Mallet dampening is a vibraphone technique that facilitates legato phrasing on the instrument. It is accomplished by striking a note on one of the bars of the instrument while the pedal is depressed and then using the head of the same or another mallet to stop the vibrations of the bar without raising the pedal.
There are many benefits of being proficient in this technique as a vibraphonist. As it allows a player to hold out one chord and add or subtract any individual pitch desired, a vibist can transition between chords much more smoothly than a pianist who cannot stop a string from vibrating without reaching inside the instrument when the pedal is down. Most modern vibraphonists are highly skilled in this technique.