of castanets with distorted sounds that are not suitable for professional use.
Some of the easiest materials to find in modern castanets are ivory, aluminum, marble, and even glass, however, despite being famous, none of these elements should be your first choice if you are looking for the classic sound. of castanets, no matter how much it costs or if it is the cheapest instrument in the place. The resonance and tone they give is not the same as that of classic wooden castanets. Also, certain materials are more prone to breakage due to the rhythmic pounding that the instrument is subjected to.
For that reason, always keep in mind to buy wooden castanets, specifically rosewood, oak, ebony, blackwood, etc., as they are hard and quite resistant woods. However, if you want something modern, and especially if you are learning, then resin or fiberglass castanets, for example, may be good alternatives for you.
Regardless of the material you decide to buy, you will notice that there are various designs and colors and, fortunately, the decorations do not affect the sound or quality. Therefore, you can choose the ones you like the most. Acquiring colorful castanets could be the best option for children, as these will attract more attention from the little ones and they will be more motivated to learn.
In your guide to buying the best castanets, you should keep in mind that there are different types and that, depending on which one you choose, the way to use them will be different. To avoid confusion, you should pay attention when making your purchase, because if you make a mistake, you will be finding a completely different instrument. The most common castanets and the ones you have surely seen people use are hand castanets. These are characterized by being two small pieces with a rope joining them at the top.
Other types of castanets that you can find are the base ones and the mango ones. The former are the most different, since they are two pairs of castanets attached to a base, usually made of wood, which activates their sound with a spring to simulate the movement that is given to them in the hands. The second option consists of a pair of castanets attached to a handle, also most often made of some kind of wood. By moving the handle, the castanets collide with each other causing the characteristic sound.
With base and handle castanets you don’t need to pay too much attention to the sizes, however, if you are buying classic hand castanets, then the size will depend on your comfort when playing them.
In order to make good use of the castanets, it is necessary that they adapt well to the hands and that they allow you to tap them with your fingers, without having to stretch or shrink them a lot. Good sound depends on proper touch, so it is necessary to choose a correct size for the size of your hands. There are two types of range, professional and semi-professional. The first family of castanets generally comes in 3 sizes: 3, 5 and 7.
Size 3 is for hands with a palm larger than 8.5 cm, size 5 for those between 7 and 8.5 centimeters, while size 7 is for those measuring less than 7 centimeters.
The semi-professional range, which is usually a good and cheap alternative for beginners, uses size 4 and 6. The first is for hands greater than 7 centimeters and 6 for hands smaller than that size.
In addition to buying a pair of castanets, you are buying an instrument that will last you for a long time. Therefore, if you want to keep them in good condition and also save money in the long run, it is recommended that you purchase an instrument that comes with extra accessories at purchase.
For example, a cover to protect the castanets when you don’t use them and also a small handkerchief to keep them clean will help the castanets look like new despite the time of use.
Frequently asked questions
Q1: How to make some castanets?
If you don’t want to spend any money and will only be using castanets for fun, there are many ways to make a pair to keep around the house and create music. One of them, especially for children, is the metal plate castanets.
On a thin piece of cardboard with a fold, place a sheet at each end so that when you fold the cardboard, both will hit each other. Adhere them with silicone so that they are well fixed and can be used.
However, if you want castanets more suitable for music, you will only need to find 4 wooden spoons to make 2 pairs. Cut off the top, getting rid of the handle, and carefully make two holes just below the cut.
Place the hollow parts of the spoons facing each other and with a string join the castanets until you finish tying the end of the string, leaving space for your fingers.
Q2: How to make a cover for castanets?
In order to always have both pairs together, it is ideal to make a case-like case so that there is room for the instrument. Find a padded fabric and measure both castanets.
From one end, leaving a one centimeter gap between the end of the cloth with the castanets and also leaving a centimeter or more between them, mark three stitches lengthwise. Measure the castanets, mark and lower. Measure the castanets again with the same space and go down, until you make the third measurement.
Bring point 3 to the point 1 mark and sew the edges. This will be the main case. It is preferable to use a machine. When you’re done, tuck the castanets in and to the edge to sew up the space between them, so each one can have a space of its own.
On the front part add velcro, as on the inside of the upper part that should have been left free. Close and go.
Q3: What are castanets made of?
Castanets, like many instruments, are made from various materials and you can find many different models on the market.
The traditional castanets and, to this day, the most famous, are made of wood. Oak, rosewood, rosewood and granadillo are the types of wood most used in the manufacture of castanets. However, you will be able to find castanets made of glass, pressed cloth, resin, plastic, etc.
