Jam Blocks are a relatively new beast and are best described as a hybrid of a wood block and cowbell. Made of a hard plastic and usually colour-coded to tell each block apart, these instruments create a beautiful sound and are incredibly durable.
Jam blocks are mountable and are often used with a set of timbales to provide a beautiful backdrop to Salsa or other Latin music. In saying that, Jam Blocks are very popular amongst drum kit players as well, and you’ll often find the jam block in place of where you would typically find a cow bell, but there’s nothing to say that you can’t have both. As I have already mentioned, the hard plastic material prepares these instruments for the incessant battering from hard wooden drumsticks, so they really could last you a lifetime!
LP is arguably the biggest manufacturer of Jam Blocks, however, Meinl and Pearl have their own versions, too. The only real difference between the numerous brands is the colour choice. LP have gone for far brighter colours than the other two, so if it were a male peacock or bird of paradise, then LP would probably win the mating battle. They’re not though, so it doesn’t really matter.