How to Dampen Cymbals? – Techniques & Tricks

A good set of cymbals is important for any drummer, no matter what style of music they are playing. Cymbals are the voice of the drums, and a good set will allow the drummer to be heard over the rest of the band. Cymbals come in all shapes and sizes, and a good drummer will have a few different sets to choose from, depending on the situation.

Cymbals are an important part of any drummer’s kit, and a good set is a valuable investment. With proper care, they will last a long time and provide the drummer with the ability to be heard over the rest of the band.



One of the simplest ways to dampen a cymbal is to use a cloth. You can either drape the cloth over the cymbal or secure it with a clip or other fastener.

Cymbal dampening with cloth is a way to reduce the sound that they produce. This can be useful in a variety of situations, such as when you need to reduce the volume of the cymbals for performance or when you want to create a specific sound effect.


Step 1: Decide where you want to place the dampening cloth on the cymbal. There are a few different places you can put it, but the most common is on the edge of the cymbal near the bell.

Step 2: Fold the dampening cloth so that it covers the desired area on the cymbal.

Step 3: Apply pressure to the dampening cloth to secure it in place.

Step 4: Hit the cymbal and listen for the sound you want. If the cymbal is still too loud, move the dampening cloth to a different spot and try again.

  • Can help to reduce the overall volume of the cymbal without affecting its tone or pitch
  • Absorb some of the unwanted overtones
  • Can help to prolong their lifespan by reducing the amount of vibration
  • Can cause them to lose some of their resonance and sustain
  • Can cause the cymbals to become less responsive

Cymbals with cloth in the room


There are a few different ways that you can dampen cymbals, but the most common method is to use tape on cymbals.

The cymbal tape is a clear, adhesive-backed film that is applied to the underside of a cymbal to help deaden the sound. It is available in various thicknesses and can be cut to fit any size cymbal.

There are two types of tape that can be used to dampen cymbals:

  • Gaff tape is a type of tape that is made of cloth and is sticky on one side. It is often used in theatrical productions to secure wires and cables.
  • Duct tape is a type of tape that is made of cloth or plastic and is sticky on both sides. It is often used to repair leaks or to secure objects.


Step 1: Place a small piece of tape on the edge of the cymbal.

Step 2: Fold the tape over the edge of the cymbal.

Step 3: Repeat this process around the entire circumference of the cymbal.

Step 4: Play the cymbal and listen for the desired sound. If the cymbal is too loud, add more pieces of tape. If the cymbal is too soft, remove some of the pieces of tape.

  • Keeps cymbals from getting damaged
  • Can be easily removed
  • Can mute cymbals
  • It May not be the most aesthetically pleasing option
  • It May not be the most sound-proof option

Different types of tapes

Gel or Rubber Dampening Pad

Gels are made specifically for this purpose and they work by absorbing the vibrations of the cymbal. This gives them a much shorter sustain and a drier, more controlled sound. Rubber dampening pads work in a similar way, but they’re not quite as effective.


Step 1: Place the gel or rubber pad on the cymbal.

Step 2: Play the cymbal lightly with a drumstick or your hand.

Step 3: Listen to the sound of the cymbal. If it is still too loud, add another gel or rubber pad. Repeat until the sound is at the desired level.

  • Can quickly and easily dampen cymbals
  • Gel or rubber can be molded to fit any cymbal size
  • It May not be as effective as other methods

Drum set with rubber dampening pads

Other Methods

Use Cymbal Felts

One of the most popular ways to dampen cymbals is to use cymbal felts. These are small, round pieces of felt that attach to the underside of your cymbals. They’re very effective at dampening the sound of cymbals, and they’re also very inexpensive.

Use Cymbal Mutes

Another popular way to dampen cymbals is to use cymbal mutes. Cymbal mutes are devices that attach to the top of your cymbals and dampen the sound without affecting the feel. They’re a bit more expensive than felts, but they’re also more effective.

Use Cymbal Sleeves

Cymbal sleeves are another option for dampening cymbals. They’re made of a soft, pliable material that goes over the top of your cymbals and dampens the sound. They’re not as effective as mutes, but they’re less expensive.

Use Dampening Rings

Dampening rings are similar to dampening gels, but they’re made of a solid material. You apply them to the top of your cymbals and they dampen the sound without affecting the feel. They’re very effective, but they can be a bit expensive.

Tips: How To Make Cymbals Sound Better?

  1. Start with clean cymbals. Wiping them down with a microfiber cloth will remove any fingerprints or grime that could be dulling their sound.
  2. Make sure your cymbals are properly balanced. Unbalanced cymbals can create unwanted vibrations that will muffle their sound.
  3. Use the right size drum key to tune your cymbals. A smaller key will allow you to get a tighter, higher pitch, while a larger key will give you a looser, lower pitch.
  4. Experiment with different mallets. Softer mallets will produce a warmer sound, while harder mallets will create a brighter sound.
  5. Play around with different strokes. A light touch will create a softer sound, while a heavier hit will create a louder, sharper sound.

Drum set with drumsticks in the room

Frequently Asked Question

How Do I Make My Cymbals Quieter?

There are a few ways to make cymbals quieter. One way is to use cymbal felt or muting devices. Another way is to use lighter sticks or mallets. Finally, you can play softer or use practice pads.

Are Larger Cymbals Louder?

Larger cymbals are not necessarily louder, but they tend to have a more powerful sound. If you are looking for a louder cymbal, you may want to consider one with a larger diameter.

Electronic drum set with drumsticks

Are Thinner Drumsticks Quieter?

Thinner drumsticks are quieter because they have less mass and therefore vibrate less when they hit the drum. This can be a good or a bad thing, depending on what you are looking for in a drumstick. Heavier sticks can be better for producing a louder, more powerful sound, while thinner sticks are better for more subtle playing.


The cymbals are an important part of the drum kit and can be used to create a variety of sounds. They can be used to add accents, create rhythms, and add texture to the music. Cymbals can be played with sticks, mallets, or even your hands. It is important to know how to dampen drums and how to play the cymbals correctly in order to create the desired sound.

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