Playing a musical instrument is a hobby that challenges a lot of people, especially the young. I know very few people that started to learn how to play at something during adulthood, but it’s not entirely impossible. Sure, you don’t have the same dedication and the same amount of time at your disposal as when you are young, but if you want to do it, just do it. I, for one, had always regretted it that I didn’t learn how to play a musical instrument when I was younger, but then again, such is life.
Adults have a tough time playing a new instrument, which is why it is recommended they start with something very easy to play, like the ukulele or a xylophone. But let’s be honest, a ukulele? Which is why there is another instrument that can be mastered easily and in a very small period of time. I am talking about the tambourine.
Tambourine is one of the easiest instrument to learn
The tambourine is a percussion musical instrument that consists of a shallow single-headed drum that has small circular metal discs inserted in the frame. I can honestlysay that, except for the triangle, this is the easiest instrument to play.
I order to play the tambourine, you can either hit the drum with your fist or on the back of your knee, or you can shake it so that the metal discs make that rattling sound. Other ways include rubbing your thumb on the edge of the instrument or hitting it with a small stick to produce a sound.
Learning to play the tambourine is fairly easy. You still need a lot of practice because you have to follow a certain beat to go along with the music that you are trying to play, but it doesn’t compare with the difficulty of other instruments. So have at it.
Tambourines are made of a variety of materials that include calfskin or plastic. Just like a drum set. They are not expensive at all, and you can have a lot of fun trying to learn.
Why learn to play the tambourine?
Some of the reasons are serious, other are a little bit childish, but no matter what it is, if you want to do it, you should. Don’t let anything stop you. Here are a few reasons people learn to play the tambourine.
- ü Most people learn it because they want to be in a church choir. Believe it or not, a church is the most common place where the tambourine is played. It sounds good, it goes well with any song, and the rattling sound is very church appropriate. Playing along with an instrument, even if it is as simple as a tambourine, can make you feel a part of something. That may seem silly for some, but there are people who gain a sense of satisfaction out of it.
- ü Some people fulfill their lifelong dream of being in a band. That’s right. A lot of them maybe wanted to be in a band when they were younger, but then life happened and buried that dream along with other things. But after a while, when all serious, adult things have been accomplished, some individuals dig out their dream and try to do something about it. It’s kind of late to learn how to play guitar when you are almost in your 50s, which is why a tambourine makes perfect sense. It is a musical instrument, after all. And trust me when I say this, there are more people who start bands in their 40s than you may think.
- ü A tambourine can help you engage in fun activities with your child. Parents do a lot of stuff for their children’s sake; playing an instrument is not an exception. Also, there are a lot of fun games and songs that involve a tambourine. Not to mention the fact that it may build a foundation for your child to play a musical instrument somewhere in the near future.
How to choose the best tambourine
You may think that it’s not a big deal. It’s just a tambourine, after all. It doesn’t require sophisticated engineering. You are not entirely wrong. However, there is such thing as a low-quality tambourine. Here is what you should be paying attention to when you want to make a purchase.
- ü Size – it doesn’t make much of a difference in how it sounds, but you should ask yourself who is going to use it. If you want it for yourself (and I am guessing you are an adult) then you should go for the 10 inches (diameter) tambourine. If you want your child to play it, then the 8-inch is perfect for him or her. It’s easier to handle with tiny hands.
- ü Membrane – there are two options. Either you go for the natural membrane, which is made out of calfskin, or synthetic, which is usually plastic. The same materials are used to manufacture drums. There isn’t a sound difference. The plastic one is designed to imitate the natural one, so this is a matter of preference. Oh, the natural membrane costs more, for obvious reasons.
- ü Pre-tuned or not – tambourines that are not pre-tuned must be adjusted according to your needs. However, I recommend you go for the pre-tuned one. Tuning a tambourine is not exactly something a beginner should do. Plus, it’s more convenient that way.
- ü The rim – you can choose from a wooden rim (but not too wide), or a plastic rim. Again, this is a matter of preference. The quality of sound is not affected by the rim. Choose whichever you see fit.
- ü A single or double row of rattling discs – this depends on how you want the tambourine to sound. If you want to emphasize the rattling sound, then go for the double row. If not, you can stick to a single row. Again, choose whichever you like.
