Best UK Tambourine

Updated: May 2022

These are our top ranked picks in the category of best tambourine for sale in the UK.

#1 Selection: Rating = 92%

#2: Top Ranked Runner-Up

#3: Best For Positive Review Scores

Tambourines: A Buyer’s Guide

We’ve all played a tambourine at some point in our lives – surely!  They are among the easiest percussive instruments to pick up and start playing, and as such, they are very popular with children.  Chances are, many of us have memories of playing the tambourine in the school band, or as part of some form of production.  However, tambourines perhaps get a bad rap for being too simple!  The fact is, a tambourine is a fantastic instrument that has a firm place in modern music, classic hits, and even in TV and movie soundtracks and soundscapes.  

Therefore, it’s also worth bearing in mind that not all tambourines are the same.  They offer tiny cymbals and a simple strike drum, which – of course – is hand-held.  It is a very easy instrument to get to grips with if you have an innate sense of rhythm.  If you don’t, there’s no need to worry – as you can easily pick it up after just a few uses!

Believe it or not, there are plenty of different tambourines out there.  They can differ in terms of shape, sound and manufacture.  For that reason, if you are looking to kit out the percussive aspect of your band or soundscape, it makes sense to find an instrument that is going to be the best fit for your convenience, as well as the type of sound you are looking for.

In this buying guide, we will take a close look at what sets tambourines apart, and why it’s so important to compare before buying any particular drum or model!  Stick around, too, as we will also take a look at a few frequently asked queries buyers are known to ask on a regular basis.

Why Buy a Tambourine?

As mentioned, a tambourine is an instrument that is very easy to pick up and play.  It’s also very versatile!  You can create different sounds simply by hitting them or shaking them in specific ways.  There are also different types of tambourine out there, with some which use drum skins, and other which focus on offering rattle effects.  In any case, there are likely to be more choices out there for you than you may initially presume.  With that in mind, think about what place a tambourine could have in your band.

You may even choose to buy a tambourine for your kids to enjoy!  Many children enjoy making music, and a tambourine is a fun way to beat out some rhythms and make some rattles without having to sit learning method for hours at a time.  

Tambourines are used in a variety of music styles and genres.  They have been a staple of world music for many years, and what’s more, they do have a solid place as a percussive instrument in some wider orchestras.  It’s surprising just how broad the reach of a tambourine is.

Regardless of why you want to buy a tambourine, always be willing to shop around.  A good tambourine shouldn’t cost you too much money, but even a little bit of cash wasted is enough!  Let’s look a little closer.

Things to Keep in Mind

Think you’ve found the perfect tambourine?  Perfect.  Now’s the time to make your mind up – and you’re going to need to think carefully about how it’s going to be used, as well as the sounds it’s likely to create.

Who’s Using It?

As mentioned, a tambourine is a fantastic children’s instrument.  That’s not to dumb it down!  However, you will find plenty of tambourine models online and in music shops designed for smaller hands.  If you want to buy a child’s tambourine, you should look for those specifically designed with younger users in mind.  These will normally be made from safe plastics and have no sharp edges or holes where little fingers can get stuck.  Older children, of course, should be fine using more traditional tambourines, however, it’s worth looking at safe choices for the youngest members of your brood!

Drum Skin or No Drum Skin?

The two main types of tambourine out there have drum skins, or no skin at all.  Those with drum skins can be hit or tapped to create specific noises and percussive sound.  However, not all skinned tambourines use the same material.  Traditionally, tambourines would use animal skins.  However, most of the time, you’ll find that they use artificial skins instead – at least, those which are available at entry level.

Skinless tambourine merely have the shaker facility, which means that users can still rattle them around for that classic, jangly noise and feel.  However, with a skinned tambourine, you get the best of both worlds.  Tambourines without skins are also called headless tambourines, just in case you’d like to take a closer look for them online.

Which Shape?

As you may notice, not all tambourines are the same shape.  The classic shape, of course, is a circle model.  However, many are shaped in crescents and otherwise – crescent tambourines have handles which are more comfortable to use through extensive rattling.  Once again, these will likely be good for most kids to take advantage of.  Shaking a tambourine around can get very tiring and wearing on the wrists!  Circle tambourines, too, can dig into your hands if you’re not careful.  Therefore, be sure to know which shape and system is going to work best for you through intensive use.

Which Material?

Not all tambourines come built in the same stuff.  As mentioned above, many children’s tambourines are made from safe plastics.  Others, meanwhile, construct from wood.  This can be seen as a premium option as it is regarded as a more traditional choice.  It may also generate a different noise to that which you expect from a plastic shaker or hand-drum.

Look and Feel?

Believe it or not, the look and design of a tambourine can have an effect on your buying decision.  Some tambourines look ideal for world music with traditional designs and skins.  Others, meanwhile, come in a range of colours and finishes, as well as sparkly effects.  These, again, are likely to be good purchases for school bands and other uses.  However, as with any other musical instrument, the look of your tambourine is going to matter a lot in the long run – especially if you perform to crowds.  An instrument really helps to complete a musician’s outfit!  You don’t have to choose a tambourine that looks too cheesy or too unwieldy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes – tambourines are, on the whole, very simple.  However, many people will have questions to ask before buying.  There’s more variety out there than you might imagine.  Therefore, we’ve rounded up some of the most commonly-asked tambourine queries online to help you out a little further.

What is the Best Tambourine to Buy?

That’s a very broad question!  There are actually plenty of brands and specialist makes out there which offer tambourines and other percussive instruments as standard.  However, the tambourine you choose should really come from your own sense of comfort, as well as your intention for use.  Don’t be swayed by the bigger names unless you’ve read reviews and are keen to see what the fuss is about.

How Much Should I Pay for a Tambourine?

The great news with this instrument is that tambourines are often extremely affordable!  You shouldn’t really spend more than £10-£20 at any one time for a tambourine of any kind.  This covers children and adult models alike.  However, specialist and more traditional models will likely fetch a little more, though again, do make sure you read reviews and understand what you are getting into if you’re keen to invest in the best around.

Is a Tambourine a Drum?

Technically, in some cases, yes.  Tambourines with drum skins can be played as though they are handheld drums of sorts.  Crucially, they are percussion instruments, which means that they fall into the same instrument family as drums, maracas, shakers and more.  It’s all a very rich and slightly complex science!

Is It Better to Buy a Tambourine Offline?

Not always!  There are plenty of great reasons to go shopping for tambourines on the high street.  However, by going online, you might have access to wider deals and more varied opinions.  Always be careful when you buy any kind of instrument from a music shop – while owners will likely offer you honest opinions, and while you can get a feel for a good tambourine, you may sometimes feel as though you are being pushed into a hard sell!  You can avoid this, and check out more advice, when buying online.


It may not seem too obvious that you would ever need to compare tambourines online!  However, as examined, there are actually plenty of factors and features which you can differentiate between.  Choose a tambourine that’s perfect for the player – whether that’s you or your kids – and find a model that offers you ease of play and the perfect sound you’re aiming for!  Take a look online and read up on what verified buyers have to say.

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