Musical Instruments


About Claves

Claves are percussion instruments made of cylindrical sticks that are about 8 inches in length and an inch in diameter. One of the sticks is held in the player’s fingertips over a resonator (cupped hand) When these two sticks strike against each other, they produce a sharp ringing sound. They usually serve as accompaniments to other instruments.

Claves originate from the Afro-Cuban genre of folk music but are used across various cultures, especially in Latin America to maintain rhythms among the dance bands. Claves are some of the oldest musical instruments and were used in ritual dances, calling for attention, accompanying work and dance, and maintaining rhythm for fixed dance songs. They produce a penetrating, clicking sound when you strike them against each other at particular instances of the music. Playing these instruments requires some skill and understanding of the rhythm. If you wish to buy a pair of instruments, read our buying guide to pick the best instruments on the market. Here is our comprehensive look at the percussion instrument.

What you need to know about claves

Claves are usually made of hardwood, especially tonewoods such as ebony, rosewood and granadilla. Each of the wooden claves provides a different sound from the other. Ebony has a bold rustic sound while rosewood produces a higher pitch than the three. Grenadilla has a bit of the two worlds. However, the design of the instruments also influences the tones that they produce. Therefore, you may find one type of wood sounding like another. There are also other options of hardwood out there that might be used in making claves. However, they are not as pronounced as the ones described in this section. When making a purchase, it is important that you check the type of wood that makes both sticks as one could be made of a different material.

Non-wood options vary the tones

There are claves that are made of non-wood material. New technologies have made it easy for manufacturers to replicate notes on the traditional wood types on other materials. One of the newer types is one that is made of fibreglass. This is a strong and versatile material that gives out a high-pitched sound, which varies depending on how hard it is hit. It can be used in professional dancing to produce a similar type of sound to the natural hardwood types. We also have plastic claves on our platform. While they are not as good as their wood and fibreglass alternatives, plastic claves give a pretty amazing sound. We recommend a plastic clave to beginners who want to learn the playing skill without using fragile items.

Determine the rhythm to play

As discussed in the section above, claves are used as percussion instruments in folk songs. There are three main types of clave rhythms that use these instruments. The most popular clave is the Samba clave. It originated from Afro-Brazilian communities in Latin America and has a mix of West African and Brazilian traditions. The genre is usually played with Ebony and Rosewood wood. On the other hand, Cuban claves are created with a mix of African and Latin-America cultures. Their rhythm has a duple-pulse and triple-pulse note structure. You can play Cuban music with any type of claves. Finally, there is the African clave that has a deeper pitch and a more synchronised feel. While you can play it with any wood, it works well with ebony hardwood. As indicated, the design of the instrument may affect the sound of the claves.

Classic wood claves come in various finishes

Hardwood has a natural dark finish even without painting. However, rosewood has a lighter hue compared to other hardwood types. Besides, the age of the wood plays a part in determining the colour of the wood as well as the quality of sound when you strike the stick. Some manufacturers also paint various hues on the instruments to look lighter or darker. However, most of the percussion instruments come with a polished, shiny appearance to ensure that the sound quality is not dampened by lots of paint. There are also a few options that have colours different from the usual varnish, such as plastic claves. Compare different options and pick a colour that meets your preferences at our Dubai search engine .

You have a choice of angular and non-angular designs

One of the sticks in a pair of claves is hollowed to enable it to produce a variety of sounds depending on the location and the intensity of the hit. There are two types of designs you will find when looking at the ideal clave for sale online in UAE. The first is a non-angular design that looks like two straight sticks. Go for the design when looking for a clave for beginners. The second is curved or angular and looks like an arch. This is said to be the best clave for salsa due to a lingering sound when hit. If you wish to teach clave playing, consider going with the non-angular design. However, if you want to have at least two, we recommend that you take both types. The price of both designs differs with the brand and the kind of wood you choose.

