In percussion, Cymbal Choke is a drum stroke which consists of striking a cymbal with a drum stick held in one hand and then immediately grabbing the cymbal with another hand, or more rarely, with the same hand. The cymbal choke produces a burst of sound which is abruptly silenced, which can be used for punctuation or dramatic fortissimo effects. In some modern music, namely Heavy Metal, it is “often employed to emphasize a particular beat or signal an abrupt conclusion to a passage.” Cymbal chokes are used extensively by classical percussionists to muffle the sound of a cymbal in accordance with the composer’s notation, or in an attempt to match the sustain of other instruments in the ensemble.
In modern music, cymbal chokes were used extensively by drummer Roger Taylor and can be heard in many Queen songs including “The Loser in the End” (1974) and “The Prophet’s Song” (1975). It can also be heard at the start “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor and of the Metallica song “Master of Puppets”.
Eye of the Tiger (Intro) – Survivor