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What are the best tambourines?

The best tambourine depends on what kind of tambourine you are interested in playing. Below are the most common types and what to look for when searching for a well-made one. 

  • Single-row: These have only one row of “jingles,” equidistant from one another around the circumference of the hoop. 
  • Double-row: A pair of “jingles” placed around the perimeter, one slot above the other. Because of the double row, they typically produce louder sounds. 
  • Hi-Hat: A headless tambourine perched on top of a full or partial drum set operated via a connected pedal. 
  • Foot: As the name implies, these tambourines are attached to a player’s shoe. 

How are tambourines made?

To properly understand how a tambourine is made, you must first know its different parts. Each part plays a crucial role in the ultimate sound quality. 

Tambourines consist of a flat, wooden hoop, open at the end that functions as its shell. Attached to the hoop, you’ll find a head stretched over the top, as well as small metal sheets called “jingles” or “zills.”

Two methods are typically used to fasten the head to the shell. The first involves nailing the head outside the shell’s wooden frame. Another way of making tambourines is by stretching the head across a flesh hoop and then placing a counter hoop around to secure it.  

Once the head is attached firmly to the hoop, the “jingles” are slotted into the frame at even intervals. Usually, one or two slots are left empty as hand grips. 

Finding a tambourine made with skill and quality materials can be tricky, so check out Drum Center of Portsmouth for the best variety!

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