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In praise of the simple tambourine...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Oddly, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. Oddly

    Oddly Unofficial TalkBass Cartographer! Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    Over the last few months I've been playing with a covers band...standard stuff...CCR, a bit of Stax, Cream, Beatles, etc.
    Last week, at the drummer's suggestion, the singer finally put some work into playing tambourine as he sings...not as easy at it looks at all!
    We were all amazed how much that added to our sound...

    I've honestly never paid much attention to the 'little' percussion instruments, but now my ears have been opened, and I'm hearing them and realising how much they can add.

    Just thought I'd post and see if anyone else has experienced the same revelation?
  2. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Tambourines and other hand percussion instruments are like salt on your food. You don't notice it's there until it isn't.
  3. Rocker949


    Apr 20, 2005
    OldDog52, Oddly and ahc like this.
  4. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    Ten years ago, I was asked to sit in with a friend's band on a recording session playing.... the tambourine.

    Eventually I evolved into a full-time member as a percussionist. I was constantly trying to up my game on the tambourine. It's a little harder than it looks and it's very easy to ruin a song with one.
  5. Chicory Blue

    Chicory Blue

    Oct 9, 2016
    I've found it's hard to do pretty much anything and sing at the same time.

    Pap on, little shakedisk. Pap on.

    OldDog52 and 47th Street like this.
  6. Ox Boris

    Ox Boris Banned

    Nov 23, 2015
    If your band doesn't have an extra guitar or keys, the tanjo fills the void left when the guitarist does a lead break; and sounds better than grinding the ride cymbal.
    OldDog52 and Oddly like this.
  7. FilterFunk

    FilterFunk Everything is on the ONE! Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2010
    Listen to how much the tambourine adds to Bootsy's "Psychoticbumpschool," starting around 1:36 and really kicking in around 2:35

    And of course, Bootsy's workin' that Mu-Tron III! He's literally playing "on the one"!
    Bo0tsy likes this.
  8. Gully Foyle

    Gully Foyle Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2014
    Near Boston
    Reminds me of the story Tom Petty told about recording Refugee, and Jim Keltner, who was just hanging around, told him the track needed some shaker. Voila, the shaker makes the track, they did playback without it, and dull and lifeless. The tiny things can be everything. FZ described these little bits that make the recording as 'the eyebrows'
    GregC, elgecko, OldDog52 and 2 others like this.
  9. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    Along a similar vein: I've been listening to (and loving) The Rolling Stones' "Brown Sugar" for what, 46 years now? and I still get a woodie when the maracas kick in for the third verse!
    OldDog52 and Oddly like this.
  10. Aberdumbie

    Aberdumbie Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2016
    South Carolina
    That happened to me with a cowbell...... Insert Saturday Night Live joke here....
    staccatogrowl and 47th Street like this.
  11. Monkey


    Mar 8, 2000
    Ohio, USA
    I like the riq, which is a type of tambourine used in traditional Arab music. I wish I could play tambourine like this!!!
    fretlessguy, Oddly, GregC and 3 others like this.
  12. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    Motown was well aware of the tambourine's ability to cut through anything.

    fretlessguy, Oddly, GregC and 3 others like this.
  13. back4more


    Aug 11, 2007
    Oakland, CA
    Oddly, GregC, 47th Street and 2 others like this.
  14. OldDog52

    OldDog52 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    The lowly tambourine, maracas, cowbell, and other such-like can make a good song better. But they need to be used wisely.
  15. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    Here's a nice example of shaker setting the table for a tasty, double time/half time shuffle.

    Oddly and OldDog52 like this.
  16. Timmah


    May 19, 2011
    elgecko, Oddly, GregC and 1 other person like this.
  17. OldDog52

    OldDog52 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    I picture producers like Andrew Loog Oldham and George Martin in the studio at 2AM smoking cigs while trying to polish some track and musing out loud "You know, maybe what might work well here is some tambourine".

    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017
    staccatogrowl, Oddly and elgecko like this.
  18. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    Phil Spector knew a thing or two about tambourine!

    Oddly and OldDog52 like this.
  19. GregC

    GregC Johnny and Joe Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    No one has more fun playing the tambourine than...Tambourine Guy.

    He doesn't show up till 2:40 in this one, but he makes the most of his screen time.

    Dang, you beat me to it! The thread title immediately reminded me of that video.
    Oddly and OldDog52 like this.
  20. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    Steely Dan rocking sleigh bells at 1:50! :cool:

    FilterFunk, Oddly and OldDog52 like this.

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