Useful Tips

How to play a tambourine


Tambourine is a percussion instrument rooted in classical Greece. Traditionally, it consisted of a wooden rim covered with a membrane ("head"), and surrounded by pairs of small metal plates called "jingles." Modern tambourines are without a membrane, consist of plastic rims and sometimes have the shape of a crescent, and not a vicious circle. The use of tambourine is wide and varied: from orchestra and folk music, to modern rock and pop music. The methods of playing tambourine are very similar to each other.

Hands on playing a tambourine.

Take a tambourine in one hand. Hold the handle firmly, but without squeezing. the tambourine must be held firmly.
Shake lightly with a tambourine to feel its weight, to feel its inertia, the fastening of the handle.
The hand with the tambourine is bent at our elbow.
Take the mallet in the other hand. You should not take it to the very end, so you will not hold it, and you should not take it too close to the workplace of the beater - fur or suede. Optimal - approximately one third from the end, so that the weight of the mallet also plays a role in the game and it is not hard for you.
There are several ways to hold the beater, but the most important thing is not to strongly clamp, squeeze the handle. The mallet, like a drumstick, should easily lie in the hand, but at the same time the hand itself should be firm and clearly control the process of the game.
This arm is also bent at the elbow.
We bring a hand with a clapper close to the membrane, a dozen centimeters, and strike. The blow should be clear and sharp: the hand with the clapper should spring and bounce from the membrane to its original position, by the same ten centimeters.
You can play by controlling the clapper only with your fingers, this is convenient for a quiet and subtle game, but not suitable with heavy clappers.
You can play by controlling a blow with a brush, this is the most universal and widespread blow, let your wrist joint be light and mobile.
You can play "from the elbow", inflicting strong and sharp, rare blows. Here the scope of the hand is much larger. This method is suitable for large tambourines and heavy beater.

Zone playing the tambourine.

There are several zones on the tambourine membrane in which the timbre of the tambourine changes.
If the tambourine is large, there can be many such zones. So much so that with a certain skill you can play a simple melody.
Near the edge of the membrane sounds the most loudly. Gradually moving towards the center of the tambourine, the sound becomes more and more muffled and lower, and in the middle of the membrane reaches its maximum, “thumping” timbre. Many musicians do not like this timbre precisely for its hum, "meat". But each has its own needs.
Zones can vary depending on the tension of the tambourine, so they depend on the weather and on the manufacture.
Tambourines with resonators and oval tambourines may have additional sound zones, but this is not necessary and does not always happen.
Sometimes, due to the unevenness of the skin-membrane, additional zones appear on the tambourine, which please their happy owner.
I recommend that you carefully examine your tambourine, tapping it softly and loudly to find out all the zones on its membrane.

- the influence of the handle on the sound of a tambourine.

The stiff heavy wooden handle slightly muffles the sound of a tambourine, since in a tambourine, strictly speaking, not only the membrane sounds, but the entire membrane-rim-handle complex (if it is firmly fixed).
On the contrary, a soft woven handle-cross does not jam the tambourine and allows large overtones to appear. This mount is called Native American.

How to hold a tambourine.

We examined the case when we hold a tambourine in front of us on a hand bent at the elbow.
But often in the photo of traditional shamans or in the video of the shaman’s dance, you can watch the tambourine tilted to the ground and strike from the bottom up, or vice versa, lifted up and beat from top to bottom, or played on outstretched arms, as if turning to the sun.
What is the difference?
There are many interpretations on the Internet, I will also add a little from myself.
Usually a shamanic dance (real!) Is associated with different spirits serving the shaman and is inspired by the spirits themselves. And each movement in it has not symbolic, but magical meaning.
So, for example, lowering the tambourine down and playing from the bottom up as if for the earth, the shaman often turns directly to the Earth. This is due to fertility, fertility, nomadism and many others. By raising the tambourine up, the shaman can turn to the sun, wind, and other elements and spirits of the elements with which we live side by side.
A person is very sensitive to rhythms and sounds outside himself and feels them not only with his ears, but also with his body and skin. By lowering the tambourine down, we can act on the lower part of our body, cleanse, treat with the help of a tambourine, lifting it up - act on the upper part, pressing it to ourselves - act on the denser body, in depth. Both the front and the back of the tambourine are important, different vibrations come from them.
But remember that your intention and a joyful, positive attitude will be decisive in this impact!

Musical training.

Despite all the desires to enter into a trance sooner, an altered state of consciousness, despite impatience, having received a tambourine immediately become a shaman, please remember that the world around is musical and harmonious. The world is consistent and gradual. Try to make your every rhythm, even every beat, beautiful and musical!
Not only for you, but also for your neighbors, listeners, relatives and friends!

Play clearly.

Rhythms rule the world and these rhythms are natural. Try to catch their natural ripple.
For music, it’s important that the rhythm is clear: who needs a musician who doesn’t regularly fall into the lot?
For a trance, a clear rhythm is important, otherwise you will not enter a trance.
If you have problems with rhythm accuracy, buy a metronome and exercise regularly. After a while, a clear rhythm will be natural for you.

Stress relief.

The drums are well suited to relieve stress, play the tambourine regularly and you will feel great!

A tambourine is a percussion instrument, a frame drum belonging to the class of membrane phones, that is, sound in it is born from vibration of the membrane. The tambourine is distributed almost throughout the globe.
The main component of the tambourine is a membrane, often of genuine goat skin, deer stretched over a wooden frame - the rim. Inside the rim is often a handle, hard, wooden, or soft, wicker.
A beater is often attached to a tambourine, from a simple wand to difficultly made with fur and carvings.

View article
Go to the directory.

Tambourine Tutorial

FROM THE AUTHOR: This tutorial is designed to wrest learning to play the tambourine from the hands of single handicraftsmen who pass on their skills by inheritance and make the tambourine the property of the masses.

HISTORICAL SUMMARY: We find the first mention of a tambourine at Plutarch, who notes: "He (probably Julius Caesar - approx. Author) loved listening to music (apparently a tambourine - approx. Author)."

The small distribution of the tambourine in Europe is explained by the harsh pursuit of the Inquisition in the era of medieval obscurantism, as well as the absence of such a self-instruction manual.

GAME TECHNIQUE: The student takes a tambourine in his right hand and begins to shake it, while striking it with the other hand.

NOTES: When recording music for a tambourine, a tambourine key is placed at the beginning of each musical phrase.

NOTES SIGN SYSTEM: A cross (jin) is a sign of shaking, a toe (boom) is a sign of shock. For example, the popular romance “The bell rings monotonously,” when placed on a tambourine, looks like this:

jin, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom

Three initial hits are made in order to draw public attention to the performer.

SUMMARY: The author hopes that, using a self-instruction manual, the owner of a tambourine will achieve a certain virtuosity in playing this instrument in three to four years and will experience many happy minutes.