your guide to low volume cymbals

Low volume cymbals may sound like an oxymoron, but they do exist. There are even cymbal mutes you can use on your existing cymbals that will quiet them down. While quiet cymbals aren't generally used for live performances, the exception being small quiet acoustic gigs or when used in conjunction with cymbal triggers as part of an electric drum set, they are very good at the keeping the neighbors and/or parents happy. 

Low volume cymbals are very light weight, mostly with densely packed small holes in them. They play and sound just like the real thing, just at a muck lower volume.

For a full quiet drum set, have two options;

Cymbal mutes with rubber pads that rest on the drum head, the advantage to these is if you have to take your drum set out for a gig, simply remove the pads and mutes and go.

Low volume cymbals with quieter mesh drum heads, the disadvantage is if you also play gigs or at rehearsals with other musicians, you'll either need two full sets of drums and cymbals, or you'll have to switch your drumheads out every time you play out.

Makers of low volume cymbals

Quiet cymbals can be purchased as a cymbal pack or individually.

Zildjian Cymbals offers their Zildjian low volume cymbals, These can be bought in cymbal packs or individually, also found  as an individual china cymbal to round out your low volume cymbal set up.

Zildjian L80 low volume cymbal pack with Remo Silentstroke drumheads for 10", 12", 14", 16", and 22" drums.

Sabian quiet tone cymbals, Sabian makes these with a shiny, chrome-like finish and can be found individually or in cymbal packs of various sizes.

Wuhan Cymbals offers the ORA (Outward Reduced Audio) line of cymbals that are designed for low volume settings and practice. Available in a cymbal pack or individual sizes.

quiet drum set options

Aquarian low volume 'Super-Pad' drum surfaces. These come in different sizes and can be placed over your regular drumheads for quiet practice or used as a standalone practice pad.

Another option could be a practice pad drum set, or an array of practice pads including one for a bass drum pedal, that you can play like a mini drum set at a much lower volume. These also have the advantage of taking up a lot less space than a full drum set. In small apartments or bedroom corners, this could be ideal.

You could also go with an electric drum set and do all of your playing at home with headphones.

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