Why Do Drummers Put Tape On Their Drums?

December 20, 2023

In this article, we’re going to explore the drum sound modification techniques, particularly why drummers put tape on their drums.

At its heart, this practice is about modifying and controlling the sound characteristics of the drums to suit specific musical needs.

From dampening unwanted overtones to altering the sustain and tone of the drum, taping serves as a crucial tool in a drummer’s arsenal for shaping their desired sound. 

Stay tuned as we delve into the nuances of this simple yet effective technique used by drummers worldwide.

Why Do Drummers Put Tape on Their Drums

Drummers use drum-taping methods to alter the sound of the drum, particularly for dampening drum overtones and reducing sustain.

The tape helps in controlling the resonance and achieving a more focused and desired drum sound.

It’s REALLY about control.

The tape acts as a dampening agent, a key aspect of controlling drum resonance and achieving a more focused sound.

Why is this important? 

Controlling overtones is crucial for achieving a cleaner sound during both live performances and recordings. 

Overtones can cause the drums to sound muddy or overly resonant.


Drummers use tape as part of drum tone customization, altering the sound according to the music they’re playing.

Different placements and amounts of tape can significantly change the drum’s tone.

why do drummers put tape on their drums

Is putting tape on drums a good thing?

YES and NO.

Tape can clean up the sound, it also dampens the natural resonance of the drum. This might not be ideal for genres that thrive on the natural, vibrant tones of the drums.

In certain musical settings, especially in studios or genres that require clear, precise drum sounds, taping can be crucial for sound quality.

Drummers need to balance the benefits of taping with the potential loss of the drum’s natural character.

Bottom line: If circumstances demand larger-than-life drums I say let it ring… If you are in a studio or small venue dampen those drums, kill those overtones, and move out of the way.

Why do some drummers put tape on their cymbals?

Similarly, the principle of cymbal taping effects is applied to control overtones, akin to drum taping for sound control.

Taping cymbals helps in dampening excessive ringing and overtones, similar to how it’s used on drums to achieve a tighter sound.

This is crucial in settings where precise sound control is essential

By reducing the sustain and decay of cymbals, drummers can prevent their sound from overpowering other instruments, akin to the way tape on drums helps in achieving a more focused drum tone.

Benefit: Applying tape to cymbals allows drummers to fine-tune their sound, much like on drums. The placement and amount of tape can significantly affect the cymbal’s resonance and sustain.

Downside: While taping can be beneficial for sound control, it also alters the cymbal’s natural character. Drummers must weigh the benefits of controlled sound against the loss of the cymbal’s inherent tonal qualities, just as they do when taping drums.


In summary, this technique is a balancing act between achieving desired sound control and maintaining the instrument’s inherent tonal qualities, a crucial aspect of drum and cymbal sound modification.

Drummers use tape to dampen overtones and adjust sustain, helping achieve a cleaner, more focused sound during performances and recordings. 

This technique is a balancing act between achieving desired sound control and maintaining the instrument’s inherent tonal qualities. 

Ultimately, whether to use tape depends on the musical context, the drummer’s preference, and the need for precision in the sound.

Denis Loncaric
Denis Loncaric

My name is Denis. I am a drummer, percussionist, music enthusiast, and blogger. Drums have been my passion for 15 years now. My idea is to write about the things I like and I am interested in. I want to share my drum passion with fellow musicians who walk, talk, and breathe drums.

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