How do you shorten the sound of your cymbals?


Does anybody know how do shorten the sound of your cymbals? I would a short sound from my 18" zildjian zbt china and a short sound from my 16" zht fast crash.


Senior Member
I'm assuming your asking how to shorten the sustain. Try sticking a moongel or two on it. I would think that would work. Never did it but it's worth a try.


Silver Member
I would suggest a little bit of duct tape, but if you leave it on too long it may bond and leave sticky residue when you try and take it off.

Another option is "effects" cymbals. Try getting a 8" splash and placing it flat on top of your 18" crash, it'll give a completely different sound, but it will definitely be short!


You can try using stiffer felts. The felt pads tightened can serve as
a dampening function. The light gray felts are usually mushy and compress
quickly, the black felts are typically stiffer and can effectively tighten
down on your cymbals shortening the ring after your strike.
Last edited:

Drifter in the Dark

Silver Member
I would suggest a little bit of duct tape, but if you leave it on too long it may bond and leave sticky residue when you try and take it off
That's precisely why you should use gaffer's tape for that purpose. It's a little more expensive than standard duct tape, but well worth it becuase it leaves no residue on drumheads or cymbals. A single strip of it placed toward the edge of the cymbal (where there's the most vibration going on) should kill any excess ringing.


Silver Member
Sorry, I meant gaffer tape.

I've actually found that gaffer tape also tends to bond with the cymbal over time, but it takes a lot longer. Or maybe that's just my bad experience with cheap gaffer.


Senior Member
just a side note, thinner cymbals have shorter sustain/quicker decay than thicker cymbals so you may consider that the next time you go cymbal shopping. but if you're a hard hitter a thinner cymbal is more susceptible to breakage.


Silver Member
For my China, I cut a felt bass drum beater in half and use it instead of felt washers and clamp the bejezzus out of it.

For crashes, the tape would work, and you'll be able to clean off any residue if you need to.

Zildjian Fast Crashes really do JUST that, short and sweet crash sound. I was pleasantly surprised that they actually did what they advertised.


Silver Member
Personally I'd be wary of any kind of tape on my cymbals over a long period of time, and I don't suggest tightening your cymbals down on firm felts - that will certainly shorten the sustain, but it may also break your cymbals.

I would try cutting a hole in a piece of felt and putting it in between the cymbal and the top felt. Experiment with different shapes; a circle is going to dampen the least (depending on the size) since the center of the cymbal vibrates the least, but it would be easiest to keep out of the way so you don't hit it. If you need more dampening and you can keep the felt from rotating, a triangular piece will do the job nicely. Try different thicknesses of felt, as well.

Good luck.


What if I put duct tape on the bottom of the cymbal? I'm not worried about having to clean off anything from the cymbals because I don't mind doing that at all. But will it work on the bottom instead of the top?

I would also like to say to all those people who say "lower the stand". Uhh did you read the title and the question? "How do you shorten the SOUND of your cymbals?" Yes, I meant sustain.


Senior Member
I put it on the bottom and it works like a charm, just dont put too much... or it'll sound a broken cymbal..


Platinum Member
Play with a band. The sound from the rest of the musicians will cover up the sound of your cymbals sustaining and decaying...