Updated: Oct 15, 2018
[Original Post: 3/7/14 – Updated: 12/17/16]
A lot of you have been asking me if your students should tape their drumsticks... the answer is SURE! (If they do it correctly.)
Just remember that properly taping sticks might make sticks last longer, but it can only do so much. I recommend purchasing quality sticks from the beginning so you don't have to replace them as often. Vic Firth Rock Sticks with Nylon Tips are great for bucket drumming! I'll be putting together a handy purchasing guide soon!
Here is a video of complete detailed instruction on how to tape drumsticks properly so they last longer (and look cool)! You'll find even more helpful tips below, too.
How to Perfectly Tape Drumsticks - Complete Detailed Instruction
How to Tape Drumsticks Like Candy Canes
What is the best type of tape to use?
Electrical tape is the perfect combination of easy wrapping, creative color options, and durability.
1/2"-3/4" (12-20mm) wide works great!
Both matte and glossy finishes work. [Heads up: Glossy finishes tend to melt and slip on itself if it is left in the sun or heat for too long!]
You can cut short strips of tape in half lengthwise to add detailed embellishments, as demonstrated in the video.
Why not other types of tape?
Washi tape is often dry-feeling which can lead to sticks flying out of hands when it's least expected.
Duct tape is thick and tends to bunch up, making it difficult to wrap. It's also super-sticky, so if it gets stuck to itself while you're wrapping, you have to cut it and start a new strand.
Masking/painting tape is like a hybrid of washi and duct tape and poses the same challenges.
A Trick to Keep Your Sanity:
In addition to wrapping sticks with tape as a decoration that makes them last longer, you can also color-code them for specific students, grades, classes, ensembles, etc.
For example, each school I teach at has their own color electrical tape to mark all of their equipment so that when schools perform together, each school only takes home the equipment with their specific color stripe on it. My personal sticks and equipment have a small blue stripe of tape at the butt (opposite end from the tip) so that my students don't accidentally take them home and there is never confusion between my equipment and my schools' equipment. In smaller ensembles, I have each of my students choose their own personal color or color combination.
My personal sticks and equipment have a small blue stripe of tape at the butt (opposite end from the tip) so that my students don't accidentally take them home and there is never confusion between my equipment and my schools' equipment. In smaller ensembles, I have each of my students choose their own personal color or color combination.
In my experience, color-coding sticks has prevented a lot of confusion and accusations – I highly recommend creating a system like this! Add a little blurb in your emails to parents or in your concert program about needing electrical tape donations!