I call it “The Art of Sleeping Drum Mats.” Why do some drummers tape their drums?
What is the reason for the tape?
Drumming in large rooms or auditoriums can be difficult due to loud noises and a huge stage
During a live performance, drummers try to keep the “sound of the kit” in the same tone like the sound of the room.
Sound is created in the middle of the drum and spread around.
Drummers tape their drums so the sound stays the same in different situations.
New drummers have trouble getting used to “playing” a drum kit with no surface on it
Just imagine you go to a large city and you want to buy a drum set.
You try to play the drums at home with no surface.
Can you make it work? Of course, you can get used to it.
New drummers need a practice pad and a drum stand to get used to a drum set without any surface on it.
Drummers need to keep the drumsticks clean and ready for playing
Drumsticks are their artistic brushes.
So when a drumstick is not in use, it must be taped to the bottom of the drumkit or it will scratch the drums.
Drummers need a clean drumkit to “test drive” their kit and learn how it plays
When drummers tape their drums, the drums play the same with or without the surface on them.
Taping the drums keeps the kit cleaner and ready for playing.
Drummers need to develop their sense of what their drums play
This is the best way to develop your sense of your drums.
Drummers must tape their drums in a quiet room to develop their sense of how their drums sound.
Taping the drums keeps the drumkit in the same tone when playing it in different environments.
You can continue to use your bass drum to develop your bass drum sound. The bass drum is an easy target to take down.
You can have your drums “tape tested” while you are not using them
During a rehearsal, you can go and “test” your drumkit without playing them.
You will learn your drums better, which means you will learn your whole kit better.
I asked an old drummer friend to comment about the tape.
He said: “There are many different ways to tape your drums. One way is to roll the drumstick down a little in the plastic sleeve so it looks like a carpet on your bass drum.
The other way is to put the drumstick in a Ziploc bag with paper.
It is just easier for me to be able to drop the stick down a little so I can check it out in a clean environment.
I always use the paper roll to check out my sticks in my practice room or my homeroom.”
Some drummers add lint to the drumstick. I do not think this helps.
If you add lint to your stick, it will make it hard for you to move the stick around.
Some drummers tape their drums in empty rooms to “sound test” the drums and see how they play.
This is a bad idea. Just like trying to learn how your nose talks by kissing your fingers, the “sound test” does not work for the drums.
The “sound test” makes it hard to tell the difference between the “sound of a clean kit” and a “cleaned up kit.”
I have seen this method work fine for taping drumheads or practicing drum rudiments. But this is not a method for learning how a drum sounds without using the drums.
You must play to hear the sound of a clean kit.
Remember what the old drum instructor used to say: “Don’t use your sticks to ‘muffle’ the drum kit.”
I used to say this myself, but my teachers taught me another way of using my sticks. Many drummers tape their drumsticks or put lint on their sticks.
But I have seen drummers tape their sticks with everything from fuzz to duct tape. This is a bad idea.
The tape or lint will muffle the sound of the drums. You want to be able to hear the drum and the sound of your sticks.
It is very easy to “muffle” the drumkit by putting something in the way. A lot of drummers tape the pads of their drums to the tops of their bass drums.
This does not work well. The “muffle” is limited to your sticks, your bass drum, and the drums of the kit.
The tape is not going to muffle the whole kit.
One drum instructor, I had taught me this method: “I always tape my drumsticks.
This is what I do: I take a large piece of tape and run it along the length of my stick.
I put tape on the pad of the stick and the handle. I tape down both of the sticks.
When I’m ready to practice, I rip off the tape.
Then I put a little hot glue or Elmer’s glue around the inside and cover the tape and the stick.
This glue is very sticky. When I use my sticks, I’m able to play all the way around my drums.
I’m able to play along the sides of my drums. I’m able to play on both sides of my drums.
I’m able to play every part of my drums. I’m able to play in the front and back of my drums.
I’m able to play on every drum in my kit. The tape does not make any difference.”