Drumming is more than just keeping a steady beat and rhythm for the benefit of the other instruments and musicians in a band, drumming is able to elicit an emotional response to the music, much in the same manner as a guitar, bass, piano or any other instrument. It is this subtle ability of drumming to both motivate and draw attention to important phrases in the music, lyrics or punctuate the end of a song that is often overlooked. Without the use of drums within a song, the overall tone flounders, lacking style, drive and sentiment.
The “cymbal choking technique” that is used within all genres of music, from rock to R&B, jazz, metal or country is one method a drummer has to encourage the attention and response required to truly connect the audience with the music being played. In terms of execution, cymbal choking is perhaps one of the easiest cymbal techniques to learn. By hitting a crash cymbal and quickly grabbing it with the hand, the sound produced is loud and vibrant, yet quickly decays, producing an accent that highlights the various instruments or vocals in the song. This technique works well in all styles of music, and at all tempos, resulting in an incredible rhythmic experience that will have the audience and listeners trying to “air drum” the same punctuated rhythm.
The best way to create a memorable experience for the audience is through an emotional connection to the music being played. Rhythm and drumming are a large part of this connection, connecting tempo to the heart, and drawing attention to the most important parts of the song, overall. By utilizing the “cymbal choking technique,” the song being played is not only enhanced on a musical level, but also forces the listener to appreciate the sentiment behind the song.