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 the 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 performers.
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?
My top recommended foot tambourine is the Meinl Foot Tambourine with Stainless Steel Jingles. This is a popular choice that produces a good sound.
My second recommended foot tambourine is the YMC Percussion FJS2S-BK Foot Tambourine. This is a more affordable option with lightweight construction and decent quality.
- The 5 Best Foot Tambourines (2023)
- 1. Meinl Foot Tambourine with Stainless Steel Jingles
- 2. YMC Percussion FJS2S-BK Foot Tambourine
- 3. Latin Percussion LP188 Foot Tambourine
- 4. Meinl Percussion Heel Tambourine
- 5. Meinl Percussion CFT5-BK Cajon Foot Tambourine
- Origins and Use
- Construction and Sound
The 5 Best Foot Tambourines (2023)
Let’s compare these in more detail.
1. Meinl Foot Tambourine with Stainless Steel Jingles
Starting this list is the Meinl Foot Tambourine FJS2S. The 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 a 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 a 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 is no reason why you wouldn’t get one especially if you’re a solo performer.
2. YMC Percussion FJS2S-BK Foot Tambourine
The YMC’s foot tambourine features a plastic body in a clamp shell design and 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 a 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 or used with your hand if you wish.
3. Latin Percussion LP188 Foot Tambourine
This tambourine comes from another famous company, Latin Percussion LP188 is their take on foot tambourine, made from a 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 in its place the whole time you need it to.
Tambourine comes in 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 a larger foot or wear large shoes (like workman boots or something similar) it may not fit all that well.
The sound that this produces is enough to cover you if you’re playing in a smaller band without other percussions, so there is no need to worry about that. All in all, this is a great little foot tambourine for everyday use.
4. Meinl Percussion 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 a rubber band to keep it in place, but uses a shoehorn you simply slide into your boot.
The 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 adjust 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. Meinl Percussion CFT5-BK Cajon Foot Tambourine
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 top pick 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 a stronger and louder sound. This characteristic also enables the player to play it a bit differently, giving more of a 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.
Origins and Use
The tambourine is one of the oldest instruments in the world, with its origins in ancient Egypt. Because of that, the tambourine is mostly connected to middle eastern music in all of its varieties, but through the 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 most mainstream pop music. A foot tambourine is a more modern design of this.
Construction and Sound
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.
I hope this list helped you with choosing the best foot tambourine for you and your music style. All of these are great instruments and the fact that they are 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. The pesky, jingle sound they produce will be just a great light filler for the background of your melody and you should get down and start practicing with one of these right now.
My top foot tambourine pick is the Meinl Foot Tambourine with Stainless Steel Jingles, a popular choice that produces a good sound.
My budget foot tambourine pick is the YMC Percussion FJS2S-BK Foot Tambourine, a more affordable option, lightweight, and overall decent quality.