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Music is an essential part of entertainment in many environments, and no musical ensemble would be complete without some percussion instruments. Tambourines are simple but colourful instruments, adding rhythm through a sharp but unique sound.

Foot Tambourine

Foot tambourines attach to the foot of the musician, and you tap them as they accompany guitars, cajons, or other stringed instruments. They usually have a crescent-shaped plastic frame, and attach through an elastic strap onto the foot. Foot tambourines give players of guitars, ukuleles, cajons and similar stringed instruments the flexibility to play two instruments at once, making the performance much more complex and enjoyable.

Tambourines without Heads

You use tambourines without heads often by shaking and tapping one's hand, hip, or thigh to produce a rhythm. The traditional form of these hand percussion intsruments is a circle with metal plates all around, though you can find newer varieties with a crescent or half-moon plastic body. These shapes make the tambourine easier to hold on to and play.

Tambourines with Heads

This type of tambourine is round with a drum head, which you can also play for a drum-like sound combination with the jingles of the metal plates. You can still play it like the ones without a head, but they are heavier and larger in size due to the presence of the head. Many cultural forms of the tambourine have this design, especially those of Middle Eastern and Asian origin, and you can see people play them sometimes as a standalone musical instrument as opposed to a part of an ensemble.

Types of Jingles

The jingles on a tambourine are the most important part, as they hit against one another and the frame of the tambourine to produce the sound associated with the instrument. Most tambourines come with steel jingles as a default, but for a slightly warmer sound, try looking for ones that have brass jingles instead.

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