What Is The Best Tambourine?

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  • Brass and nickel-plated steel zills
  • Lightweight, yet durable
  • Padded grip provides extra comfort
  • Choice of brass or nickel zills
  • Cushioned grip with shock absorbance
  • Modern design
  • Nickel-plated zills for a bright sound
  • Able to withstand drumstick hits
  • Easy to attach to drum or percussion kits
  • Jingle Control Discs for selective muting
  • Brass zills, offering high-quality sound
  • Ergonomically designed central hand grip
  • Durable, goat skin drum head
  • Classic look, with traditional wooden frame
  • Brass and nickel-plated zills
  • Nickel-silver alloy zills
  • Traditional Asian oak frame
  • Double-row design for professional sound
  • Nickel-plated zills for excellent sound
  • Comfortable, elastic foot strap
  • Durable plastic frame
  • Simple design and zill layout
  • Visually-pleasing black and white frame
  • Finger hole for extra comfort
  • Stainless steel frame and zills
  • Simple, disc-like design
  • Fits a variety of cymbals and drums
  • Four pairs of nickel-plated jingles
  • Elastic band fixing system
  • Compact hardwood body
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Tambourine Reviews

Meinl Percussion Hand Held Recording-Combo ABS Tambourine

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FEATURES
  • Brass and nickel-plated steel zills
  • Lightweight, yet durable
  • Padded grip provides extra comfort
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Meinl Percussion Hand Held Recording-Combo ABS Tambourine Review

Combining the sounds of both solid brass and nickel-plated steel zills, the Meinl Percussion Hand Held Recording-Combo ABS Tambourine may just be the best tambourine for live performance if you want professional quality sounds at a great price!

It is affordable and can function equally well as a subtle accompaniment or as a standout percussive instrument. The padded grip provides a final aesthetic flourish, while also offering supreme comfort.

This lightweight, headless tambourine has an excellent build quality. It’s ultra-durable and the instrument fares well when shaken aggressively or driven into your leg or hip.

The placement of the zills, arranged in a double-row design, also allows for advanced techniques, like tambourine rolls, to be performed too.

Rhythm Tech RT1010 Tambourine - With Nickel or Brass Jingles

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  • Choice of brass or nickel zills
  • Cushioned grip with shock absorbance
  • Modern design
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Rhythm Tech RT1010 Tambourine - With Nickel or Brass Jingles Review

The RT1010 Tambourine from Rhythm Tech is available with a choice of either nickel or brass zills, depending on the sound you are looking to generate.

This is an aesthetically pleasing, and professional quality tambourine. It produces great sounds and adds an exciting new dynamic to any song.

A robust instrument, the RT1010 Tambourine compliments all styles of play and its hand grip helps to absorb shocks, making it extremely comfortable to hold, even if you are using it to hit against your leg or hip.

Latin Percussion LP160 Cyclops Mountable Tambourine

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  • Nickel-plated zills for a bright sound
  • Able to withstand drumstick hits
  • Easy to attach to drum or percussion kits
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Latin Percussion LP160 Cyclops Mountable Tambourine Review

If you are looking for a tambourine that can be mounted to your drum or percussion kit, the Latin Percussion LP160 Cyclops Mountable Tambourine may just be the best tambourine to suit your needs.

The tambourine makes use of nickel-plated steel alloy zills, producing a bright sound, while it has been designed with drumstick hits in mind, allowing the instrument to easily withstand repeated hits. Secure attachment to your drum kit or percussion kit can be achieved thanks to forged eye bolt technology.

Furthermore, a zill pinning technology helps to keep the zills in place, even when hit hard. This means it may be the best tambourine for those looking for regular, long-term use with a drum kit, especially if you are in a band.

Pearl PTM50BHR Ultra Grip Tambourine

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FEATURES
  • Jingle Control Discs for selective muting
  • Brass zills, offering high-quality sound
  • Ergonomically designed central hand grip
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Pearl PTM50BHR Ultra Grip Tambourine Review

Pearl’s PTM50BHR Ultra Grip Tambourine is another professional quality headless tambourine that is ideal for either mounted or handheld use.

One of the key features is the distinctive hand grip, which is located right at the centre of gravity for the instrument and is ergonomically designed. This makes it both comfortable and very easy to shake the instrument.

The red color of the frame provides a modern, stylish appearance, but what really sets it apart are the “Jingle Control Discs”, which allow you to selectively mute zills, providing best-in-class control over the sound the tambourine produces.

This, combined with its brass zills, help to make the PTM50BHR Ultra Grip arguably the best tambourine for those who are looking for a combination of comfort, customization, and high-quality sound.

Meinl Percussion Recording-Combo Wood Tambourine

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FEATURES
  • Durable, goat skin drum head
  • Classic look, with traditional wooden frame
  • Brass and nickel-plated zills
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Meinl Percussion Recording-Combo Wood Tambourine Review

If you are looking for the best tambourine with a drum head and a more traditional design, the Meinl Percussion Recording-Combo Wood Tambourine may be just the ticket.

The wooden frame provides a lightweight feel, while the grip is discreet and allows the instrument to be easily handled, without sacrificing the overall look.

The goat skin head offers a classic sound and can be used for drumming by hand or with a stick or mallet. Meanwhile, the combination of nickel-plated and brass zills, arranged in a double-row layout, allow it to be easily used as a light accompaniment, or as a more significant percussive instrument.

A professional tambourine option, Meinl also offers either single-row or double-row versions of the same instrument, both in a headless configuration, giving you a wide range of options to choose from.

