Best Tambourine – Options for Church, Fun, Kids, and More

If you are in a hurry and want to know the best tambourine, it’s the Remo TA-5210-70 Fiberskyn Tambourine

A versatile instrument, it’s found in many forms of music like Brazilian samba, Turkish folk, Italian folk, Greek folk, gospel, country, blues, jazz, you name it. 

But from professionals to those who want to start learning the art of this instrument, there will be several prominent brands on the market, such as Remo, Tosnail, and Kalos by Cecilio.

That is why today I’ll be reviewing the best tambourines to help you at the time of purchase. 

Best Overall Best Gift Best-Looking Learning Kids
Brand Remo TA-5210-70 Tosnail Wood Remo TA-4108-48 Kalos by Cecilio Remo RH-2106-00
Size 10″ 8″ 8″ 10″ 6″
Number of Zills 8 Pairs x 2 Rows 5 Pairs x 1 Rows 8 Pairs x 2 Rows 8 Pairs x 2 Rows 4 Pairs x 1 Row
Skin Material Fiberskyn Sheepskin Drumhead Synthetic blend Suede

I hope you enjoy this article. And as we say in Brazil, “don’t let the samba die!”.

What is the Origin of Tambourine?

The tambourine has an ancient history, and many experts trace its origin back to the Paleolithic period. It is possible to find instruments similar to those in all the great civilizations of the past. It arrived in the Iberian Peninsula brought by the Arabs and was used frequently in celebrations.

In the United States, It was adopted by the African Americans, who used it to replace their instruments, which might be used for long-distance communication. It became popular in the singing of spirituals, and it was used for celebrations and dancing. Thus the tambourine spread throughout the USA and is one of the symbols of African American musical culture.

How to Choose the Best Tambourine

Some factors make all the difference when choosing the best tambourine for you. The type of “skin” and rim, size, body material, and the number of small metal jingles, called “zills” will make a difference when it comes to playing and the sound. 

Choose the “skin type” suitable for your genre

We can separate the skins into two groups: those made with synthetic material, usually made of nylon or leather. The choice is based on the music genre you intend to play and the characteristics of each one. 

Let’s see which ones are next.

Nylon Skin Tambourines: For High Volume Sounds

Synthetic leather tambourines, in general, have a higher pitch than leather ones. But they do have the ability to deliver a louder sound. So if you are going to play without a microphone, this is possibly the right choice for you.

They are more suitable for Brazilian samba, Turkish, Italian, and Greek folk. They are usually heavier than most tambourines, and they have an impressive aesthetic differential: they can have graphics with several different and even transparent textures. They are also more resistant to changes in temperature.

Leather Skin Tambourines: Ideal for a More Bass Sound

In the case of tambourines made with leather, that is, animal skin, you will have some differences concerning synthetic leather. The main one is the sound, more serious, suitable for any musical style, but which are particularly noteworthy for those who play styles like country, blues, or gospel. 

They also have different textures, but with less variation than synthetics. When a tambourine with leather skin is played, it is necessary to emphasize that it has a typical effect of its reverberation of this type, which sounds like a floor tom, delightful. Those are great; if you want to mic your tambourine, look at the best drum mic kit article.

Size: Choose Models Over 10″

When choosing a quality tambourine, it is essential to have a preference for models above 10″, although there are instruments up to 8″. But tambourines of this size are more recommended for children. Not to mention that this is undoubtedly the most common model.

Also, leather ones usually come in this size. But, in the case of nylon tambourines, you will have options of several sizes of high quality, reaching up to 14 “. However, this depends a lot on your hand’s size and what is most comfortable when it comes to playing.

Zills or Jingles: Greater The Number Better The Sound

Zills are essential in the sound of the tambourine. They produce high notes every time you hit the instrument. For this reason, the more zills, the more full-bodied, and with greater volume, the resulting sound will be. They can be made of aluminum, brass, copper, or stainless steel.

The zills (small metal jingles) can come with three zills, five zills, or in the form of double zills – these are more common in 10 “tambourines. Of course, the bigger the instrument, the greater the possibility of this number is higher, finding models that reach 32 zills in total.

Weight

Another factor to consider is the weight of the tambourine. Leather tambourines usually vary between 0.65 and 1lb. The nylon ones are generally heavier, sometimes reaching almost 2 lbs. The ideal is to choose models that are lighter to get used to for those just starting.

Of course, larger tambourines, like the 12 “(usual nylon), tend to be heavier and can have a more powerful sound. But the ideal here, unless you’re already used to it, is to prioritize comfort. The weight ideal is one that you can hold in your hand with ease.

Round or Straight Rim?

It is in the tambourine ring that the skin is, and in which the zills are placed. It is, therefore, an essential part of the instrument. But in the market, we find two types and rim – the round and the straight. They are usually made of stainless steel, but these two types have a difference between them.