Tips on how to buy Claves online in the UAE

In the section above, we have offered some insights into buying quality claves, whether LP or one of the many leading generic brands. However, our online shopping UAE platform has hundreds of quality claves for your choice. This makes it hard for a non-professional in clave playing to pick the best instrument. For example, when looking for the best clave for salsa or samba. We understand the problem and have come up with a list of some things that you should keep in mind the next time you go shopping. Our teams have sourced these tips from our long-term customers who have used our claves and professionals in the clave playing industry. As always, you can add additional points depending on your need. Let us get started in the section below.

  • Choice of material – Most claves are made of hardwood varieties such as rosewood and ebony. Their dense grains make them great tonewoods. However, you can also buy claves made of plastic and fibreglass.
  • The finish of the clave – Many of the wood claves are polished with wood varnish. This helps retain the colour of the wood. However, you may find a few painted pieces. The most popular colours are black and earthly colours such as light tan and brown.
  • The kind of rhythm you would like to play – You can play samba, salsa, Cuban, Rhumba or Bossa Nova clave. Pick claves that meet your tone and deepness requirements. Read about different rhythms in the market and the best instrument for each in the section above.
  • The price – The quality and brand are the main determinant of the price. Leading brands such as Meinl are quite expensive but also good quality. However, if you are looking for a low-priced clave, there are several good quality, cheap brands selling on our platform.
  • The design – You can go for a straight or a curved (angular design). The straight instrument is easy to play while the angular design has better resonance. This makes the straight design best for beginners while the angular instrument requires the player to have some experience.

There you have them! Five of the most important things to keep in mind when buying your next claves. In addition, you should check customer reviews on the products you pick before buying. We provide authentic feedback from customers concerning quality, usefulness and durability. Our platform is home to leading brands such as Pearl and LP. In addition, we offer other music instruments, including drum sets, trumpets, accordions, keyboards and accessories. We also sell sound systems to amplify your music as you perform. Therefore, we are a one-stop-shop for all your music and professional audio equipment needs. Explore our Dubai search engine to explore various offers.

Question & Answer

How do you play the clave instrument?

A clave is an idiophone. You play it by allowing one of the sticks to resonate. (The stick with the hollowed centre, or the resonator, does this). Hold one of the sticks lightly with your thumb and the fingertips of the weaker hand (or the non-dominant one) with the palms up. Doing so makes your hand a resonating chamber or an amplifier for your clave. It has been found that holding the clave with the fingerprints makes the sound clearer. Then, hold the other stick firmly (with the dominant hand) and strike the resonating clave stick. You can achieve a roll by alternating the pressure with which you hold the resonating stick. This enables it to produce various pitches for your rhythm. However, you need to practice a roll before you can do it perfectly.

Which clave instrument do I need?

Your choice of clave for sale online UAE is dependent on various factors. First, determine the material to go with for your instrument: plastic, fibreglass and plastic. Second, determine if you are going for an angular or non-angular clave. Non-angular claves are great for beginners while angular ones are good for salsa and Samba. Use filters on our platform to narrow down on the characteristics that you need for your instrument. Then, determine what aesthetics appeal to you such as colour and finish. With these characteristics at hand, you can now compare different products and pick the one that comes at the best price. Our platform has hundreds of options in store for you.

Where do you buy clave instruments online UAE?

You can buy clave online UAE here on Our online shopping UAE platform offers a wide variety of claves from different brands. Therefore, if you are looking for a Bossa Nova clave or an instrument to play Rhumba, there are options on the platform. You can also buy claves from hardwood, plastic and fibreglass. In addition, we sell musical instruments of all types and sizes, from percussion instruments such as timpai, cymbals, marimba, and drum sets to trumpets, piano keyboards, and djembe drums. We also sell equipment to help amplify your music as you play. We are your one-stop-shop for all your music needs. Besides, the number of customers who use it to source for instruments is a testimony.

We hope our insights and tips will help you to pick the right claves, different types of musical instruments and their accessories on our platform. Please browse our online shopping UAE platform to access over 500 claves brands and shops!