Q4: How to play the castanets for sevillanas?
Placing your thumbs through the cord, tap the rest of your fingers rhythmically in succession of tones. The rhythms used are the “PAN”, “CHIN”, “TA”, “RRI” and “PI”, and to perform them you must vary the speed and the fingers used.
With practice you will be able to perform more complex and faster touches, as well as produce longer pieces of music.
Q5: How to tie the castanets?
You just need to thread a string through the holes until both loose ends are facing the same way, similar to a “U” shape. Tie a simple, releasable knot and stretch both ends, calculating optimal space for your thumb between the string and the end of the castanet.
When you have it, make the mark and reinforce the knot. At the end, you will only need to cut the remaining rest.
Q6: Who invented castanets?
It is not yet known exactly who the inventors of the castanets were, however, the dispute is between the Egyptians and the Phoenicians. Castanets are an ancient instrument from approximately 1000 BC that, despite not having been created in Spain, managed to consolidate in the country due to the influence of these ancient cultures in the territory.
Q7: How to clean the castanets?
Castanets are not made from materials that get dirty easily, however, sweat from hands and fingers can leave marks and marks. Therefore, a soft cloth can help you get rid of all this without a problem.
If the marks don’t come off, then using a little water can help, but remember that if the castanets are made of wood, pouring water on them can deteriorate the material.
Q8: How to play the castanets for jacks?
The castanets for the jotas are different in size, however, they are played the same as the common castanets for flamenco, also known as castanets for sevillanas.
The reason why the sound is usually different is because the structure of those used for jacks is smaller, lighter and thinner, however, it has a larger soundboard and usually rosin is used as the main material. This produces a deep and louder sound than the other castanets.
How to use castanets
Castanets are a very practical and beautiful instrument, however, there are few who master the art of playing it. To learn, you only need desire and small steps to follow that will allow you to improve until you become a professional, because, despite not being something that happens overnight, with perseverance you will surely be playing flamenco in a short time. If you don’t know how to use castanets, here you can read some recommendations that will help you get started and familiarize yourself with one of the most representative things of Spain and its music.
get acquainted with them
Playing castanets does not mean just placing them in your hands and starting to produce the sound by making the material collide with each other, because the castanets do not sound the same. One pair will sound higher than the other. The low castanet, also called male, must go in the left hand, while the high castanet, known as female, must go in the right hand. The sharpest ones usually have a mark, so if in doubt, look for it so you know where they go.
put them on
Putting on the castanets can be done in two ways, depending on what type of castanets you have purchased. If you have flamenco or traditional castanets, then these go on the thumb.
Place the cord on your thumb, one end should be above your knuckle and the other just above the beginning of your nail to get a good grip. Remember that to create a good sound, you must wear both, however, before doing so, you need to adjust the first pair.
To adjust the castanets you only need to tighten the cord until it is secure but does not hurt or irritate the skin.
However, if you have acquired some jota castanets, then the process is different, because these, unlike the flamenco ones, most of the time, are not used on the thumb, but on the middle finger. You will want to place one end below your knuckle and the other above your knuckle for a better grip.
do the touches
There are five sounds that you can make with your castanets and all of them are rhythms that are used in music, so it is necessary to learn each one of them.
The first, called “TA”, is produced by making a quick tap on the left hand with the ring finger and the middle finger following.
The second, called, “RRI”, depends on the right hand. The castanet is tapped rapidly with a succession of fingers, starting with the little finger, the ring finger, and ending with the index finger.
The third, called, “PI”, is produced in the same way as the “TA” but using the right hand.
The fourth, called “CHIN”, does not need your fingers but a tapping between both castanets.
The fifth, called “PAN”, is, most of the time, the final sound of the music. It is produced by striking both castanets simultaneously using the middle and ring fingers at the same time.
With a soft cloth, clean the castanets and store them in a case so that they are protected and impeccable when finished.
Learn to play the castanets
Because this minor percussion instrument is used in various cultural events in Spain, when you play it you will have to make peals that accompany the flamenco guitar and folk dances. Each musical genre has a specific rhythm, which must be respected by the interpreter, so that the music sounds appropriately.
After making a comparison of castanets and choosing your favorites, the next thing is to learn to play them. To start you must place your back straight and your hands relaxed. In other words, you always want to position your fingers, hands, and wrists as naturally as possible.
In addition to this, the way to catch the castanets is simple. You just have to insert your thumbs between the cord of each of them. That will be the way to hold the castanets to make the peals comfortably.
Likewise, it is important to know that the female castanet has a higher pitched sound, while the male castanet is more ser