Tambourine & shaker Patterns

Can someone direct me to a couple files with tambourine and shaker patterns?

For instance, I find a beat I like but I want to add a tambourine into it in “beat builder” but all I end up with is either a steady Ching Ching Ching Ching or something God aweful… I then realized that there is probably a couple basic patterns that a tambourine and/or shaker will follow… Can’t imagine there are to many of them…

Even a picture so I can copy the pattern into my beat so the tambourine and shaker sounds good…

Thanks in advance

(((( I predict that Psalm40 will simply direct me to one of his many great tutorials… Lol!! Dude is all over it!!! ))))

Well, his videos are indeed very helpful.
By the way, haven’t you checked them already? If not, I’d strongly recommend doing exactly that.

How did you go with this mate?

Im currently trying to find realistic shaker / tambourine grooves. Ive got great samples, but can`t get them sounding right in a midi editor.


LA Dave was last on this forum 2 years ago.
Perhaps Phil Flood can come up with something for you . . . .

Thanks mate.

After playing around a bunch today, i noticed the shakers in Ableton sound fantastic to my ears. I`m gonna dive in and work out how they are triggered midi wise to sound so realistic, then replicate that in BB. It seems like there are 8 or so samples of a shaker, which i can use in BB, i just need to work out how the midi pattern is programmed. Which samples are being triggered and at what velocity etc etc. I had success with a simple pattern already. Keen to do this with tambourine also.

Looking forward to whatever you can come up with and decide to share.

Until I’m back at my gear (Tuesday), my best suggestion is to download some midi song files that are good candidates for shaker parts, and see what was put into them. The Clapton Unplugged album comes to mind, maybe Signe? If you know of songs with good shaker or tambourine parts, that’s the best place to start. See what others did and go from there. Good composers (and arrangers) copy, great ones steal. Enjoy, and I’ll check my stuff when I get back to the good old Mac Pro and my hard drive array.

Also, take a listen to some of the Slim Harpo recordings. Usual very minimalist, but frequently with some sort of raspy rhythm that would translate well to shaker.

Hey All,

Happy with results so far. I`ve found creating my midi files for BB inside Ableton has garnered best results.

The “groove” function within Ableton has been fantastic for creating shakers / tambo patterns.

Am using 3 samples for soft, med, loud shakers, 9 samples in total.

Tambo has been a bit different. I have found myself not using back and forth mambo, more so on the 2 and 4 for Chorus`s etc. Particular tambo sounds work better or worse for whatever song. So i have it setup so tambo sound one is 50 - 70, tambo sound 2 is 71 - 90 etc etc and tambo “rattlesnake” is 127 for song endings. Working for me well atm.

When i get a chance i`ll upload. Have a gig Sunday so will see how she goes!


Do you want syncopated (on the 2 and the 4) or “downbeat” (on the 1 and the 3)? The two most common tambourine rhythms are

Downbeat Four - ONE ee and uh, TWO ee and uh, THREE ee and uh, FOUR ee and uh

Syncopated Four - one ee AND uh, two ee AND uh, three ee AND uh, four ee AND uh.

Downbeat Three - ONE and two and three and, ONE and two and three and, ONE and two and three and…

Back Beat Three - one and TWO and THREE and, one and TWO and THREE and, one and TWO and THREE and…

With all of those beats, the tambourine is shaking back and forth the whole time. The accented beats are the tambourine striking the hand or the leg, so you need a different tambourine sample for the emphasized beats, not just the same sample louder. In other words, you actually need at least two samples for even the simplest tambourine rhythms. The accented beats should also be louder.

These same patterns apply to the shaker except that it doesn’t usually have a separate “struck” sound. For the shaker, you can get away with just making the accented beat louder, although technically, especially depending on the shaker, the accented shake actually sounds different from the quiet shake.

I don’t see a tambourine in the video. It uses wood block, open and mute triangle, and I can’t see what all the kit drummer is doing, but I hear an occasional hat, and what I think is a very soft ride. I think you’d have to write the part from scratch, using the video as a guide. There is a full scores version of Unplugged published, but I think it’s in Korean, not that that matters for the music notation.