Useful tips and information
Tamborim -  shopping guide

Frames made of wood, steel, aluminium or plastic?

Wooden frames are great for Pagode ensembles or anyone who doesn´t need to pitch his tamborim too high. The frames wouldn´t resist high tuning, they are simply not built for that purpose. The advantage of wooden tamborims is their light weight and warm sound. Steelplate frames are very suitable for high tuning, and still their weight is moderate. They often have a tinkling sound since the thin frame tends to resonate. Aluminium frames are - if thick enough, suited best for Batucadas. They sound very dry but weigh only little more than tamborims with wooden frames. Frames made out of ABS or other synthetic materials are perfect for beginners who don’t want to spend too much money. They are low priced because the manufacturers use simple components like hooks etc.

How many tuning hooks?

A good tamborim actually does not need more than 6 hooks to be tuned well. More important is the position of the hand which holds the instrument: if you hold it from the outside with both thumb and little finger the gap between the hooks, your hand should fit in the gap. If you hold it only with your thumb outside of the frame, the position or amount of hooks is not important

How important is the weight?

It is very difficult to build a stable and light-weighted tamborim that is suitable for being tuned up high.You will always have to make a compromise between weight and stability. A heavier tamborim with a thick frame sounds better, but especially beginners want to play a light-weight instrument. So if you want to play the turning technique on a high tuned instrument, you should not care about a few grams more! If your playing technique is right, the weight is not important anyways

How high should the frame be?

The opinions break up here: In Brazil high frames are favoured, whereas Europeans prefer flat frames. If you have small hands and would also like to play tamborim figures with your fingertips from the inside of the head, then you should pick a low framed instrument. 

Which head?

The normal synthetic head is suitable for everyday playing. Goatskin heads sound nice in Pagodes, holographic heads are nice to show off but rather belong in a showcase.

to top
Would you like to learn more about instruments?

Sambapedia is all about instruments and playing techniques