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Pen Tapping Made Easy For Beginners

By AliBoy (6 Years Experience)

Everyone in this world at least once in their life have pen tapped without even knowing the name of the thing that they used to do or at least know someone who does pen tapping.

You’re probably reading this article because you finally figured out the name of what you used to do and now you’re interested to know all the 0s and 1s of pen tapping.


What is Pen Tapping?

In a short definition, pen tapping is the making of sounds also known as ‘beats’ (in the pen tapping world) by the means of, of course pens!

Now I can bet once again that you’re reading this article because you got to randomly or intentionally see those cool pen tapping videos on the internet made by ’em famous pen tappers.

Some of them includes Shane Bang, Lenstrumental, PawsOfAHusky and Dineson Caneda. But don’t worry, you’re going to be the next pen tapper legend if you follow my rules of pen tapping!

As a pen tapper myself who has been pen tapping for almost 6 years now, learnt in somewhere around 2011, nickname AliBoy’. I wouldn’t like to brag about myself too much but well, you can check me out on my YouTube channel and Facebook page.

Check out this video to know what “pen tapping” actually is if you still don’t know about it or are a newbie.

Heading on to the topic, below are the steps on how you can learn to pen tap easily. Though it took me around 2 days to learn beginner beats with 1 hand and around a week to learn advance beats with 2 hands but I can assure you that you would be ready overall within a week!

The Basics of Pen Tapping

There are basically three types of main sounds that makes pen tapping what it is which include:

1. Bass

How To Pen Tap/Pen Tapping AliBoy Bass

Bass is the sound made when you thump on a surface with the bottom of your wrist, the place where basically the palm meets the wrist. Note that this is done while holding the pen!

2. Snare/Tap

Pen Tapping Snare

Snare is the sound made with the tip of your pen. Note that to make the sound perfectly you need to have the pen lift up a little high and touch only the metal nib with the surface and not the plastic cover of the pen.

3. Hi-Hat/Clap

Pen Tapping Hi Hat/Cymbal

This sound is made when you slam your pen straightly on a surface like as straight as the yellow line shown in the picture. While doing so you are only able to hold the pen with your index finger and thumb since none of the fingers should be below the pen.

Now these beats just like in any other musical instrument having ’em coded weird language, these beats are coded in simple mathematical numbers such as 1, 2 and 3. The bass is known as 1, snare as 2 and hi-hat as 3.

So to come up with a basic beat with 1 hand, the most basic yet awesome beat is 1-2-3-2-2-1-3-2. In other words this beat is just; Bass-Snare-Clap-Snare-Snare-Bass-Clap-Snare coded in numerical form. To make this beat active all you need to do is learn the rhythm and keep trying until you get it.

Pen Tapping Beats – Basics

Here are some of the pen tapping beats to practice upon in order to master the basics perfectly.

  1. 1-2-3-2-2-1-3-2.
  2. 1-2-3-1-2-1-3-2.
  3. 1-2-3-2-3-2-2-3-2-3-2-3-2-2-2.
  4. 1-2-2-2-3-2-2-3-2-3-2-2-3-2-2.
  5. 1-3-2-1-3-2-1-2

Keep practicing until you get the rhythm and keep repeating the beats fast to make them sound better!

Pen Tapping Made Advanced

Now comes the time of pen tapping with 2 hands. It really isn’t as difficult as it sounds since with a couple of failures you will get with the rhythm, and when you get with the rhythm you will become that unstoppable annoying kid of your class. *Evil Laugh*

But seriously you will become one since I’ve been accused for it a lot, even when someone else in my classroom pen taps, literally I get the blame since they got inspired from me. ;(

But either ways, don’t let that stop you from learning, so let’s get to the topic, now comes 3 more advance beats which are literally easy to learn, and those are:

4. Snare/Tap 2

Pen Tapping Snare 2

Yes! Snare/Tap 2 is literally the same as Snare/Tap. The only difference in both is that Snare/Tap (Numbered 2) is done with right hand while Snare/Tap 2 (Numbered 4) is done with left hand. Though if you’re a left handed person then it’s vice versa for you.

This difference sums up the fact that if you want to include left hand in a beat so you would use the number 4 for the musical beats. Like 1-2-4-2-4-2-3-4 is basically Bass-Snare1-Snare2-Snare1-Snare2-Snare1-Clap-Snare2. So yeah there is nothing ‘advanced’ in pen tapping just as I said.

5. Scratch

Scratch is basically just as the name says; scratching the nib of a pen with a surface. Just like Snare in which you touch the nib of a pen with a surface, similarly in scratch you scratch the pen instead.

You can see in the video above from 0:20 seconds if you do not get it.

6. Glass

When I was new to pen tapping I didn’t even understand why everyone gave glass a kind of category in pen tapping but well…‘glass’ is basically hitting the pen’s plastic cover with a glass to make that glassy sound. (lol)

To sum up, here is a video of Shane Bang in which he made my article look legit with the samples of almost every basic and advanced beat there is. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Though there are a lot of new beats out there such as hitting the back of the pen on a surface as well as hitting both the pens with each other, more like ‘snaring with each other’ lol.

Pen Tapping Beats – Advanced

  1.  1-4-1-4-3-4-2-1-4-1-4-1-3-4-3-4.
  2.  1-4-2-4-3-4-2-4-2-4-1-4-3-4-2-4.
  3. 1-4-2-4-3-4-1-4-2-4-1-4-3-4-2-4.
  4. 1-55-2-55-3-55-1-55-2-55-1-55-3-55-2-55.
  5. 1-66-2-66-3-66-1-66-2-66-1-66-3-66-2-66.

Now if you notice, number 3, 4 and 5 are the same beats but replaced with snare2, scratch and glass. So you can use the same beat but change the secondary hand with a different sound.

In order to get started with such sounds, you simply need to remember which number stands for which beat, once you learn all these 6 international recognized beats, you’ll eventually get with the rhythm and would be making your own moves and impressing everybody!

Wait up! We’re not done yet…now comes the time to know about the most important thing:

The Fillers

This is the thing that you would only hear from the real pen tappers and find really less discussed online. Fillers is basically controlling your speed of pen tapping.

Let’s say, the numerical numbers would look something like this without fillers: 1-3-2-5-4-5-5-6-2-1-4. But with fillers they could look something like this: 132-54-5562-14.

It’s not about the numbers though that is just an example, the real thing to understand are the speedy movements; basically the pace with which you move your hands to either make the beat sound low or high.

To make it simple in the example of cardio, fillers are like jogging, jogging, then suddenly running, running, running and then walking, running, jogging, running running. This looks absolutely weird but I hope you got it lmao.

Just go through random pen tapping videos on YouTube and you’ll know everything you need to know!

So let us know what you think about this article in the comments below. Send your pen tapping videos on my official Facebook page from here if you want to be a part of the pen tapping community and have your videos featured on the page.

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