Comfort is the main feature. Many people say that round hoops are more comfortable when playing; others say it makes no difference. In the end, it all comes down to a matter of personal choice. If you have the opportunity, try to hold two tambourines with different hoops and see which one feels better to play.

Now, let’s get started with our roundup review.

1. Best Overall – Remo TA-5210-70 Fiberskyn Tambourine

Key features:

  • Size: 10″
  • Number of Zills: 8 Pairs x 2 Rows
  • Skin material: Fiberskyn

The first tambourine I’m reviewing today is made by Remo, a brand well-known because of its quality drumheads. And this tambourine makes up for Remo’s reputation as it’s recommended for professional musicians.

It’s a 10″ tambourine that features double-row zills, which makes it a little heavier than most tambourines and sounds a lot better. 

You can pick those in really nice and unusual colors: Quadura Black, Quadura Deep Red, and Quadura White. 

It sounds good as it is loud and warm at the same time. Just your neighbors that probably won’t enjoy these.

Overall a very good tambourine as it’s well-made, sounds good, and fair priced.

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

2. Best Gift – Tosnail 8″ Wood Handheld Tambourine

Key features:

  • Size: 8″
  • Number of Zills: 5 Pairs x 1 Row
  • Skin material: Sheepskin

Made by Tosnail, this 8″ tambourine It’s wooden-made, smooth, and finished properly. A nice looking tambourine.

An excellent option for kids, as it is easy to play because of its simple design and because it features a lightweight body.

Something disappointing with this tambourine is its durability. When using this more “professionally,” some players complain about the sheepskin being too fragile and rip easily.

Overall, it is excellent as a gift as it’s affordable. If you are buying this for fun, it will be a great tambourine. But if you are looking for a tambourine to use professionally, look somewhere else. 

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

3. Best-Looking – Remo TA-4108-48 Radiant Tambourine

Key features:

  • Size: 8″
  • Number of Zills: 8 Pairs x 2 Rows
  • Skin material: Reflective Radiant drumhead finish

Also made by Remo, this is an unusual looking tambourine with a reflective radiant drumhead finish.

You can pick this with one row of zills or two rows of zills. I recommend the two rows version as I said in the buying guide before: more zills, better sound.

It sounds great as it has a lovely tone to it. Its zills are crisp and clear and very easy to handle. Something cool is you can do Thumb Rolls easier on this tambourine than on others.

This tambourine is eye-catching because its drumhead can be a nice feature to some players when in performances. But it can also be a little distractive to others.

Some players complain about the rim’s height that can be a little too tall for people with smaller hands.

Overall, this is a very durable tambourine. If you are looking for the best tambourine to play at the church, this is the one.

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

4. Best for Learning – Kalos by Cecilio KP_TMW10-2C

Key features:

  • Size: 10″
  • Number of Zills: 8 Pairs x 2 Rows
  • Skin material: Synthetic blend

Made by Cecilio Musical Instruments, an American based company, this is a wooden-made tambourine.

Its synthetic blend sounds well-toned, an excellent combination with the 16 pairs in a total of zills.

Something nice about this tambourine features a lightweight frame, so it won’t get your wrists tired so soon.

Overall, it features excellent sound. It’s a high-quality and very durable tambourine, perfect for those learning how to play the instrument.

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

5. Best for Kids – Remo RH-2106-00

Key features:

  • Size: 6″
  • Number of Zills: 4 Pairs x 1 Row
  • Skin material: Suede

This tambourine takes part in Rhythm Club, Remo’s instruments series specially made for kids.

Surprisingly, it sounds fantastic. It’s not a cheap drum like a toy. Definitely not what I expected.

As it’s designed for kids, it is a sturdy tambourine, made to resist drops; when kids sit on the top or sit inside, use it with toys in it, push it all over the room. It will stand all creative ways kids may use it and last for many years.

It features a “friendly” design because of its rainforest print.

Overall, if you are looking for a tambourine for small children, this is the best tambourine.

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Conclusion

The best tambourine of this roundup review is the Remo TA-5210-70 Fiberskyn Tambourine. It looks nice with good color options.

It’s also a very sturdy tambourine, a typical Remo product. Its Fiberskyn drumhead is a powerful feature as it makes this tambourine sound tremendous, warm, and loud (but enough to annoy neighbors).

Buy this if you are looking for a tambourine made to last for years with quality.

See Tips for Maintaining Your Tambourine

Some tips can help you keep your tambourine with the best sound ever!

  • Always tune the instrument crosswise so as not to bend the tambourine;
  • Loosen the skin before storing to prevent it from tearing or the body from warping;
  • Store in a case or protective cover to avoid hitting the stage.

With these simple tips, your tambourine will last much longer!

 

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