- ü What do you need it for? – the purpose of the tambourine makes a big difference, but only if you need it for recording. Not all tambourines sound the same “on tape.” If you want it for recording purposes, make sure to choose a high-quality tambourine. Otherwise, the recording will not sound very well.
- ü The hole – not all tambourines have the membrane I was talking about above. So make sure to keep that in mind when you want to purchase one. Again, it’s about what you like and what you need it for.
What are the best tambourines?
To be honest, they all kind of sound the same. It matters how you play them and where. However, some tambourines are better than others for reasons that include durability, quality, and sound. Here are a few examples of ideal tambourines, for both beginners and advanced players.
YMC TAM20-Black Double Row Tambourine
This model not a round tambourine, but a classic moon shape. It’s a bit different from what I mentioned in the previous heading, but it will do. It makes a great sound, and the jingles are fantastic.
Just as the title suggests, this tambourine has a double row of jingles. There are 20 metal discs in total, which is perfect if you are looking for that rattling sound. It is made of hard, durable plastic that will not break easily. The handle is ergonomically designed. Your hand will not tire or become numb if you have to hold it for a long time.
One of the problems people have with low-quality tambourines is that the jingles fall off. That is not going to happen with the YMC tambourine. After all, this is a musical instrument made of hard plastic and metal. Nothing about it says low-quality. Quite the contrary actually.
This is an 8-inch tambourine, so you children can play it as well. It will fit just fine in their tiny hands. Also, it makes a great sound for recording. I’ve seen people writing about this tambourine that it adds a nice texture to the whole piece. Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.
Remo Fiberskyn Tambourine
The Remo Tambourine is quite popular. Isaw a lot of good reviews on it online. People seem to very satisfied with it for a number of reasons. It comes pre-tuned, so you don’t have to bother doing it yourself. I am not sure that you even know how. Most people don’t. The head is made of synthetic skin, but don’t let that disappoint you. It comes with all the features of a natural membrane, but it is a lot more durable and lightweight. Not to mention that it is a lot less expensive than a natural head tambourine. I don’t even know if people go for that anymore. Technology progresses in every single field, so why not this one? If manufacturers found a way to make a synthetic membrane that sounds like a natural one, then good for them.
This tambourine can be used by adults, but by children over 12 years old as well. It is designed to withstand a lot of wear and tear, and it can easily be sanitized. What I like about Remo is that it provides a vast variety of tambourines. There are 6, 8, and 10-inch single jingle heads, and 8 or 10-inch double jingle heads. The colors may also differ. That’s quite the offer.
The quality of this tambourine cannot be questioned. Remo is a well-respected manufacturer that provides only high-quality instruments, which is why it is preferred by many professionals and drum enthusiasts. The performance on Remo’s tambourines is pristine. The jingles are made of metal, so the sound they make is clear and well-pitched. Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.
Zebra Sound 10-inch Tambourine
When you see this one, you immediately think of church. The dove and the Bible that are drawn on the skin is one of the reasons people choose this tambourine for their church choir. Zebra Sound is very well aware of the fact that this instrument is popular with church-goers, which is probably the reason for the drawing.
The tambourine is a 10-inch with a double row of jingles. I am not sure that a child can handle it easily. The jingles are made out of metal, so they will not fall anytime soon. The frame is made of wood, which gives it an authentic look. Plastic frames have been introduced a few years back, but I still believe that a wooden tambourine looks a lot better than a plastic one. The membrane is not natural, but mylar. That is a polyester film that has a high resistance to wear and tear. It will not break easily. I heard stories of grandparents who gave this tambourine to their grandchildren, and it survived successfully. So if it can survive the hands of a small child, I bet it can withstand close to anything.
The sound is clean and will provide a nice texture to a recorded sound. A lot of people used it for this purpose, and they declare themselves highly satisfied with the results. Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.
From what I read, I tend to believe that Remo knows what it’s doing when it manufactures tambourines. Everyone has only kind and positive things to say about their instruments. That is why I believe they can produce one of the best tambourines on the market. No doubt about it.
I must admit that I like a tambourine. It adds that “jene sais quoi” to a song, and it makes it better. Even if it is in the background and you can barely hear it sometimes. Also, it must be fun learning how to play it. Click here to buy on Amazon
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