Foot tambourines are very useful for solo performers and scaled-down band performances. It can be used in many different ways to really supplement your music and your performance.
It’s rarely used in studio, because there you can just play the normal tambourine after you recorded your song and add it on, but it’s proving to be irreplaceable for live performer. It’s small, doesn’t take much room, and you’re probably already tapping that foot in rhythm while playing, so why not use it to add one more sound and enrich your performance?
The tambourine is one of the oldest instruments in the world, with its origins coming all the way back from ancient Egypt. Because of that, the tambourine is mostly connected to the middle eastern music in all of its varieties, but through ages, this instrument has spread all around the world and is used in all kinds of music, from folk and indigenous music all around the globe to the most mainstream pop music.
Our Pick of the Best Foot Tambourines
The instrument itself consists of a drumhead with metal jingles on the side, which make a sound when you hit the drum or twirl the tambourine. Foot tambourine has just the metal jingles, giving that unique rustling sound when tapping your foot, enriching your playing sound. Most models differ whether you put the tambourine on your heel or toes, meaning you have to tap hell or toe to play it. Of course, you can’t expect a very loud sound from these little instruments, but they are perfect for acoustic gigs, giving you just that hint you need to fill in your performance.
We comprised this list of top five foot tambourines to help you navigate through the overwhelming market, with dozens of options. Here you can find anything you might need from a foot tambourine and we tried to cover everything there is on the market. So, buckle up, because we’re getting started.
1. MeinlFoot Tambourine FJS2S-BK
We start off this list with Meinl Foot Tambourine FJS2S. A German company is famous for making anything percussions related and especially anything that an acoustic performer might need, and this foot tambourine is not in any way different.
The foot tambourine is made from hardwood body, with four sets of 2 jingles put together, and an elastic band strap to comfortably and easily put it around your foot. The tambourine is designed to be put on the toe end of your foot, and its ergonomic design means that it will stay on there the whole time. FJS2S-BK will provide you with a light jingle sound coming from a clamp design the body of the tambourine has, but also it can be somewhat sharp sound if you play it that way. This instrument is great to pack up and carry with you everywhere and for such a low price, there really is no reason why you wouldn’t get one especially if you’re a solo performer.
2. MeinlPercussion CFT5-BK
Another entrée from Meinl CFT5-BK is another great competitor on this list. This tambourine is also placed by a rubber band on the front end of your foot, but the shape of the body is different, with much impact on the sound.
The previous tambourine had a shell-style body and this one has a flat body, with five pairs of jingles, placed on a flat rubberwood body, giving this instrument stronger and louder sound. This characteristic also enables the player to play it a bit differently, giving more ring and jingle to his playing. They are mainly produced to be combined with Cajon and other acoustic instruments.
The great thing about all of the Meinl tambourines is that they all come with a two-year guarantee, meaning that even if they break at some point, you will get them repaired or replaced by the company, which is a great feature of these tambourines.
3. Latin Percussion LP188 Foot Tambourine
This tambourine comes from another famous company, Latin Percussion LP188 is their take on foot tambourine, made from rubberwood body with a clamp shell-like body and with four pairs of jingles to provide the sound. This foot tambourine is attached to the front of the foot with a wide elastic rubber band, meaning it will stay on its place the whole time you need it to.
Tambourine comes in a red color, but you should be aware that it is a bit smaller than the others on this list, so if you have a smaller foot it will fit you perfectly, but if you have larger foot or wear large shoes (like workman boots or something similar) it may not fit all that well.
Sound that this produces is enough to cover you if you’re playing in a smaller band without other percussions or solo, so there is no need to worry over that. All in all, this is a great little foot tambourine for everyday use.
4. MeinlPercussion Heel Tambourine
Meinl Percussion Heel tambourine is specific in that it is the only one on this list that is meant to be played by the heel end of the foot. The design itself is standard with the clamshell body housing four pairs of jingles, giving the light jingling sound, but what’s innovative is that this tambourine doesn’t have rubber band to keep it in place, but uses a shoehorn you simply slide into your boot.
Brilliance of this design is that it won’t ever come off unless you want it to, and it’s so easy and there is no need to adjusting the band or band stretching or something similar. Also, it can be put under the tongue of your shoe, effectively playing it in the front part of your foot if that’s easier for you.
This is a great product that will fill out your every need with its innovative great design and for a really cheap price.
5. YMC Percussion FJS2S-BK
YMC’s foot tambourine is last, but not the least on this list. Same as most of the others, it features a plastic body in a clamp shell design, featuring four pairs of jingles. It’s designed to be played on the front end of the foot with the rubber band on the bottom to keep it all in one place.
The sound this tambourine provides is light jingle sound, where you need to shake it rather forcefully if you want loud sound, but it’s great for one-man acts or playing in an acoustic setting to fill out the sound. It can also be strapped on your ankle if you can fit it or use it on your hand if you wish.
We hope this list helped you with choosing the right tambourine for you and your music style. All of these are really great instruments and the fact that they are really cheap and small means you really shouldn’t hesitate in getting one of these babies.
Once you get them, you’ll ask yourself how did you live before having one of them, as they are truly a great accomplice for any musician playing without percussions in his set. Pesky, jingle sound they produce will be just a great light filler for the background of your melody and you should really get down and start practicing with one of these right now.