So, as is so often the case, the best ideas come late at night when I’m trying to fall asleep.
This time, I was pondering how I want to be playing tambourine live on a couple songs, but want to avoid the massive bruising on my upper thigh that I ended up with after the last couple performances [Thunderbird Radio Hell = 6″ wide by 3″ high purple and black bruise that took a month to finally vanish, Indie Pop a week later = several smaller bruises around the big one from TRH that I was trying to avoid, each about the size of a toonie]. Not just that they’re hideous, but they hurt like Hell too.
Using my other hand to strike the tambourine instead of my thigh won’t work as I’m usually playing chords on one of the synths in addition to tambourine and singing, and while I have sometimes just smacked the tambourine on the edge of the table I pile my smaller synths and FX on, this is much harder to control in terms of the range of sounds you can make, and it carries with it the risk of breaking the tambourine and/or the table top. [Which is one thing if it’s the tambourine, but if I busted or knocked over the table top with a couple smaller but not cheap synths on it, big problem.]
Then it hit me. They sell recoil pads you can strap onto your shoulder to minimize felt recoil from shotguns and rifles. I actually have a half-inch thick one, and it’s about the right size to cover most of the tambourine strike zone too.
I think I shall be taking it into the synth cave this weekend to test how well it works, but I’m pretty sure it’ll do the trick. If so, then I’ll just pick up another one and make some sort of black covering with black elastic straps for a “tacti-cool” look that will blend in with what I wear on stage a little better than the beige covering/sling they come with.
Update: It definitely works! This is the recoil pad I’m using, right now just having the elastic part at the top and tying off the webbing strap [it won’t go tight enough for my leg since it’s designed to go around someone’s rib cage], but I will get around to making a better-fitting black covering as described above prior to my next show.