Which Tambourine Should I Buy?

Black Swamp Percussion makes a lot of different models of tambourines, so we have put together this little guide to help you make the right decision! Here's a few of our favorites, played by world-class percussionists and chosen by musical organizations worldwide.

The #1 concert tambourine in the world is our TC1 Chromium and Phosphor Bronze combination tambourine. This tambourine has a crunchy, articulate, but full-bodied sound. If you are purchasing your first tambourine, this is a great general purpose tambourine that will be at home in just about any musical situation. 

Next up is our TD1 Chromium tambourine. This is an extra articulate and crunchy tambourine. Choose this one for use with fast, articulated rhythms. Shake and thumb rolls can be very aggressive.

TC1 - Chromium/Bronze Tambourine
TD1 Chromium Tambourine

Our TD3 German Silver tambourine produces a timbre that differs from the TC1 or TD1. The German Silver is a more ringing and pure tone. Shake and thumb rolls are less aggressive sounding.

TD3 German Silver Tambourine
Calf vs. Synthetic Head

Should you get a calfskin or synthetic head on your tambourine? The positive aspects to calfskin are that it's the traditional choice for sound quality and feel, and can be replaced when it is worn out. The downside to a calfskin head is that it's affected by weather and humidity. However you can work around this by keeping the tambourine on a heating pad during high humidity conditions.

Our synthetic head is a Remo Renaissance head, and is available on all our SoundArt, S3, and Leggiero tambourines. The Renaissance head comes standard on the Overture tambourine. The positive aspects to a synthetic head are that it's resistant to humidity and is very durable. The downside is that it cannot be replaced because of the special adhesive necessary to attach it to the shell.

For further consideration...
TDOV Overture Tambourine

Are you on a tight budget but still want a nice sounding concert tambourine? Try out our TDOV Overture tambourine. It's made with great sounding brass jingles, a maple ply shell, and a synthetic head to mitigate tension fluctuations due to weather.

S3TD S3 Series Tambourine

Do you want to round out your tambourine collection with something very dark and subtle? Try our S3 Series tambourine. It's made with aged brass jingles and a solid, steam-bent cherry wood shell for a lighter, more sophisticated sound. 

For more details, pictures, and sound samples, go to the SoundArt Series, S3 Series, Leggiero, or Overture page.

So many great choices - happy tambourine hunting!

If you want a light, graceful sound, try our LGTD1 Leggiero tambourine. It's made with slightly smaller diameter jingles and a solid, steam-bent cherry wood shell. Same-size jingle slots make for an extremely articulate sound.

LGTD1 Leggiero Tambourine

This chart shows you the relative soundspace that our tambourine selections fall within. Click the tambourine series that the model belongs to and learn more!

Tambourine Timbre Comparison Chart

"I have known Eric for over 20 years and when I heard he had started a company, I immediately searched him out. I first saw the products at PASIC 20 years ago and have been a fan of his work ever since. I have played Black Swamp tambourines for a number years and it is by far the best instrument on the market! The thing I love most about the company is that it has improved EVERY SINGLE YEAR of its existence. I am proud and honored to be a part of the forward thinking Black Swamp family. Tim and Eric do a terrific job and I will be a part of this company as long as I play music. Bravo Black Swamp!"

Timothy Adams - University of Georgia


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Black Swamp Percussion LLC

11114 James St.

Zeeland, MI 49464 USA

Tel: 800-557-0988

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