The 5 Best Cowbells for Drummers (2022)

The sound of cowbells can quickly make you think of music from the 80s, as well as Latin percussion grooves. This article goes through 3 of the best cowbells to add to your drum set

The cowbell originally wasn’t made as a musical instrument. As the name suggests, it was a bell to be worn by cattle to locate and identify them. Of course, people soon found that they sounded great as a percussion instrument!

My top recommended cowbell is the Pearl PCB6 Primero Cowbell if you’re looking for an affordable but good-quality cowbell at a reasonable price.

My second recommended cowbell is the Stagg CB305BK Cowbell. A very affordable cowbell, easy to use, and perfect for beginners.

The 5 Best Cowbells for Drummers (2022)

1. Pearl PCB6 Primero Cowbell
Top Pick - Popular and affordable cowbell from a great brand.
2. Stagg CB305BK Cowbell
Budget Pick - A 5.5" steel Stagg cowbell at an affordable price.
3. Vangoa - 5 inch Steel Cow Bell
Good quality cowbell with stick included.
4. Latin Percussion LP008 Ridge Rider Cowbell
Professional high-end cowbell from Latin Percussion.
5. Meinl STB625HH-C 6 1/4-Inch Steel Cowbell
Extremely durable and high-quality steel cowbell.

Let’s compare these in more detail.

1. Pearl PCB6 Primero Cowbell

Top Pick
Popular and affordable cowbell from a great brand.
View Price at Amazon

We start this list with the classic – Pearl PCB6 Primero Cowbell. This is a very popular cowbell and for good reason.

This 6-inch cowbell is made from a quality, thick metal, welded all-round to create that full, cowbell sound. The overall build is great, so there is no need to worry that the paint will chip or fall off or that the cowbell will dent when struck.

For attaching this cowbell there is a big metal screw on the top, with which you can attach it to the top of your hi-hat or clamp it to something on your drum set. If you’re looking for a classic, well-priced, quality cowbell to improve your playing and sound arsenal this is your pick.

2. Stagg CB305BK Cowbell

Budget Pick
A 5.5-inch steel Stagg cowbell at an affordable price.
View Price at AmazonView Price at Guitar Center

When it comes to budget options, it’s hard to find a better replacement for this one because the Stagg steel cowbell is used by many and proves to be in good shape.

Considering the price of this cowbell, it’s surprising that the construction and sound quality are actually good and prove that no matter the price, this cowbell is a good choice. This 5.5″ cowbell is the middle ground of cowbell size and has a fairly regular and appealing look.

Although not much else could be said as far as aesthetics and special build, it’s still a durable cowbell very good for beginners and for those looking to find a decent one for a reasonable price.

3. Vangoa - 5 inch Steel Cow Bell

Budget-friendly cowbell
Good quality cowbell with stick included.
View Price at Amazon

Vangoa Cowbell comes in different sizes, from 5 to 8 inches, giving you a lot of range to choose from. Of course, different size means different sound. In the package with this cowbell, you get a small wooden stick, so it’s even useful if you’re using it outside of your drum set.

Price-wise this is a low-cost version of cowbell, so you shouldn’t expect the high-quality cowbell, but still, it will provide you with a decent sound. It comes with a screw on the top, so it can be attached to the stand or rod on the drums and played simultaneously.

This is a great option for anyone looking for an affordable, mid-range cowbell.

4. Latin Percussion LP008 Ridge Rider Cowbell

Professional Cowbell
Professional high-end cowbell from Latin Percussion.
View Price at SweetwaterView Price at Amazon

Latin Percussion’s take on the cowbell produced this marvelous instrument – the LP008 Ridge Rider.

LP008 is a classic metal cowbell with a distinctive red plastic piece on the hitting end of the bell, attached to the metal with three holes, on both sides. On the top, this cowbell has a classic screw to keep it on the stand or the rod while played.

The sound that this cowbell produces is great. Everything is made from high-quality materials and it has a high-end feel to it, while the plastic parts (except being great-looking) give this cowbell a truly deep, bright sound it needs.

This will stand the test of time and not bend or chip the paint when hit. The only downside to it all is the price – it is a bit steep, but you get what you paid for. It is a great high-end cowbell for professional musicians to be used without shame in the best productions in the world.

5. Meinl STB625HH-C 6 1/4-Inch Steel Cowbell

High-quality, durable cowbell
Extremely durable and high-quality steel cowbell.
View Price at AmazonView Price at Guitar Center

The MEINL Steel Bell Series 6-1/4″ Cowbell is a very durable and high-quality product, hand-hammered with a strong foundation and most importantly, great sound quality.

The durability of the steel cowbell is due to the special alloy that is welded together with a steel, brass, and copper finish to seal this product as the sturdiest one on the list. Granted, the price is kind of steep but considering the value you get, it is well worth the money.

A hand-hammered cowbell means that it is unique in its own way, no other one will exactly be like this one and that’s why Meinl is so special. Just by looking at the aesthetics, you clearly see the quality and top-notch material. You can’t go wrong here.

Needs More Cowbell

The saying “Needs More Cowbell” came from one of SNL’s best comedy sketches. It was aired in the year 2000 and featured a character played by Will Ferrell obnoxiously playing the Cowbell during a song, followed by the music producer (played by Christopher Walken) constantly demanding “more cowbell”!

How to Mount a Cowbell to Your Drum Set

There are a bunch of different options:

  • Mount it straight onto the rod of your hi-hat. (Con is that it will move up and down as you pedal your hi-hat).
  • Buy a cowbell holder and attach it to the rim of your drum, e.g. the top of your bass drum.
  • Buy a percussion clamp and attach it to a cymbal stand or drum rack.
  • Buy a percussion stand – add your cowbell to it, along with a bunch of other percussion instruments (e.g. jam blocks, agogo bells, etc).

There are many different options, it’s all down to personal preference and a bit of creativity!

More about cowbells

There are several different types of cowbells. There is the standard cowbell, which is the one most commonly known today. Then there are alpine bells, the German version (coming from the Alps, thus the name), with a distinctive round shape. Also, there are different types of combined cowbells used in Africa and the Caribbean, allowing the player to play them together or to crash them all at once, creating a different and louder sound.

The cowbell is today usually played as an addition to the drum set and as such can usually be clamped to a rack or cymbal stand. Also, it can be played by hand, but if it doesn’t have a special handle to allow the player not to hold the bell directly in the hand, the sound can be a lot dampened and muffled by a hand.

As well as other percussion instruments, the cowbell is not meant to be played as a solo instrument, as it can produce one sound, but is usually played as a backing percussion giving depth to the song and rhythm section.

It is also still used as a farming tool and is used by sports fans around the world just for its noisemaking abilities, which are truly magnificent.

Conclusion

Cowbells are percussion instruments that are easily accessible for any musician, as they can be mounted on a stand or attached to the drum set. They usually come in different shapes and sizes with different tones and sounds.

Cowbells have been used in the past for several different purposes and in several different ways but today, mostly as a part of a drum set.

My top recommended cowbell is the Pearl PCB6 Primero Cowbell. A very popular, affordable, and good-quality cowbell for every drummer.

My second recommended cowbell is the Stagg CB305BK Cowbell for those on the lookout for a more affordable solution.

Photo of author

Mike O'Connor

Drumming has been my passion for over 18 years. I play quite a few different genres and I really enjoy experimenting with hybrid kits that blend acoustic and electronic drums. I love all things drumming!

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