If you have been wondering whether or not you should tape your pandeiro, or why you might want to tape your pandeiro in the first place, this thorough guide can walk you through the many different reasons and methods for taping.
What is the Best Way to Tape a Pandeiro? – The preferred taping method for Pandeiro is a simple cross shape on the underside of the skin. A large number of percussionists choose to tape their pandeiro in order to alter or muffle the sounds they produce. This is a technique known as “dampening.”
Different kinds of instruments use different dampening methods. For example, snare drums are typically taped on the wires beneath the drum, or along the hoop and batter head of the drum. In contrast, bass drums are often dampened by placing blankets or towels inside the drum itself.
What is the Best tape to Use on a Pandeiro?
Masking Tape every time. Due to masking tape being available with different levels of Tack [Stickiness], it is possible to start low and experiment up the tack level to find one that works for you and leaves the least residue. Masking tape is cheap too!
There is not one set of rules for taping a pandeiro, indeed there are numerous ways, shapes and emthods for taping.
When it comes to pandeiro players, the most common method of dampening is to tape the underside of the instrument. One of the more frequently used taping arrangements is a square with a cross inside of it.
If you want to try this arrangement on your own pandeiro, simply use four pieces of tape to form a square that fits just within the underside of your pandeiro, making sure it does not touch the frame. Then, using two more pieces of tape, make an X shape from corner to corner within the square.
Another possible taping method is to use five pieces of tape to form the shape of an asterisk.
Arrange the tape so that the base of your pandeiro resembles a pie cut into fifths, with each piece of tape connecting in the center and ending just before it touches the frame of your pandeiro.
Though it is rare, not all pandeiro players use tape on the underside of their instrument. Percussionist Tiago Testa, for example, uses only three strips of tape on the head of her pandeiro.
Based on the numerous taping methods already illustrated, you can likely already tell there is no single, perfect way to tape your pandeiro.
Taping Pandeiro to Shape Tones
It is important to remember that the purpose of taping your pandeiro is to shape the overall tones and sounds it produces; the way you choose to tape your pandeiro should reflect the sounds that you, the musician, want to make.
Be sure to experiment with different tape quantities and arrangements until your pandeiro sounds exactly the way you want it to!
Tape vs No Tape: Why do Pandeiro Players Tape Their Instruments?
You may be wondering why you would want to use tape on your pandeiro in the first place.
Some pandeiro players choose not to tape their instrument at all, while others couldn’t imagine playing a pandeiro that has not been taped.
Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages, and it all comes down to preference and playing style.
A pandeiro which has not been taped will produce more overtones (the ringing sound that occurs after striking the instrument).
Some people prefer untaped pandeiros because they can use these overtones to their advantage when playing, and they believe an untaped pandeiro has a more natural sound.
While the ringing overtones produced when playing may be noticeable to the musician, an audience that is some distance away will not notice these overtones nearly as much.
Another reason some people choose not to tape their pandeiro is because they simply do not want to risk any tape or residue becoming permanently stuck to their instrument.
If you do choose to tape your pandeiro, this is an important risk factor to keep in mind. However, as will be explained later, there are some types of tape that are less likely to permanently affect your instrument.
More Control over your Pandeiro
On the flipside, there are also many pandeiro players who prefer to tape their instrument. A pandeiro that has been taped produces a tighter, crisper sound than one that has not. This gives the musician more control over the sounds they are making, especially when playing more resonant lower tones.
While many percussionists insist that overtones actually improve their overall performance quality, others prefer to have control over the volume and duration of these overtones while playing.
Again, the choice of how much tape to put on your pandeiro, or whether or not you want to tape it at all, is entirely up to you. Every musician has their own preferences, and, at the end of the day, the kind of music you want to make is your decision.
How Often Should Tape be Applied/Changed?
If you do choose to tape your pandeiro, you should not remove and reapply your tape too frequently, as it can leave behind a lot of sticky residue which may be difficult to remove.
A general rule of thumb is that, if your pandeiro still sounds good, there is no need to change the tape. If the tape begins to wrinkle or peel off, however, it’s probably a good time to replace it.
What Types of Tape do Pandeiro Players Use?
Different pandeiro players use a wide variety of tapes, including gaffer tape, masking tape, electrical tape, and even duct tape.
BEWARE: Duct tape, is thicker and leaves more residue than tapes with a synthetic residue, such as gaff tape, so it is not generally recommended.
Most pandeiro players agree that lighter and thinner kinds of tapes, which leave small amounts of residue, are more preferable to thick and sticky tapes.
Gaffer tape can be the first choice of many and can be found on Amazon easily.
RECOMMENDED: – Masking Tape. It is available is varying levels of tack. Experiment from the lowest tack upwards to find one that works best for you
Examples of Taping Techniques
There are a few different taping techniques that percussionists have developed over the years to help you get started taping your own instrument.
Firstly, by placing tape near the edge of your drum, you can cut out a lot of overtone without reducing the overall resonance of your drum.
Another method is to only put the tape in a few places on your pandeiro but to stack these strips of tape on top of one another. This greatly focuses on the sound of your drum while also keeping a lot of the tone, so you retain a lot of control without losing too much resonance.
Important thing to keep in mind is that a little tape really does go a long way. You may be tempted to try and cancel out overtones entirely by swathing the surface of your pandeiro in layer upon layer of tape, but if you do this, the sound will also be significantly reduced.
The entire purpose of a drum is to produce resonance, and muffling your drum too much can cut out that resonance entirely. This will make your pandeiro produce a flat, uninteresting sound, and you definitely don’t want that!
Taping Trial & Error
If you do decide to tape your pandeiro, you should begin with small amounts at first, and test how that affects the sound. Then, if you would still like to dampen your pandeiro more, you can add more tape. Remember- it’s far easier to apply tape to your pandeiro than it is to take it off.
When finding a taping technique that is right for you, another important aspect to consider is the placement of your tape.
Try placing a piece of tape in the center of your pandeiro, then experiment with how the sound has changed. Then, gently remove the piece of tape and place it along the edge before playing again. Pay close attention to the difference in sound. By experimenting methodically with the exact tape placement, you can find an arrangement that works perfectly for you.
Which Players Use Tape on Their Pandeiros?
Some pandeiro players, such as Tulio Araujo and Carlos Café, choose not to tape their pandeiros. However, there are many other skilled pandeiro players who use tape on their instruments in order to get a cleaner, more controlled sound.
Ron Powell and Matthias Haffner, for example, tape the underside of their pandeiros in a square with an X inside.
Tiago Testa, however, uses strips of tape on the head of her pandeiro.
If you are still undecided as to whether or not you should tape your own pandeiro, it may be helpful to watch a variety of other pandeiro players on YouTube.
This way, you can compare the sounds and styles produced by players who tape their pandeiros versus players who don’t.