There are a number of percussion myths that are circulating, such as “warming up crash cymbals”. In all my years of playing cymbals with both the Boston Pops and Boston Symphony, I have never played a crash where I think the cymbals spoke late – EVER. And that includes using my 22″monsters for Wagner!
I always let my ears determine what works and what doesn’t. Thoughtful product design and fundamental acoustic principles should prevail over unfounded “beliefs”. Like science deniers, there seems to be a small number of misguided percussionists.
On more than one occasion I have heard percussionists claim that tambourines with “in-line” jingles have clearer or quicker articulation than those (like our pro models) which feature “staggered” jingles. This claim is baseless and easily debunked! I have never had an issue with one of my Grover tambourines speaking “late”. Of course, we have some models that are “drier” than others (like our Custom Dry models), but, all of our tambourine models are quick sounding and very articulate.
We have been leaders in the production of professional tambourines with staggered, “dual-width” jingle slots for over 30 years. Our jingle slot placement is deliberate and an important design feature. We pioneered the “dual-width” jingle slot, which has been widely copied by other manufacturers. Our student models DO have in-line jingles and that’s because it is easier and less costly to manufacture tambourines with in-line jingles. The truth is that staggered jingle slots offer advantages that are easily heard when compared side-to-side!
Think about this – to execute a “finger” roll you are fundamentally creating friction between your finger and the tambourine head. As your finger rotates around the shell imagine a “cone of vibration” in the shape of a piece of pizza with the pointed end in the middle of the tambourine head and the wide section (crust) at the edge. This “cone of vibration” follows your finger around the circumference of the instrument. It stands to reason that spreading out the jingle placement evenly around the circumference of the shell (with no gaps) will result in a smoother roll. This is not just theory…it is fact. Our tambourines produce smoother sounding rolls than our competitors who use “in-line” jingle configurations.
Don’t believe everything you hear, or read on the internet (except for this!). LISTEN and decide for yourself.
I think I’ll have pizza for lunch today…