Tambourine Body Directions

When reading the longhand and shorthand instructions for movements, it is very important that you understand the terminology used to describe where each step should be played in relation to the body. Below is a brief outline of basic directions. they are based on a grid system with the terms upper, face, chest, waist, hip, thigh and lower referring to the vertical, and left, centre and right referring to the horizontal.



  • The directions given above are true to YOUR right and left and not the stick figure’s right and left.
  • There is a ‘face centre’ although not noted in the diagram above.
  • To play at the lower level, you need to bend your knees slightly.
  • When writing directions, the vertical direction should always be written before the horizontal e.g. ‘upper centre’.