As with all musical instruments, the quality of resonance of the Tamböa may vary according to the acoustic conditions of the space where it is played. You will be able to observe this yourself by playing the instrument in different kinds of environments.
The surface on which the Tamböa rests during playing also influences the resonance. Again, through experimenting you will notice this yourself. You can also place the instrument on your lap.
In order to obtain the best sound from the tamböa, strike the keys in the middle, where they will vibrate to the maximum. Striking very hard is not recommended, not only for the welfare of the instrument but also because the sound produced will not be as good. We suggest you begin by positioning the mallets about ten centimetres above the keys.
Don’t hold the mallets too tightly in your hands, so as not to restrict the resilience of the balls. To achieve the greatest flexibility, hold the mallets between your thumb and forefinger. Use the resilience of the balls to create rhythmic effects.
In order to keep your Tamböa in good condition, please follow these recommendations.
First of all, never leave the instrument near a source of heat, such as a radiator or other heating apparatus. Nor leave it in a very humid environment, such as an unheated basement, or outside throughout the night.
Each Tamböa has been treated with an oil finish to seal the wood and protect it from the exterior environment. This finish should be touched up once in a while as needed. For this we recommend the use of mineral oil,(that you can find in any drugstore), almond oil or walnut nut oil. With a cloth, apply the oil generously to the wood, wait ten to fifteen minutes, then wipe off the excess with a clean, dry cloth. The instrument will be restored to its original lustre and will be better protected.
Some recommendations on how to begin
- Let yourself be guided by your intuition and little by little become familiar with the instrument.
- Explore the variety of possible playing styles (soft, hard, sharp, pliant…).
- Explore different rhythms of striking (regular beats, tremolo, gliding . . .).
- Use musical back-up (such as a disk of percussion music).
- And don’t forget: rhythm is a cycle of repetition.
To play chords, take two mallets in your dominant hand, holding one between the thumb and index finger and the second between the index and third finger. Hold the third mallet in the other hand. Don’t hold your hands closed too tightly, and keep the balls at a distance of about ten centimetres from each other.
A gissendo effect can be produced by lightly rubbing a key throughout its lenght, begening at the base and moving to the tip while maintaining an even pressure on the mallet. Note that the effect is easier to achieve from the higher notes, wich are the shorter keys