How To Dampen Cymbals

How To Dampen Cymbals: Dampening Cymbal Sustain

How to dampen cymbals? How to reduce cymbal sustain? We are going to discuss what are some ways to dampen a cymbal and reduce sustain, so if it is one of your problems with your current setup, you might better join us.

Best Ways To On How To Reduce Cymbal Sustain

If you hate that ringing sound from your cymbals, here are the best ways on how to reduce cymbal sustain:


Whether it is a duct, gaffer, or any other type of tape, it can be a great material to use to dampen cymbals if you do not know how to reduce cymbal sustain. If you think that tapes can also be used to dampen the toms and snare drums, then you are wrong. You can also use it on your noisy and long-sustain cymbals.

You can place the tape either above or underneath the cymbals and position whether near the bell, on its edge, or in the middle, and this will surely reduce the sustain of the cymbal. The thicker the tape you are going to put, the more it will also help in reducing the sustain. So, it will depend on the amount of tape you are going to use on how much reduction you want from your cymbal’s sustain.


Another popular material that is known for dampening the drums is the moongel; however, not many people know that it can also be used for dampening your cymbals to reduce their sustain. These gel pads are highly efficient in dampening the sound of percussion instruments, as they can stop unwanted overtones that can be irritating to listen to.

You can place the moongel close to the bell or in the middle, but from experience, placing it near the edge of the cymbals is the best way to reduce their sustain. As it is a cheap method to dampen the cymbal, the more you are going to put in your cymbals, the more sustained sound is also reduced, so it would depend on how many moongels you are going to place on your cymbals to get the sound you are looking for.

Cymbals With Short Sustain

If you can splash some cash, it might be a good option for you to replace your cymbals with those that have shorter sustain. However, most cymbals with shorter sustain can really be very expensive, so you must ready your wallet when buying one. Here are some of the best cymbals that are known to have a shorter sustain:

Zidljian K Custom Dry

If you are looking for new cymbals that can give you a short sustain, say no more; the Zildjian K Custom Special Dry is here. Crafted by Zildjian’s expert cymbal makers using a single piece of B20 bronze, which is composed of 80 percent copper and 20 percent tin, you get a dark and vintage cymbal tone that drummers are looking to play in controlled setups such as clubs or recording, thanks to its fast decay and short sustain while still being able to cut thru the mix.

Sabian Big & Ugly 

If you are looking for massive cymbals that have short sustain, Sabian’s Big and Ugly Cymbal Series might be the perfect choice for you. The Big and Ugly cymbals are known to be perfect for genres such as jazz, blues, and R&B because of their dark and clean tone; however, they can also be used for rock and indie too. Even with their large sizes, they have shorter sustains, as they are made of B20 bronze material, which is typically used in making high-end and flagship cymbals.

Paiste Masters Dry

Loved by many drummers, the Paiste Master Dry is another cymbal product line that you can turn to if you need some cymbals that can give you the short sustain you are looking for. Made from a B20 bronze again, these cymbals are designed to give you a warm, dark, and dry tone with a controllable volume, which is perfect for recording studios and live setups. Thanks to their versatility, you can also use these in any other applications that you can think of.

Meinl Byzance Extra Dry

Last but not least on our list, Meinl’s Byzance Extra Dry cymbals are another excellent option if you are looking to replace your old cymbals with a new set that offers short sustain. Made to give you a dark, fast, trashy, and dry sound, these B20 bronze cymbals from Turkey are the real deal if you are looking for that short sustain. With the company’s hand-hammering techniques and raw finish, you get versatile cymbals that would be perfect in almost all applications.

Practice Cymbals

If buying cymbals with short sustain might be out of your reach because, as we all know that they are very expensive, one thing you can go for is practice cymbals. Practice cymbals are designed to have low volume and less noise, which also results in shorter sustain. Here are some of the best practice cymbals that you can check out in the market:

Zildjian L80 Low Volume Cymbals

One of the most famous companies in the cymbal industry, Zildjian, is also offering low-volume cymbals that are perfect for any practice or low-volume setups. The cymbals have small holes, which allows them to have a lesser volume of up to 80 percent, so you won’t have to worry about disturbing other people. With its lesser volume, it also means that it has a shorter sustain. Although they can be a little bit expensive for a practice cymbal, their sound is still way better compared to most of the cheaper options in the market.

Sabian Quiet Tone Cymbals

Another practice cymbal line from a top cymbal maker brand in the industry, the Sabian Quiet Tone cymbals, is also made for practice setups and controlled volume venues. However, unlike cheaper cymbals, it still gives you the feel and response, just like you are hitting a regular cymbal. They also have small holes, which helps in significantly reducing their volume and also allowing for shorter sustain. Made from a durable alloy, these cymbals can also last for a long time, even if you are a hard hitter.

UFO Low Volume Cymbals

A budget-friendly and more affordable option in our list, which is perfect for those who are looking for cymbals with a shorter sustain but have a tight budget, the UFO Low Volume cymbals would be a great option for you to check out. Made from zinc alloy, these cymbals are very light, and with their small holes, it comes with a very large volume and also a very short sustain. Although they are not up to par with Zildjian and Sabian cymbals, they can still be an excellent option for practice sessions, especially if you are on a tight budget.

Alternative Ways On How To Reduce Cymbal Sustain

Although we already discussed lots of options when it comes to cymbals with a short sustain, there are still more ways for you to get the short sustain you are looking for. One way is to put your old t-shirt over your cymbals. You can also place a kitchen towel in there. There are also some muting accessories for your cymbals that you can purchase, and lastly, you can also tighten the screw on top of the cymbal, as it can help reduce its sustain.

So, how to dampen cymbals? You can dampen your cymbals by putting tape or a moon gel in them. You can also place your old t-shirt over the cymbals. However, you can also replace them with a more expensive set of B20 bronze cymbals, which are known for their short sustain, or with a set of practice cymbals which are not only famous for their low volume but also for their short sustain.