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Discussion in 'Accessories / Connections' started by StephenMC, Jan 22, 2009.

  1. StephenMC

    StephenMC Member

    I need a tambourine. But there are so many kinds. And they apparently don't all sound the same, surprise.

    I'm not about to pay much for a little tambourine, of course, but I have a few questions:

    1. Heads: what do they do? Amplify the sound, I assume? And you can drum on them?
    2. Size: if it's bigger is it just louder? Or deeper?
    3. Brands: have you used any that you're especially proud of?
    4. Cost: what's a reasonable price to pay for a consumer-level tambourine (if there is any other level)?

    Bye bye.
  2. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    If you are asking the question you don't really know how to play a headed tambourine. Playing it well takes a lot of practice - as much as any other hand drum. There definitely is a difference between brands, heads, etc. Size matters - mostly in determining pitch.

    The easiest thing to learn how to play is just the bells and the headless tambourines are the cheapest. That may be the way you want to go. Try to find a place where you can try them out.

    If you want a better appreciation of how much a tambourine can matter to a song, watch "Standing In The Shadows of Motown". Very cool segment on building up a rhythm groove instrument by instrument. Amazing how much a good tambourine player adds.
  3. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

  4. StephenMC

    StephenMC Member

    Right. I obviously know very little about tambourines or playing them. Of course I appreciate their value in music, though, or I wouldn't be considering purchasing one.

    I just called them damnbourines to be funny. Haha me.

    And thanks, I'll check local stores.
  5. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Sorry if the post above came off pissier than I wanted. I was just trying to say that playing the headed tambourine is a lot harder to play and buying one a lot more expensive than a headless. (I have never seen a cheap headed tambourine that sounded good to me.)

    Good luck.
  6. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    I have heard one tambourine and it rarely sounds good.
    Yummy, delicious 6KHz flooding the entire system (about as delicious and yummy as last night's soup).
  7. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    The only time I use tambourines (and other hand percussion) is when the drummer for the church youth group decides to not show up without calling (again); then I give one of the kids with at least a marginal sense of rhythm hand persussion things and it works well enough. :lol: :p
  8. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Interesting opinions here.

    If you can get the sound of a tambourine right, and balanced in any mix, the tambourine adds excitement and sparkle, totally unique to the tambourine. I totally love tambourines.

    Where they get a bad rap, is people who play them with no sense of balance.
  9. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    I'd say it depends more on the style. I don't know how well tambourines would fit with extreme rock... Maybe one of you can pioneer the downtuned tambourine. No, really, it's supposed to sound muddy and dead with the head downtuned: it's cool, aren't you cool enough to appreciate it?. :lol: Anyway... There are a lot of styles where tambourines and other hand percussion are staples, like world music.
  10. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    "Where they get a bad rap, is people who play them with no sense of balance."

    That's when they fall down, yeah?

    I agree, they have a place in music. But when they command as much volume as the drumkit (neither of which are helped by the presence of PA/monitors...) you have to think that maybe it's just too much of an intrusion. One time I had to dip the 5K notch on the EQ just to keep the PA clean. The damnbourine was actually making a noticable dent on the volume ladder.

    *Note: the volume ladder is PFL on the main meter and since the amp is inbuilt, the main fader gets lowered. This means that the LEDs never get past -10dB.
  11. StephenMC

    StephenMC Member

    No worries, Bob. Thanks for the info, really.

    Most of my favorite music has tambourines. Sufjan Stevens, Manchester Orchestra. Even Radiohead, love them. Tambourines are important in a lot of indie folk and rock stuff. Which is what I write. So I need one and I need to get good.
  12. StephenMC

    StephenMC Member

    I ended up just buying a cheap tambourine (ie $10 on eBay) so I can learn to handle them and play them. Maybe I'll pick up a better one if I the sonic differences become clearer to me. Thanks for the help Bob.

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