Latin Percussion LP380B Double Row Professional Tambourine

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FEATURES
  • Nickel-silver alloy zills
  • Traditional Asian oak frame
  • Double-row design for professional sound
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Latin Percussion LP380B Double Row Professional Tambourine Review

Those who are operating on a larger budget and seeking the best tambourine for live performance may find the LP380B Double Row Professional Tambourine from Latin Percussion is the ideal choice.

The hand-crafted frame is made from Asian oak and helps to give the tambourine a very traditional appearance, and the presence of a hole for slotting your finger through allows you to gain a secure grip of the instrument. Meanwhile, the sound is provided by nickel-silver alloy zills, arranged in a double-row design.

These zills produce exceedingly high-quality sounds, suitable for all types of professional applications.

Latin Percussion LP Foot Tambourine LP188

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FEATURES
  • Nickel-plated zills for excellent sound
  • Comfortable, elastic foot strap
  • Durable plastic frame
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Latin Percussion LP Foot Tambourine LP188 Review

Another offering from Latin Percussion, the Foot Tambourine LP188 may just be the best tambourine for multi-tasking musicians, allowing you to add tambourine sounds to your performance, even if your hands are full.

The elastic strap on the tambourine allows it to easily fit on your foot and can help to ensure a good fit, regardless of how big or small your feet are. The tambourine is lightweight, making it easy to play while you use your hands to play another instrument, such as a guitar, drum kit, or percussion kit.

A red frame adds a stylish, modern appearance, while the sound is produced by nickel-plated zills. Aside from its function as a foot tambourine, it may also be the best tambourine for those working with a very tight budget.

Remo Headless Tambourine (10-Inch)

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FEATURES
  • Simple design and zill layout
  • Visually-pleasing black and white frame
  • Finger hole for extra comfort
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Remo Headless Tambourine (10-Inch) Review

If you are looking for something classic, simple, high-quality and affordable, the Remo Headless Tambourine is the best tambourine currently on the market. Its black and white frame and headless design make it a good-looking option at an affordable price point.

Measuring 10-inches in diameter, the tambourine is ideal for almost any use, but Remo also provides smaller 6-inch and 8-inch options too – perfect for those who would prefer a smaller or lighter option.

A uniform jingle sound is provided by eight pairs of zills – all made of the same material – and these are arranged in a single-row layout. Meanwhile, the absence of a drum head allows for the zill sound to be as clear as possible.

All-round comfort is also aided by the presence of a finger or thumb hole on the frame of the instrument.

Meinl Percussion Ching Ring - 6-Inch

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FEATURES
  • Stainless steel frame and zills
  • Simple, disc-like design
  • Fits a variety of cymbals and drums
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Meinl Percussion Ching Ring - 6-Inch Review

Finally, if you are a drummer, who is looking to use a tambourine to enhance your sound, you may find that the Meinl Percussion Ching Ring is the best tambourine for this, and it comes at a low price point too.

A 6-inch tambourine, constructed from stainless steel, the Meinl Percussion Ching Ring contains five pairs of zills, which produce a clear jingle. The simple design also helps to ensure it will work very well with hi-hat cymbals, but also with crash cymbals, ride cymbals, effects cymbals, and even snare drums, facilitating real experimentation.

Of course, the tambourine can also be easily picked up and used in a more traditional way as well!

Meinl Percussion Foot Tambourine FJS2S-BK

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FEATURES
  • Four pairs of nickel-plated jingles
  • Elastic band fixing system
  • Compact hardwood body
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Meinl Percussion Foot Tambourine FJS2S-BK Review

The Meinl Percussion Foot Tambourine features a similar, simple design to the LP foot tambourine. It features four pairs of jingles that offer bright sounds.

Meinl produces some of the best drumming equipment on the market, and you can be confident that this is a quality product.

This lightweight, simple to use, and affordable foot tambourine easily attaches to your shoe to allow you to add percussion to any acoustic performance.

Cajon players, guitar players, and vocalists will find this foot tambourine really helpful to add some rhythm to your music.

Buyer’s Guide: How to Find the Best Tambourine

Whether you are looking for a tambourine for jam sessions or seeking something more professional to assist you with live performances or recording, it is important that you take the time to find the best tambourine for your specific needs. However, this may require a deeper understanding of the instrument itself and what you should be looking for.

What Does a Tambourine Add to Music?

Tambourines are extremely versatile instruments, which can actually be used in a number of different ways. The instrument is characterized by the presence of ‘zills’ or ‘jingles’, which function as small cymbals. Shaking the tambourine can, therefore, help to add a jingle effect to the music, or add emphasis to a rhythm or a beat.

The versatility of the tambourine is evidenced by the sheer range of music styles you can find it used within. This includes everything from European folk music and classical music, through to pop, R&B, and rock music. It can be especially common for singers to use a tambourine and examples of this can be seen with Stevie Nicks from Fleetwood Mac and Mick Jagger from the Rolling Stones. All four members of The Beatles also used the instrument at times.

With a drum head attached, a tambourine is also able to deliver two very distinctive sounds at once.

What Features Do You Want From a Tambourine?

When it comes to choosing your tambourine, you need to think about the key features you are seeking. For instance, are you looking for a tambourine with a drum head, or would you prefer a headless option? Both are perfectly viable, but the drum head provides additional versatility, while headless options often produce a better ‘jingle’ sound.

You might be seeking a more specialized tambourine, such as a foot tambourine, or a tambourine that you can attach to a drum kit. Alternatively, you may want to play the instrument by hand, but want an ergonomic grip for maximum comfort. Some buyers may also want advanced features, like the ability to selectively mute zills.

Ultimately, the best tambourine to purchase will depend on your personal preferences, your budget, and what you are looking to use the tambourine for. Try to prioritize the features that will allow you to use the instrument the way you want to and then look for the option that offers those features at a price point that suits you.

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