Tape on Cymbals

Posted: March 25, 2011 08:50 AM


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  • Member Since:
    Jul 10, 2010

Hey all,

Have a question about putting tape on a ride cymbal. 

(Forgive me if I’ve missed a thread on this elsewhere.  Searched forum & didn’t see anything.)

For as long as I ‘ve been playing I have avoided using tape on anything when playing live.  Not on heads, not on cymbals.  Just a purist I guess, and I like to hear tones ring out.

However, lately I’ve been playing some very quiet jazz gigs.  My 24” K Light Ride’s too big.  Until I can afford that flat ride I want…I have been using my 20” K Ride…medium heavy weight, but it’s got a lot of overtones & wash…a little too much.  Maybe even some I never noticed when I first bought it.

I’ve been putting a piece of Moon Gel on the lower curve of the bell, on the top, on the side opposite where I would be playing on the bell. 

Seems to cut down the wash sufficiently and makes the ride a little more pingy.  But, the Moon Gel gets lost, it falls off, gets dirty, and it’s just one more thing to think of when setting up, etc etc.

So after all this time I am considering putting a piece of tape on the cymbal.  Most of the time I see tape being used on the underside.

What has been your experience with this?  What kind of tape?  How wide is the piece you use?  Is there a spot for optimum placement?  I’m thinking it might be on the underside exactly opposite the spot on the bell where I had the Moon Gel on the top.

Any suggestions or pointers would be appreciated—thank you!

**Update: three days later**

I have something to add…did the jazz gig on Sunday with moon gel on the ride bell; managed to hear the cymbal in a recording that a friend did with a Flip.  The cymbal rang out with a nice ping and I have to say I might have answered my own question…unless your experience with tape (a small piece, underneath?) is similar, simply cutting out some wash and emphasizing ping…I may just stick with the moon gel and deal with the one add’l step to setting up…what do you guys think??