The tambourine is a common percussion instrument, finding itself in the hands of many performers as well as being incorporated into drum and percussion kits. Tambourines are used in a wide variety of musical genres around the world.
When it comes to choosing the best tambourine, there are plenty of options. In this article, we'll consider the top 9 best tambourine brands in the world today to help you make your choice.
Though obviously subjective and prone to biases, I've done my best to list out these brands based on the following metrics (in no particular order):
- Company reputation
- Variety of tambourines
- Performance of the tambourines
- Longevity of the tambourines
- The company/brand must currently be in operation
With all that being said, let's list out the brands.
The Top 9 Best Tambourine Brands Are:
Let's get into each of these brands in greater detail and explain why they belong in the top 9 best tambourine brands. I'll share their country of origin, a bit of history, an example of a notable tambourine, and a link to their official website.
Be sure to check out the other top percussion brands at My New Microphone:
• Top 9 Best Conga Drum Brands On The Market
• Top 9 Best Bongo Drum Brands On The Market
• Top 9 Best Cajón Brands On The Market
• Top 11 Best Timpani Brands On The Market
Disclaimer: This article includes affiliate links. If you click one of them, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you (which I'm very grateful for, as it helps me produce more free content here at My New Microphone). You can see the list of my partners here and my ethics statement here. Thank you for your support!
Meinl is a brand most people associate with cymbals because they have been part of the elite cymbals market for many years. Still, that is not the only percussion instrument that Meinl manufactures. It is a company that has been making amazing percussion instruments for the past 7 decades to critical acclaim.
In this vein, the demand for Meinl percussion instruments pushed the company to broaden its catalogue, manufacturing amazing tambourines, bongos, cajons, and more for the most demanding players in the world. Thus, Meinl is synonymous with quality, performance, and impeccable craftsmanship.
If you haven't already, check Meinl tambourines before buying anything else.
Notable tambourine: Meinl TA2WB
The quintessential tambourine sound comes from the mixture of tonewoods and stainless steel jingles. That is exactly what this 10″ tambourine by Meinl is all about: a no-frills approach to a great sound. Moreover, the ergonomically shaped handle and light weight make it a great tool for playing live since it can be moved easily. Finally, the special treatment given to the jingles makes them bright and shimmery, while the tonewood provides the rest of the tone.
This is a great tambourine for any musical style and is backed up by one of the biggest names in percussion around the world.
Known as “LP” by most people, the products this company manufactures are easily spotted on some of the biggest stages around the world in the hands of virtuoso players in many styles. Moreover, since the company has been making state-of-the-art Latin percussion instruments for over 5 decades, its founder received special recognition from the Latin Music Hall of Fame for being a huge contributor to Latin Music history through his creations.
In the past decades, the company was bought by giants Kaman Music, Fender, and DW. Being part of three of the most important musical instrument brands in the world elevated LP to legendary status. With such a tradition in Latin and percussion instruments, LP needs to be on your list when shopping for a tambourine.
Notable tambourine: Latin Percussion LP384-BB
From the Asian oak body and natural rawhide head, this tambourine by LP's pro series is among the best money can buy. Moreover, the hybrid design mixing 16 brass and bronze jingles will give the player enhanced nuances that can help cut through any mix.
In the same vein, the 10″ diameter and included head make it a great percussive instrument for the resourceful singer or tambourine player. Finally, it comes inside a Latin Percussion bag, so you can take it to every gig while keeping it in top condition.
After over 7 decades of making drum kits, percussion instruments, and accessories for the entire world, Pearl has become a synonym for quality, tone, and performance. Moreover, Pearl can count legends like Dennis Chambers, Eric Singer (Kiss), Ray Luzier, and Mike Mangini (Dream Theater) among its endorsers.
Furthermore, what started as a one-man dream manufacturing music stands turned into one of the best, most sought-after percussion brands on the planet. Their tambourines are no exception to the rule; if you haven't already, try one before buying.
Notable tambourine: Pearl Elite Concert Tambourine
Arriving inside a padded carrying case, you'll find this elite-level instrument designed and manufactured by Pearl to satisfy the most demanding players in the world. Indeed, the 10″ diameter is made of hardwood and contains 17 sets of stainless-steel jingles staggered in a single line.
Moreover, since it is so light, it can be used in fast passages, for orchestras, and also for a studio recording with ease. Finally, the natural goat-skin head is the perfect combination to give it the tonal resonance musicians search for in studio environments.
Richard Taninbaum is, before anything else, a world-class drummer and percussionist who has worked with some of the biggest names in the industry. Indeed, during one of those gigs, he had to play the tambourine for an entire 15-minute song. He felt his arm was tired to the point he couldn't go on anymore.
Thus, it was Richard Taninbaum who created the “crescent moon” shape for tambourines that became lighter, more comfortable, and sounded just as good. Success was granted with that groundbreaking invention as one of the first items in this brand's catalogue.
Nowadays, Rhythm Tech continues to manufacture and sell top-notch tambourines for professional musicians around the world. Try one before buying anything else.
Rhythm Tech has innovated non-stop over their best-selling product and, as a result, makes some of the best-sounding, easiest-to-play tambourines in the market. For example, with its comfortable handle and efficient jingle placement, this tambourine helps players produce a bigger, fuller sound with less effort.
As a result, wrist fatigue is drastically reduced. Also, the company includes a Pro-mount so it can be fitted on a drum kit and used by drummers without buying any extras. Finally, the brass jingles give it a warm, funky, traditional, chunky, and full sound.
