Pen Tapping: Can You Feel the Beat?

Ever drive a teacher crazy by tapping your pen against the top of your desk?

Well, that just shows you what she knows.

It turns out that pen tapping is a legitimate skill, making music out of the mundane. At least on YouTube.

A couple years ago, we told you about pen spinning, in which those blessed with high degrees of dexterity practice dancing pens around their fingers. It’s become enough of a sport that spinners form teams and take part in global competitions, mostly online.

So we weren’t really surprised recently to stumble across “pen tapping.”

Pen tapping doesn’t seem to have reached the popularity of spinning yet, but there are a surprising number of people, primarily kids, who’ve actually made a hobby of producing beats and rhythms using nothing but writing instruments.

This is how one of them explained it:

On Facebook pen tapping groups, they exchange combinations to produce various rhythms, then post videos of their performances online. A lot it’s just noise, but some of them are pretty good, and it’s amazing to see the speed and complexity they achieve.

As you can see from the videos, just about any kind of pen or marker can be turned into an instrument. Presumably, you can vary the sound by experimenting with different types of barrels and pen tips.

Probably not the best way to treat a good pen, but still looks like fun, doesn’t it?

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Tony Bridges

As a seasoned journalist and freelance writer, I've spent over three decades telling stories and exploring the world through the written word. With a passion for writing instruments, I found my niche at The Pen Vibe, a blog that shares our collective fascination with pens, pencils, and other tools that have shaped the art of writing.

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