Converting an acoustic cowbell to an electronic cowbell.

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If you love e-drums as much as I do, you might enjoy adding a cowbell to your kit’s lineup. A converted cowbell looks pretty cool, and can also be used to trigger any sound in your arsenal. Now you can really explore the studio space! The total project cost was around $40.

Parts List

You can find all these online via Amazon or Ebay. I’ve linked some of the parts for convenience.


First, drill a hole in the base of the cowbell. I used a drill press to cut the hole, but a handheld drill would work as well. The goal is to cut a hole large enough to let the jack through, but not so large that the bolt won’t hold it in place. It sounds simple but there’s a thin margin of error, take extra care not to make the hole too big.

Drilling the cowbell

Next, cut off a piece of the rim protector, trim to size and super glue. This is a key element of the design, the trick is to go all the way around with the rim protector and this will nearly deaden the resonance from the cowbell… which i assume you want (like me). Additional foam can be adhered to the inside and outside of the cowbell body to further deaden the sound.

Cowbell, rubber hose, glue

Put a line of clear silicone around the inside of the rim protector and put it onto the cowbell, then let it sit for 24 hours.

Cowbell rim protector

Insert the endpin jack and screw it in. Please be advised, it was tricky business trying to figure out how to screw the endpin jack in tightly. After trying a few things to no avail, I ended up sticking a flat head screwdriver into the cowbell and wedging it between the cowbell body and the nut on the endpin jack, and then I was able to twist the endpin jack to tighten it up.

Cowbell with endpin jack

Next trim the wires to remove excess, and use a coupler to connect the piezo to the end pin jack. Put some double sided tape on the copper side of the piezo. I use 3M “transfer tape”, but any double sided adhesive should work.

Cowbell with piezo

Lastly, stuff the wiring into the cowbell and stick the piezo to the bottom side of the cowbell body. Now it’s ready to dial into my e-kit.

Cowbell mounted to my kit. I think Bruce Dickensen would approve!

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