It is safe to say that the company Remo Belli founded in the mid-20th century changed the way we perceive percussion forever. Indeed, Remo pioneered the use of PET film and Mylar as durable, stable, great-sounding replacements for calfskin heads.
Moreover, the company also came up with the world's revolutionary Fiberskyn heads used broadly for Latin percussion instruments around the world.
This company, a restless percussion innovator that has revolutionized the market more than once, manufactures some of the world's best-sounding, most reliable tambourines. If you haven't already, check Remo out before buying anything else.
Notable tambourine: Remo Wild Tambourine
Made with a 10″ Acousticon shell and a pre-tuned Skyndeep drumhead, this is a serious dark-looking tambourine for serious players. The tambourine is made following the traditional design and can be purchased in its single or double-row version, each featuring stainless-steel jingles.
Although this tambourine was created with professionals in mind, the price tag will also accommodate recreational enthusiasts and casual players. Finally, Remo's take on the quintessential tambourine design needs to be on your list if you are looking for great quality at an affordable price.
Black Swamp Percussion
Eric started making tambourine shells in the basement of a rented house in 1994 out of pure pleasure and joy. Soon after, by 1995, the first tambourines and bamboo timpani mallets were out for sale. By the early 2000s, the company was already making SoundArt Snare System snares and selling them around the world to critical acclaim.
This sales push granted the company the chance to grow in production and invest more in its R&D department. As a result, in 2015, the company celebrated 20 years of making some of the most outstanding percussive instruments in the world. Moreover, to celebrate such a memorable date, BSP issued 100 units of a special tambourine made with a solid Bocote shell.
Notable tambourine: Black Swamp Percussion SoundArt Tambourine
This tambourine is a faithful representation of what this company is capable of. To begin with, the shell of this tambourine is made with solid ash and finished utilizing a blend of cutting-edge machinery and traditional techniques. As a result, the shells are not only beautiful pieces of wood but also convey tone and resonance to every inch.
Also, the jingles are hammered to perfection and then positioned in the tambourine in such a way they contact the shell at different times. Thus, this difference in the jingle slots creates a fuller, more robust sound. The choice of translucent calfskin or Remo Renaissance heads gives it the ultimate tambourine tone you would expect from an instrument such as this.
Finally, it comes with a padded gig bag and super turbocharged thumb roll beeswax.
By the 1990s, the Latin music phenomenon had overtaken the world by storm, exploding in mass media and blasting out of speakers in most clubs around the world. Thus, the market for Latin music instruments became bigger, and several huge brands stepped up to the challenge of creating instruments that could satisfy that growing demand.
Toca was the brand introduced by KMC Music to address the increasing demand. Thus, KMC granted Toca instruments Latin vibes, colourful finishes, and quintessential tones that quickly transformed them into favourites for Latin music artists around the world.
Nowadays, the company belongs to the RBimusic Family of brands and is still delivering 100% Latin flavour to players around the globe.
Notable tambourine: Toca T1010-A
Entirely made with exotic acacia wood, this tambourine can cut through any mix with an uncanny sound. This tambourine is equipped with Nickel jingles, making it perfect for live performance because of its vibrant sound.
Also, because it is an instrument designed for players who take the party to a live stage, the ultra-ergonomic handle helps the player keep the rhythm going for hours without feeling any fatigue. Finally, the 10″ of 8 double-row jingles create a sound lush enough for any musical style.
Grover's uncanny history begins with triangles. Indeed, Neil Grover's thirst for knowledge took him to join forces with students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Acoustics and Vibrations Lab to find the perfect alloy to recreate the sound of the Boston Symphony's vintage Leedy triangle.
After succeeding at this endeavour, the company started receiving orders to replicate the same triangle for fellow Boston musicians and, later on, for top-notch percussion players around the world.
The passion for a job well done took Neil's company to worldwide shipping status, manufacturing some of the best-sounding percussion instruments in the world today. Try a Grover Pro and feel the difference if you haven't already.
Notable tambourine: Grover Pro T2/PhBr
With a not-so-common alloy of phosphor and bronze, the jingles in this tambourine give it a mellower, darker, deeper sound than any of its competition. For example, when playing any piece resembling romantic European repertoires, the deep character of the phosphor bronze is the perfect tool.
Moreover, the mid-range this instrument is capable of works wonders for singers and singer-songwriters wanting to add a percussive instrument that can take their performance to the next level. Finally, each jingle is hand-hammered to excellence by experts.
Why did EMD Music create Stagg in 1995? The answer to that question is very simple: to make good-sounding, great-performing, durable, consistent, and affordable musical instruments for beginners around the world. Indeed, the reason behind Stagg's existence is a gap in the market that doesn't allow students to hone their craft without spending a fortune.
Since Stagg's appearance in the market two-and-a-half decades ago, the brand has seen more musical careers begin than most other manufacturers in the world. The secret is that they stayed true to their original motto, making top-notch instruments that won't break the bank.
Notable tambourine: Stagg TAB-1 YW Cutaway Plastic Tambourine with 20 Jingles
This design by Stagg adds another set of jingles to the instrument located in the center of the piece. Indeed, the plastic frame with an ergonomic handle includes a set of 6 jingles that add to the 20 that surround the tambourine. This way, the ergonomics of the tambourine make it a joy to play, while the full, lush sound makes it perfect for any playing style.