Tambourines are used a lot in folk music, as well as classical, pop, and rock. It is a versatile instrument that is made quite easily. It is often described as a small hand drum and they usually don't cost too much.

In fact, you can easily find cheap tambourines for sale online. A tambourine is made by stretching animal skin thinly over a wooden or plastic frame, (usually circular), which is then surrounded by pairs of small metal jingles.

When the jingles are shaken they hit each other and create a melodious sound. Tambourines are a member of the percussion family, and are usually held in the hand while being played, but they can also be mounted on a stand.

They can be played by banging them against a part of the body such as the hip or legs, by shaking the jingles, or striking the drum head.

A whisking sound can be produced by rubbing the hand across the drumhead in a quick motion. There is another technique that can be used to play the tambourine, which is called a thumb roll.

This is a more skilled way of playing, and involves moving the finger or thumb over the rim of the tambourine. One hand holds the tambourine, while the thumb of the other hand is firmly and quickly passed over the head of the tambourine. This technique makes the jingles roll faster and produces an even livelier sound.

Tambourines are very popular instruments in folk music, gospel music, classical music, Persian music and other music forms.

When buying one, the two main areas to focus on are the drumhead and the jingles. Quality tambourines produce a crystal clear sound. Be sure to listen keenly for that sound when making a purchase.

Also, the tambourine head should be made of quality plastic, as should the metal rings or jingles. This is very important, because cheap metal rings will make the tambourine give off a distorted sound.

So be sure to try it out in the store. Another feature of a good tambourine is having the drum and metal rings sound harmonic and in tandem.

Don’t be afraid to make the same amount of noise as you would if you were playing it in the band, or at church. Ensure that it feels comfortable when you grip it. If there is any discomfort when you are playing it, then select another one. It is also a good idea to bang it a couple times, just to make sure that it will stand up when you start playing it for real.

Remember it is also likely to fall a couple times as well, so make sure it looks and feels durable. Tambourines are not very expensive; you can usually get a good quality one for about $50. However, there are some high quality cheap tambourines for sale online.

If you see one priced at say $5 be very wary, remember that you get what you pay for, so it is possible that at that price it will break up after the first couple of bangs. Since they are not very expensive, take the time to select one that will last for a while.