Gaffer tape on ride cymbals

Peedy

Senior Member
I've been thinking about putting some gaffer tape on my two ride cymbals (18 & 20in) for a while. I was wondering what the DW community's experience with it is. How much? Do patterns matter? Type, brand and or width of tape matter? Advice and any photos would be great.

Background - been putting tape on my toms for a few years now and it really helps remove unwanted ring from what amounts to a small room setting. I love the rides in our large room but they just have too much sustain for where we normally play.

The cymbals in question next to our vicious ride cymbal guard and attack cat, Striper. (No, not stripper. . . STRIPER)

Pete
Tape.jpg
 

Mongrel

Silver Member
Not sure what cymbals you are using, but I have sucessfully used a single piece of gaffer's tape right under the "sticking spot" of my 20" to 22" ride cymbals to dry them out. Usually 2"-4" long midway between the bell and the edge.

I have used it on a Zildjian A medium, A Sweet Ride, K ride, and an Istanbul Mehmet 50s Nostalgia ride.

I was surprised at how close to a $400 special "jazz\dry" ride my little old 1990s Medium A sounds with a little tape........lol.

Tip: remove the tape when not in use to avoid any residue issues.

Ps-I know some drummers recommend the blue "painters tape" for this usage, but I have not had the same success with the (much) thinner painters tape. Us g the gaffer's tape I can get the desired effect with a much smaller piece and only need it under the sweet spot.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
I’ve done it for the same reason. Pro tips:
  1. Use actual gaffers tape. It won’t leave a residue. Duct tape will.
  2. Start with a 2” wide roll.
  3. Use a piece about 4” long.
  4. Place it on the underside of the cymbal.
  5. Place it tangential to the center, with the middle of the piece on the edge of the bell.
  6. Manipulate as needed. The further from the bell, the more it dampens.
  7. Remove after use.
 

Peedy

Senior Member
Not sure what cymbals you are using, but . . .
. . . Tip: remove the tape when not in use to avoid any residue issues. . .
Both cymbals are vintage Zildjian. The 18 is a 1958 weighing in at 1565g while the 20 is a 1965 and 2040g.

I'm probably going to start with the 18 as it's more of a jazz cymbal with very complex hammering and lathing, plus it matches my 40s and 50s stuff better. The 20in is pretty much what everyone thinks of when someone says, "everybody has a vintage Zildjian ride cymbal".

On the residue issue, no doubt. I've bought 30 or so vintage Zildjians over the years and more than a few have had VERY OLD tape residue on them. Most annoying to clean off, especially after all that time.

And as far as the blue tape, I tried it on my toms and it did almost nothing.

Pete

edit for tape pic

Gaffer.jpg
 
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Peedy

Senior Member
Use a piece about 4” long.
I admit that I'm wary of using just one piece as I'm hoping for a result that's even across the whole cymbal regardless of how it turns while playing. Is that going to make a difference? The advice you've both given got me thinking something like one of these three drawings. Thoughts?

I'm guessing the more square inches of tape, the more muted it gets.

Detail of the cymbal's underside on pic 2.

Pete

Illus-1.jpg Illus-2.jpg
 
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Mongrel

Silver Member
I’ve done it for the same reason. Pro tips:
  1. Use actual gaffers tape. It won’t leave a residue. Duct tape will. .
I used to think that until I used a particular brand ( don't remember which) of gaffer tape and left it on for months expected it to just peel off. While the residue was nowhere near duct tape residue, it was still there and required a bit of "Good Off" to get it off.

I figured it's better safe than sorry and one of two pieces of tape
won't break the bank.
 
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Mongrel

Silver Member
I admit that I'm wary of using just one piece as I'm hoping for a result that's even across the whole cymbal regardless of how it turns while playing. Is that going to make a difference? The advice you've both given got me thinking something like one of these three drawings. Thoughts?

I'm guessing the more square inches of tape, the more muted it gets.

Detail of the cymbal's underside on pic 2.

Pete

View attachment 87714 View attachment 87715
This is one of those times where you just need to experiment.

No way of knowing how those patterns will effect the sound of *your* cymbals.

For me, in those examples, that much tape has proven to be too much. It went beyond "muting" right into killing the sound quality and tone. But I am not a fan of the super dry cymbal sound so...

That is why you need to experiment.
 

Ronzo

Junior Member
Because tape works really well and I have plenty of it on the shelf?

:D
True but using moon gels makes life easier and we don’t have to read another thread called “how to remove gaffer tape residue from cymbal”
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
I admit that I'm wary of using just one piece as I'm hoping for a result that's even across the whole cymbal regardless of how it turns while playing. Is that going to make a difference? The advice you've both given got me thinking something like one of these three drawings. Thoughts?
I used one piece ‘cuz if it left residue cleanup would be easier.

I began with a strip that spanned the entire diameter of the cymbal, and it ran through the bell area. After a bit of experimenting, I ended up with a 6” strip, tangent to the hole, that dipped very slightly into the bell. It muted my 22” Paiste ME ride perfectly for use in small club.

What sounds great to me, might sound awful to you.
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
Tape mostly quiets down my cymbal, shorten the sustain. I like tape because it is not permanent. But I don't use tape much.
 

Pass.of.E.r.a.

Gold Member
My experience with tape was that it took out a lot of the stick definition and gave my ride (Meinl 20" Sand Ride) a very dull sound overall. Could be in part due to the cymbal, or how I placed the tape, but it didn't really sound like what I was going for. I had a lot more success in switching the angle of the cymbal and trying sticks with different tips.

Alternatively, if you don't end up finding a sound you like with tape, Meinl's "cymbal tuners" which are basically magnets with felts on them, did a great job giving the cymbal a more articulate sound and a far less washy sound when placed right by the bell. Any closer to the edge and it no longer sounded like a cymbal to me. The only caveat is that it really flattens out the bell sound. Something to try!

-Jonathan
 

Peedy

Senior Member
Well, I considered all the advice from DW and I called a friend who's a pro here in L.A. and I arrived at this.

He added that when using tape, he typically makes a geometric design until it gets past where he likes the sound. When he's in the studio or live venue he can hear it in it's intended setting. Then he removes tape until he thinks it's perfect.

And before you object to the lettering, the wife talked me out of way worse.

Pete



Hi.jpg
 
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