Tambourine – Buying Guide, Opinions and Analysis
In many countries of the world the tambourine is played, as this idiophone instrument offers happy rhythms in different musical genres or cultural manifestations. However, there are so many tambourine models on the market that you might get confused, so here we recommend some of the best. For example, the Samba 4952 , which is made with brass rattles and a leather membrane, materials that provide a good sound. Likewise, the Samba 5013 , which is a tambourine with a diameter of 32 cm and 20 pairs of rattles, being useful to accompany folk dances and weddings in Asturias.
On the Internet there are many brands and models of this musical instrument, so choosing a certain product is not an easy task. For that reason, it is best to review this guide to buy the best tambourine. Here we will explain some aspects that you should take into account before making any decision.
In a comparison of tambourines it is important to review this characteristic, as there are different types, since they adapt to the idiosyncrasies of the people and the different styles of dance or musical genres. For example, there are children’s Christmas tambourines, these are characterized by having a design with drawings alluding to the holiday season.
Therefore, they are one of the most suitable for children to learn to play Christmas carols, as they are Christmas songs that attract attention due to their happy tambourine rhythms or improvised chimes.
Also, for the little ones in the house there are children’s tambourines with designs of all kinds, for example, flowers, bears, butterflies, among others. These are appropriate for children ages 3 and up and help them develop motor skills effectively.
In the same way, in the market you will find Galician tambourines, which are used to play dolls, a popular dance from Galicia. In addition, due to its design with leather membranes it is possible to use them for other styles of music.
Also, we recommend you to know the Asturian tambourine. This is used in Asturias and symbolizes the cultural identity of this region, thus being used in songs and folk dances.
On the other hand, there is the tension tambourine. It is so called because it comes with hardware around the rim, which adjusts for when a higher or lower sound is needed. In this sense, what the hardware does is tighten or loosen the natural skin of the tambourine a little. It should be noted that many professional percussionists prefer this model compared to others, because, because it can be tuned, they adapt it better to any musical genre, samba, blues, rock, etc.
If you are interested in knowing how much one or the other tambourine costs, this aspect should not be ignored, since, normally, it influences the price of the instrument. However, online you may be able to find a good inexpensive tambourine that meets your requirements.
One of the materials used to make a good quality tambourine is metal, since rattles are made from this material. Some of them are aluminum, some are brass, both good metals, so you are the one who must choose which one to buy.
In addition to this, for the most professional tambourines, especially those for adults, the ring is made of wood, for example, Galician or Asturian. On the other hand, children’s tambourines are not necessarily made of wood, but also made of plastic, which is a slightly cheaper material and easier to manufacture.
In the same way, with respect to the membrane we can say that it is commonly made of natural leather, for a better sound of the tambourine.
Not all tambourines come in the same size, so your choice will largely depend on how useful you are going to give it. For example, the largest are widely used in musical genres such as pop, gospel and rock, in addition, in dances, songs or traditional dances of a certain locality. They may be the best option for adults, whether they are beginners or professionals.
On the other hand, if you want a tambourine for a child, we recommend that it be 20 cm in diameter or a little less, since children have smaller hands and, probably, they cannot stand long musical days with very large or heavy models.
Of course, you should keep in mind that if you buy a large tambourine, it will sound lower. But if you buy a compact, the sound it will emit will be higher. It is best that you choose the size according to the musical genre and the age of the person who will use the instrument.
For the care of the instrument, we recommend purchasing a cover, either nylon or polyester, since these are resistant materials. In the same way, when buying it, keep in mind that the cover is greater than 40 cm, as this way you can store the tambourine more comfortably.
On the other hand, the cover must have a compartment to store your scores or the adjustment key, in case the tambourine is tension. Likewise, it would be better if it had a padded lining inside, to better protect the instrument from a possible fall while moving it.
Frequently asked questions
Q1: How to use a tambourine?
Take the tambourine with the hand that you do not master, for example, if you are right-handed, use your left hand. Then strike this instrument with the fingers of the other hand or the whole palm. Of course, being an instrument with a skin membrane, you can play it with a drumstick, depending on the musical genre or dance in which you are going to use it.
You need to not hold it too tightly with your left hand. In addition, you should hit the membrane moderately, since, normally, natural leather is a material that can break if you put a lot of pressure on it.
Q2: How to make a tambourine?
To make a tambourine you will need the following materials: a wooden ring, 10 metal bottle caps, wire, masking tape, hammer, goatskin, and nails. Once you have all the materials, the first thing to do is crush all the veneers and pierce them in the center with a nail.
Later, you will have to place the plates in the wooden ring; This step you will do with the nails and the hammer. Also, mount the goatskin on the hoop with the help of the wire, so that it is fixed and sufficiently taut. Finally, use the adhesive tape to reinforce the skin, to do this, place it covering the wire, so that the tambourine looks good aesthetically.
Q3: How to play the jack with a tambourine?
First, hold the tambourine with your left hand. Then open your right hand to hit the membrane with your ring fingers and thumb 5 continuous times, but at the last sound make a short musical pause. Next, repeat this step 3 times, always making the pause mentioned in the last touch.
Subsequently, make 3 strokes with the same fingers and 1 with the closed hand, which should be the strongest of all. In the end, you should study the rhythm slowly, picking up the speed until you have fully mastered it. We recommend that you play jota music while you rehearse, so that you get used to the time of this musical genre.
Q4: How to play the crescent tambourine?
Since this tambourine does not have skin, the way you play will be different. That is to say, there is no need to make rattles or membrane hits. In return, hold the tambourine with your left hand and hit it with your other hand or some part of your body. Also, you can make it sound on the air with your right hand, moving it to the rhythm of the music that you like the most. Of course, if you are left-handed, you reverse the use of your hands.
Q5: How to decorate a tambourine?
There are many ways to decorate a tambourine. Next, we will show you a very simple way to achieve it, so that it is very beautiful, without spending a lot of money. To do this, you will only need markers of various colors. With them you can make figures on the ring of the tambourine or the membrane.
This will give a fairly significant change to the design of the tambourine, but will not affect its sound. We do not recommend using stickers, because they do dull the sound of the instrument.
Q6: What family does the tambourine belong to?
It belongs to the minor percussion instruments. Likewise, they enter the list of idiophones, since the tambourine emits sounds through its own body, when it is struck or shaken. Due to its bright and cheerful sound, it is used in traditional or folk music in some regions of Spain such as Galicia and Asturias. It is even used in other parts of the world, as it adapts very well to gospel, rock, pop and other internationally famous musical genres.
Q7: How to clean a tambourine?
The tambourine is an instrument that does not require exhaustive cleaning since, generally, it does not accumulate dust, since it is often shaken by the interpreter. However, if it is dirty, use a soft cloth to clean it.
In addition to this, avoid leaving it anywhere. On the contrary, we recommend that you buy a storage case, so that you can keep it when you are not using it. Of course, the skin of the membrane may sometimes require wax, so that it lasts much longer, this can be applied with your own hands and is available on the Internet.
Q8: What are the names of those who play the tambourine?
The person who plays this instrument is called a tambourine and there are recognized artists who have specialized in this field. For example, Eva Tejedor, a percussionist and educator who plays in the Las Pandereteras group, which is made up of a group of female singers.