For enthusiasts of early banjo
A great reproduction made by Dave Kirchner in Maryland. Goat skin head.
I'm working on my dancing while playing!
Bravo Mark! And bravo Dave K!
We tend to forget that tambourines are FRAME DRUMS. Frame drums are found all over the world in all cultures, many have jingles/rattles/bells/snarestrings etc attached to add more percussion effects.
Because most of us grew up with our only exposure to tambourines being SalvationArmy/Monkees/PartridgeFamily/Byrds, we naturally tend to approach tambo playing from a 'Davy Jones lite' basis.
But looking at minstrel era illustrations, one sees tambo players wielding formidable tambos on high while leaping about, looking like they are playing in a much livelier and skilled manner... sometimes holding large tambos up with one hand on bottom, sometimes even punching with a fist.
I strongly suspect that good players of large tambos utilized a broader set of frame drumming skills than we usually see today in reenacting. Frame drumming includes a vast array of techniques, a few of which Mark neatly demonstrates in this video. Soft deep thumb booms, sharp fingertip snaps, thumb rolls, sandpapery broad brushes, fingerplaying the zils with either hand... it's almost limitless. For example, here's a fellow using traditional Italian tambourine techniques: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Er3gLTtqx5E
There's no reason to believe musicians of the minstrel period would have limited themselves to only rudimentary beginner techniques of banging/shaking their tambourines.
Nice Mark! We tend to forget the tambo is a very versitile.
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